What Are the Most Stolen Cars in the U.S.?
Every day, Americans return to parking spots only to discover their car has disappeared. A sneaky car thief has stolen their vehicle before anyone could stop them.
Unfortunately, this scenario repeatedly happens across the country. According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report, car thieves steal an average of 700,000 cars each year in the United States.
These vehicles are valuable commodities for criminals who strip them down in chop shops to resell their parts. The FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting program found that victims lost almost $6 billion nationwide to motor vehicle thefts in 2017. The average dollar loss per stolen vehicle was $7,708.
In this article, you'll learn about the top ten hottest vehicles stolen by car thieves, and what you can do to decrease your chances of being a victim. We'll also tell you what insurance coverage can protect you if the worst happens.
Highest Car Thefts By State
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau's latest vehicle theft data report, the states with the most car thefts were:
|State||2019 Theft Rate (per 100,000 people)||2018 Theft Rate (per 100,000 people)|
What Are the Most Stolen Vehicles in the Nation?
Pickup trucks are the most stolen car model in the nation, representing our out of ten vehicles stolen. Sedans are the most stolen vehicle in the Northeast and West Coast.
In 2020, the National Insurance Crime Bureau released its 2020 Hot Wheels Report on vehicle theft. The report examines vehicle theft data submitted by law enforcement to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). According to the crime data collected by the National Insurance Crime Bureau, these were the most stolen cars in the United States in 2019:
1. Ford Pickup Full Size (F-150, 2006) 38,938
This Ford pickup truck full-size F-150 has remained a bestseller for the past 43 years. According to the NICB, it is the most stolen vehicle in 2019 according to its 2020 report. The most stolen pick-up model year is the 2006-F series truck.
2. Honda Civic (2000) 33,220 annual thefts
The older models are easier to steal because they lack anti-theft protection devices are available in most new vehicles. These cars are targeted the most because of their high resale value. Honda Civic parts also fetch higher prices at junkyards and shops. Silver Honda Civics are the most targeted, followed by white, black, gold and dark green.
3. Chevrolet Pickup Full size (Silverado 2004) 32,583 annual thefts
This vehicle has an extraordinary towing capacity and an excellent engine. Thieves prefer the 2004 model, which is the most stolen Chevrolet model year. There were higher rates of theft of Chevrolets in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Montana and Nebraska. Other areas included North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee and Vermont.
4. Honda Accord (1997) 30,745 annual thefts
Thieves love older model Honda Accords because it's easier to break into these vehicles. The 1997 Honda Accord model is the most stolen car in Atlantic Coast states like Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.
5. Toyota Camry (2007) 15,656 annual thefts
According to the NICB, the Toyota Camry is the nation's fifth most popular car to steal. Thieves target the sixth-generation 2007 Camry because there is a high demand for its parts. It was once Motor Trend's 2007 Car of the Year.
6. Nissan Altima (2015) 13,355 annual thefts
The fourth-generation 2015 model is the most-stolen Nissan Altima model. The states where vehicle thefts were the highest for this model include Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and New York. Thieves also target Nissan Altima vehicles in North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.
7. Toyota Corolla (2018) 12,137 annual thefts
This compact car is the third-most stolen vehicle in the nation. It is known for its fuel economy and strong sales. The newer model Toyota Corolla is one of the most popular targets for thieves. In Washington, D.C., this model was the most stolen one in the area.
8. Dodge Pickup Full Size (Ram, 2001) 11,292 annual thefts
Drivers love Dodge Ram pickup models for their power and speed. People that own models 1500, 2500 and 3500 have gotten the most speeding tickets in the nation. Dodge full-size pickups, especially the 2001 model, have attracted the most thieves. These parts are also popular on the market because there is a limited supply available.
9. GMC PickUp Full-Size Truck (Sierra 2018) 11,164 annual thefts
These pickups are a favorite of thieves in Alaska, Arkansas and Maine. The GMC pickup full-size truck offers a slightly upscale experience compared to some similarly priced competitors. The most stolen version is the later 2018 pickup model.
10. Honda CR-V 10,094 annual thefts
This original Honda CR-V model has a boxy appearance, spacious interior and affordable price. According to MotorTrend Magazine, the Honda CR-V 2001 is known for its reliability. There is a high demand for parts from older generation models. It makes them a favorite target for car thieves.
