Most Stolen Vehicles in America

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, one car is stolen every 36 seconds within the United States. In October 2021, the organization released its highly anticipated Hot Wheels Report: America's Top Ten Most-Stolen Vehicles. The NICB bases its annual list on geographical data it gathers from each state, such as the number of motor vehicle thefts in each state and the most stolen models.

One car is stolen every 36 seconds within the United States.

This year, the agency found that car theft numbers spiked throughout the U.S. In 2020, there were 880,595 car thefts, which was a 9.83% increase from 794,019 in 2019. The NICB said the higher car theft rates were partly influenced by an economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Others were simply crimes of opportunity such as theft of unsecured cars.

SmartFinancial has analyzed the NICB's latest report to help readers determine whether or not their car is at risk. It's important to note that comprehensive coverage is the only car insurance coverage that protects against theft or vandalism of a vehicle.

Most Stolen Overall

According to the NICB, criminals have devised sophisticated new ways to swipe vehicles, including:

  • Acquiring smart keys that eliminate the need to hotwire vehicles.  

  • Using cloning to switch vehicle identification numbers with counterfeit ones

  • Getting stolen identities to secure loans for expensive cars

The top five states with the highest key/fob vehicle thefts are:

State

Key/Fob Theft Rates

California

31,185

Florida

17,300

Texas

15,511

Ohio

12,595

Nevada

11,391

Source: Insurance Information Institute

Most Stolen Cars in the United States

The National Insurance Crime Bureau bases its annual Hot Wheels list on law enforcement data compiled by the National Crime Information Center. The NCIC is the United States' centralized database that tracks car thefts and other crime-related statistics. Federal, state and local law enforcement routinely submits information about car thefts to the NCIC. The information-sharing tool has been available since 1967.

Here are the nation's top most-stolen vehicles according to the NICB.

NICB's Hot Wheels: America's Top Ten Most-Stolen Vehicles

Stolen Vehicle Model

Thefts

Percent Change

Most-Stolen Model

1. Ford Full-Size Pickup

44,014

13.0%

2006

2. Chevrolet Full-Size Pickup

40,968

25.7%

2004

3. Honda Civic

34,144

2.8%

2000

4. Honda Accord

30,814

0.2%

1997

5. Toyota Camry

16,915

8.0%

2019

6. Nissan Altima

14,668

9.8%

2020

7. GMC Full-Size Pickup

13,016

16.6%

2005

8. Toyota Corolla

12,515

3.1%

2020

9. Honda CR-V

12,3009

21.9%

2000

10. Dodge Full-Size Pickup

11,991

6.2%

2001

1. Ford Full-Size Pickup Truck

  • Theft Count: 44,014

  • Percent increase from 2019: 13%

  • Most-Stolen Model: 2006 Ford Pickup

North American consumers prefer pickup trucks, and one of the best-selling models is Ford's durable F-Series. In 2019, the company sold more than 900,000 F-Series (F-250 and F-340) models in the United States.

This top-selling vehicle was also a tempting target for thieves who swiped over 44,000 Ford trucks in 2020. F-Series theft rates increased 13% and outpaced those for Nissan Altima, Honda Civic and other best-selling sedans.

2. Chevrolet Full-Size Pickup Truck

  • Theft Count: 40,968

  • Percent increase from 2019: 25.7%

  • Most-Stolen Model: 2004

Chevrolet has produced rugged pickup trucks, like the Chevy Silverado, which have enjoyed steady sales nationwide. Chevy pickups are also the single hottest commodity among car thieves. In 2020, this flagship brand had the largest theft rate increase of any vehicle on the Hot Wheels list.

Chevy pickup thefts have increased 25.7% since 2019. In 2020, thieves stole almost 41,000 Chevrolet trucks. This figure represents 1% of all Chevy pickups currently on the road. The 2004 Chevy was the most-stolen model.

3. Honda Civic

  • Theft Count: 34,144

  • Percent increase from 2019: 2.8%

  • Most-Stolen Model: 2000

The Honda Civic has an outstanding reputation for reliability, durability and exceptional fuel economy. These qualities make the compact sedan an alluring target for thieves. Last year, the NICB ranked the Civic third place on its Hot Wheels; however, the vehicle topped the list as the nation's most-stolen sedan.

Honda Civic theft rates increased a modest 2.8% in 2020; however, thieves stole 94% more Civics than Toyota Camrys. Thieves preferred the 2000 Civic because the vehicle is the last Honda model without anti-theft devices.

4. Honda Accord

  • Theft Count: 30,814

  • Percent increase from 2019: 0.2%

  • Most-Stolen Model: 1997

The Honda Accord is an award-winning sedan renowned for its spectacular fuel efficiency, comfort and affordability. This midsize sedan continues to be a darling among critics, consumers and thieves alike. In 2020, thieves swiped over 30,000 Accords. Nine Atlantic states account for most of the thefts. The 1997 Accord is the most-stolen Honda model, and the oldest one featured on the Hot Wheels list.

5. Toyota Camry

  • Theft Count: 16,915

  • Percent increase from 2019: 8.0%

  • Most-Stolen Model: 2019

Critics praise the Toyota Camry's exceptional fuel economy and incredible safety record. This year, the midsize sedan was the fifth-most stolen in the nation. There was a startling 8% increase in Camry thefts due to high demand for its parts on the aftermarket. The most-stolen Toyota vehicle was the 2019 model.

6. Nissan Altima

  • Theft Count: 14,668

  • Percent increase from 2019: 9.8%

  • Most-Stolen Model: 2005

Even though the Nissan Altima once dominated the U.S. consumer market, its popularity has waned in recent years. Sales for the midsize sedan have remained steady, while the vehicle's theft rates have soared. Last year, there was a 9.8% jump in Altima thefts.

Car thieves usually target older vehicles that are easier to steal; however, the NCIB identified the Nissan Altima as one of two cars whose newest models (2020) were preferred by thieves.

7. GMC full-size pickup trucks

  • Theft Count: 13,016

  • Percent increase from 2019: 16.6%

  • Most-Stolen Model: 2005

This year, GMC full-size pickup trucks landed the number 7 spot on the Hot Wheels list. Theft rates for GMC pickup trucks increased 16.6% from 2019. GMC vehicles are usually pricier than Chevy, because of their upscale design and features. The favorite target model for thieves is the older 2005 model year.

8. Toyota Corolla

  • Theft Count: 12,515

  • Percent increase from 2019: 3.1%

  • Most-Stolen Model: Toyota Corolla 2020

The Toyota Corolla is a compact sedan known for its practicality, affordability and impressive safety features. This year, the Corolla secured the number 8 spot on the NICB's Hot Wheels list. Corolla theft rates rose 3.1% in 2020, which is lower than its competitor, the Honda CR-V. The Toyota Corolla was one of two cars whose newest model was targeted by thieves. The second was the Nissan Altima.

9. Honda CR-V

  • Theft Count: 12,309

  • Percent increase from 2019: 21.9%

  • Most-Stolen Model: 2000

The Honda CRV is a best-selling compact SUV renowned for its utility, reliability and value. This vehicle is popular with consumers and used in government vehicle fleets.

There is still a high demand for CRV parts since many older generation models are still on the road. As a result, these vehicles are a large target for thieves. The most-stolen model is the 2000 model year CRV. Their original vehicles have a box-like appearance compared to current SUV types.

10. Dodge Full-Size Pickup

  • Theft Count: 11,991

  • Percent increase from 2019: 6.2%

  • Most-Stolen Model: 2001

Dodge hasn't sold any new pickups in recent years after Ram took over their truck division. Their older pickup models remain a preferred target of thieves because of their highly prized engine parts. Since this brand is discontinued, there is a limited supply of engine parts. In 2020, thefts for full-size Dodge pickups increased 6.2%.

Most Stolen Trucks

According to the NICB, pickup truck thefts skyrocketed in 2020. Ford and Chevrolet topped the list as the most-stolen trucks at 44,014 and 40,968 thefts respectively. Thieves also favored GMC and Dodge trucks.