Although not listed in its current report, the Jeep Cherokee Grand was also another popular target of thieves.
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Why Do Thieves Target Certain Car Models?
Thieves usually target older, bestselling vehicle models to steal rather than new cars. They usually strip the vehicles of their parts and sell them off one at a time. It nets them more money than reselling the entire vehicle.
There is a high market demand for these parts since carmakers reuse parts across different models and years. Parts from older vehicles are usually still compatible with newer vehicle models.
They are even more attractive because most don't have an anti-theft system installed, unlike the newer models. Their owners are less likely to purchase an anti-theft device to protect their cars.
Favorite models include Honda, Toyota, and Nissan. They also prefer powerful pickup trucks made from Ford, GMC and Chevrolet. Car thieves can usually get the most money for these parts.
Most thieves avoid vehicle make and models that aren't so popular. They also avoid other vehicles because of their location. For instance, some people are more likely to store their new cars inside a garage rather than parking it curbside.
When thieves steal newer models, they have to supply a counterfeit vehicle identification number for each part. They send some vehicles to chop shops to strip them of their valuable parts. Thieves ship others internationally to other countries.
Seven Layers of Protection Against Car Theft
Use your common sense – When parking your vehicle, don't put it in a dim spot, only select well-lit parking spaces. Take a few minutes to remove your car keys from the ignition. Remember to lock your doors and windows. According to the NICB, thieves stole 84,131 because of carelessness. The owner left their key in the ignition or left their remote entry key-fob inside their vehicle when it was parked.
Install a warning device in your vehicle – Use audible and visible alarm systems to protect your car. There are aftermarket alarms available for different makes and models. You can also use visual devices like brake locks, column collars and steering wheel locks.
Immobilize your car – You can implement security features that provide a third layer of protection. It will prevent thieves from hot-wiring your car or bypassing your ignition. These include kill switches, wireless ignition authentication. You can also use a fuel pump, starter or ignition disabler as another immobilizing device.
Use tracking devices – The NICB recommends that owners install tracking devices into their cars. This anti-theft technology helps authorities to recover stolen vehicles faster. Some systems help owners remotely monitor their cars using GPS and wireless devices. When the thief moves the vehicle, the system will track it digitally. You'll receive updates through an app.
Don't leave packages, bags, phones or other valuables in your car while it's parked. Make sure to secure these valuables in your trunk or hide them under seats. It will prevent smash-and-grab thieves from targeting your vehicle for vandalism and robbery.
Remove the garage door opener transceiver from your vehicle. If a thief finds your registration, they can steal the garage opener, gain entry into your home, and rob you of your valuables.
Never keep your vehicle's title, registration and insurance information in your glove compartment. Carry photos of your documents stored on your cellphone, instead.
Which Insurance Options Covers Car Theft?
Comprehensive coverage is the only insurance that covers car theft. It helps cover the costs of damages to your car when you're involved in an accident or incident that's not related to a collision. It covers situations like car theft, vandalism, natural disasters, and hitting an animal. For instance, if a car thief stole your vehicle from a parking lot, your comprehensive coverage would pay for the loss.
Insurers only offer this coverage with full coverage car insurance policies.
How To Make Sure You Aren't Buying a Stolen Car
There are several tips you should follow to make sure you don't end up purchasing a stolen vehicle.
Consider whether the car you're shopping for belongs to the list of most stolen vehicles in your area. Before you purchase a vehicle, research the seller beforehand to ensure they're credible.
Use the NICB's Vin Check tool to ensure that the car's vehicle identification number is legitimate. The 17 digit VIN, which is the unique ID for each vehicle, should be visible on the dashboard of the car.
Some criminals clone the legitimate VIN numbers of vehicles that are a similar make and model. Check whether the number is firmly attached to your vehicle. It may provide a clue whether your VIN number is legitimate.
Are you searching for a great car insurance policy to protect your vehicle? Use online comparison tools on SmartFinancial to connect you with insurance companies in your local area. Just enter your zipcode below, and we can help you get a quote from local carriers for the most affordable insurance premiums based on your driver profile.
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