Six states had the highest pickup thefts rates:

  • California
  • Texas
  • Colorado
  • Oklahoma
  • Florida
  • Arizona
  • Washington
  • Missouri

The following pickup trucks were stolen the most by car thieves in the United States.

Most-Stolen Pickups in 2020

Theft Rates

Percent Increase

Most-Stolen Model

1. Ford Pickup (Full Size)

44,014

13%

2006

2. Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)

40,968

25.70%

2004

3. GMC Pickup (Full Size)

13,016

16.60%

2005

4. Dodge Pickup (Full Size)

11,991

6.20%

2001

Source: National Insurance Crime Bureau

Most Stolen MotorBikes

According to recent data, thieves stole 53,111 motorcycles within the U.S. in 2020, which represented a 30.08% increase from 2019, when 40,830 were reported stolen.

Honda was the most-stolen motorcycle brand. Yamaha followed in second place, and Harley Davidson landed in third. Here are the top-ten motorcycles stolen within the nation.

Bikes

Thefts in 2020

Honda

8,122

Yamaha

6,495

Harley Davidson, Inc.

4,737

Suzuki

4,686

Kawasaki

4,641

Taotao

1,610

KTM Sportmotorcycle

805

Genuine Cycle

647

Ducati

501

BMW Motorrad

443

Source: Statista 2021 Most-Stolen Motorcycles and Motorcycle Theft

Geographical Motor Vehicle Theft Statistics

The NCIB found that one state had a significant increase in car thefts in 2020. Colorado had a 37% increase in car thefts. The Centennial State's car thefts rose from 21,299 in 2019 to 29,162 thefts in 2020. The Denver Metropolitan Area contributed the most to the increase. The Mile High City's car thefts rose 7,000 from 14,093 in 2019 to 21,112 in 2020.

What State Has the Most Stolen Cars?

The state with the highest total thefts was California (187,094). Bakersfield, Calif. was the metropolitan area with the highest theft rate at 905.41 thefts. Texas landed in third place (93,521 thefts), and Florida secured the third-place spot (44,940 thefts). These areas accounted for 37% of all car thefts in the nation.

Here are the hottest states for auto theft in 2020.

State

Theft Rate Per 100,000 residents

Washington, D.C.

562.98

Colorado

502.12

California

475.24

New Mexico

426.19

Missouri

453.63

Oregon

385.08

Oklahoma

371.28

Washington

368.46

Nevada

365.84

Kansas

325.28

Source: National Insurance Crime Bureau

The state with the highest total thefts was California (187,094).

The U.S. metropolitan areas with the most vehicle theft, according to the NICB are as follows:

City

Theft Rate Per 100,000 Residents

Bakersfield, Calif.

905.41

Yuba City, Calif.

724.46

Denver, Colo.

705.80

Odessa, Texas

664.28

San Francisco, Calif.

655.20

Albuquerque, NM

631.75

Pueblo, Colo.

602.38

Billings, MT

564.75

St. Joseph, Missouri

564.64

Tulsa, Okla.

551.76

Source: National Insurance Crime Bureau

Find Cheap Car Insurance Quotes in Your Area

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, these were the most-stolen car models by state.

State

Top Vehicle Stolen

Most-Frequent Vehicle Model

Thefts

Alabama

Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)

2020/2003

515

Alaska

Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)

2003

170

Arizona

Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)

2004

1,298

Arkansas

Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)

2004

455

California

Honda Civic

2000

16,625

Colorado

Ford Pickup (Full Size)

2006

2,231

Connecticut

Honda Accord

2014

464

Delaware

Nissan Altima

2020

66

D.C.

Toyota Camry

2016

229

Florida

Ford Pickup (Full Size)

2006

2,096

Georgia

Ford Pickup (Full Size)

2006

1,152

Hawaii

Honda Civic

2000

147

Idaho

Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)

2006

97

Illinois

Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee

2015

932

Indiana

Ford Pickup (Full Size)

2004

785

Iowa

Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)

2006

348

Kansas

Ford Pickup (Full Size)

2006

696

Kentucky

Ford Pickup (Full Size)

2004

497

Louisiana

Ford Pickup (Full Size)

2013

682

Maine

Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)

2020

35

Maryland

Honda Accord

2017

648

Massachusetts

Honda Accord

2013/2009

294

Michigan

Dodge Charger

2018

755

Minnesota

Honda Civic

2000

660

Mississippi

Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)

2007

338

Missouri

Ford Pickup (Full Size)

2006

2,051

Montana

Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)

2004/2002

186

Nebraska

Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)

2004

392

Nevada

Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)

2005

2005

New Hampshire

Ford Pickup (Full Size)

2019/1995

24

New Jersey

Honda Accord

2017

541

New Mexico

Ford Pickup (Full Size)

2006

497

New York

Honda Accord

2019

770

North Carolina 

Honda Accord

1997

810

North Dakota

Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)

2001

118

Ohio

Ford Pickup (Full Size)

2004

762

Oklahoma

Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)

2005

1,525

Oregon

Honda Civic

2000

1,532

Pennsylvania

Honda Accord

2003/1997

472

Rhode Island

Honda Accord

2007

87

South Carolina

Ford Pickup (Full Size)

2006

828

South Dakota

Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)

1999

127

Tennessee

Ford Pickup (Full Size)

2006

858

Texas

Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)

2018

9,382

Utah

Ford Pickup (Full Size)

2006

546

Vermont

Subaru Impreza

2019/2008/2005

10

Virginia

Honda Accord

2014

381

Washington

Honda Civic

1998

2,682

West Virginia

Ford Pickup (Full Size)

2008

137

Wisconsin

Honda Civic

2000

443

Wyoming

Ford Pickup (Full Size)

2004

54

Source: National Insurance Crime Bureau

SmartFinancial has also compiled insights and demographics about car theft and vandalism throughout the nation.

How To Protect Yourself From Theft

The NICB recommends that drivers implement four layers of protection to prevent their vehicles from being stolen.

1. Implement common-sense measures to thwart car theft.

  • Remove your car keys from the ignition.
  • Lock all doors
  • Close your windows
  • Park in well-lit areas

2. Install and activate car alarms and warning devices that alert thieves your vehicle is protected. Devices that can protect your car, include:

  • Audible alarms
  • Steering wheel/brake pedal locks
  • Brake and wheel locks
  • Theft-deterrent decals
  • Identification markers on your vehicle
  • VIN etching
  • Micro-dot markings

3. Use an immobilizing device to prevent thieves from bypassing your car's ignition and hot-wiring your vehicle. Some electronic devices have computer chips in ignition keys, while others stop electricity or fuel from flowing until the owner activates a hidden switch or button. These devices include:

  • Smart keys
  • Fuse cut-offs
  • Kill switches
  • Starter, ignition and fuel pump disablers
  • Wireless ignition authentication

4. Install tracking devices that can electronically track a vehicle after it's stolen. Trackers emit signals to the police or monitoring stations when someone steals your vehicle. Some devices use telematics, which combines GPS and wireless tracking technology.

Comprehensive car insurance will cover theft and vandalism of your vehicle.

5. Purchase enough insurance to protect your ride. Your car insurance policy may pay to replace your car if it's stolen. Comprehensive car insurance will cover theft and vandalism of your vehicle. Comprehensive also helps to replace your vehicle if it's damaged, totaled or stolen in a non-collision incident.

Car Theft and Car Insurance

Car thefts in the U.S. have increased, in part, due to the COVID-19 economic downturn and owner complacency. Thieves have mostly stolen pickup trucks, like Fords, Chevys, GMC and Dodge models. California, Texas and Florida were the states with the highest car theft rates. Colorado had a 37% jump in car thefts, which was the largest in the nation.

It's essential to protect your vehicle with comprehensive insurance in case it's stolen. Additionally, you may want to consider coverages to help cover your damages and medical expenses.

SmartFinancial can help you get free insurance quotes so you can buy a new and improved policy at lower rates. Shoppers report savings up to 40% after comparing rates  Enter your zip code below and answer a few simple questions to compare the lowest rates in your area.

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