UPDATED: AUGUST 26, 2023 | 1 MIN READ
Car theft is a pressing concern that affects countless Americans. To protect your prized possession, being aware of the most stolen cars in the country is crucial. Understanding the trends and taking preventive measures can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to car theft. In this article, we’ll explore the latest statistics, go over the top stolen cars, and provide valuable insights on how you can safeguard your vehicle from potential thieves.
Car theft: A rising problem
Car theft has emerged as a growing concern in recent years, posing a significant threat to vehicle owners nationwide. As thieves become increasingly sophisticated in their methods, it’s crucial to stay informed about this rising problem and take necessary precautions to safeguard your car.
Factors contributing to car theft include:
- Desirability: Certain car models are more attractive to thieves due to market demand, resale value, and popularity.
- Lack of security measures: Vehicles with inadequate security features or easily compromised become prime targets for theft.
- Location: Areas with higher crime rates and limited surveillance pose a greater risk of car theft incidents.
- Opportunistic thieves: Unlocked cars, keys left inside, and visible valuables entice opportunistic thieves to strike.
- Organized crime networks: Sophisticated criminal networks engage in car theft for various purposes, including illegal resale, export, or dismantling of parts.
- Advanced theft techniques: Technological advancements have enabled thieves to bypass traditional security systems, making it easier to steal cars.
- Chop shops and black market: Stolen vehicles are often taken to illegal chop shops or sold on the black market, making recovery difficult.
By being aware of these factors, you can take proactive steps to minimize the risk of car theft and ensure the safety of your vehicle.
Car theft statistics
Understanding the statistics surrounding car theft provides a clear picture of the prevalence and impact of this criminal activity. These statistics serve as a wake-up call for vehicle owners to prioritize security measures and proactively protect their cars.
Here are some eye-opening car theft statistics:
- According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a motor vehicle is stolen in the United States every 40.9 seconds.
- The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reported that in 2020 alone, there were approximately 680,000 motor vehicle thefts, resulting in billions of dollars in losses.
- The NHTSA estimates that the total value of stolen vehicles in the United States surpasses $6 billion yearly.
- Certain cities experience higher car theft rates, with Albuquerque, New Mexico; Anchorage, Alaska; and Pueblo, Colorado, among the top cities with the highest vehicle theft rates.
- According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), the Honda Civic, Honda Accord, and Chevrolet Silverado were among the most stolen vehicles in recent years.
- Surprisingly, car theft incidents tend to occur more frequently during the warmer months, with July and August experiencing the highest rates.
Most stolen cars by state
While the total reported motor vehicle thefts in 2021 approached one million nationwide, certain regions exhibit higher theft rates than others. Colorado has the highest theft rate, reaching 661.21 incidents per 100,000 residents. The cars on the NICB’s Hot Wheels Report’s top 10 most stolen cars accounted for nearly 31% of these thefts.
Conversely, Maine boasts the lowest theft rate among all states, with only 60.7 incidents per 100,000 residents. However, approximately 27% of these thefts involved vehicles from the top 10 list.
Top 5 stolen cars
We’ve gathered a list of the most stolen cars in America. These vehicles have consistently attracted the attention of thieves due to various reasons. Discover the top 5 most stolen cars below.
1. Full-size Chevy trucks
Full-size Chevrolet trucks, which held the second spot for stolen vehicles last year, have now claimed the title of the most stolen car. In 2020, there were 40,968 reported thefts, but the numbers skyrocketed by 17.67% in 2021, reaching a staggering 48,206 incidents. The 2004 model remains the most frequently targeted. Despite incorporating anti-theft technology, Chevy trucks dominate the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s Hot Wheels Report as the most stolen car in America as of 2021.
2. Full-size Ford trucks
Despite securing the top position in 2020, the full-size Ford truck slipped to second place in 2021. However, the number of stolen units increased over the previous year. Thefts escalated from 44,014 to 47,999, a noteworthy rise of approximately 9%. The popularity of this vehicle on the roads renders it an attractive target for thieves, with the 2006 model remaining the most commonly stolen.
3. Honda Civic
The Honda Civic, known for its older models lacking anti-theft technology, continued to experience high theft rates in 2021, particularly with the 2000 model remaining the most targeted. However, there was a slight decrease in theft incidents, with 31,673 reported cases, which is 2,471 fewer than the previous year. Honda Civic owners must remain mindful and take preventive measures to protect their vehicles against potential theft.
4. Honda Accord
The Honda Accord saw a slight decrease in theft incidents from 30,814 reported cases in 2020 to 30,274 in 2021, with a reduction of 540 thefts. Notably, the 1997 model continues to be the preferred target among thieves. Apart from lacking anti-theft technology, the attraction for thieves lies in that various Accord models possess valuable parts that can bring a significant sum to the black market.
5. Toyota Camry
The well-known and popular Toyota Camry remains a prime target for thieves, likely due to its overall popularity and high resale value. While theft reports experienced a slight increase from 2020 to 2021, with a rise of just 355 incidents, it is essential to remain alert. Notably, the 2007 model emerged as the most stolen, potentially attributed to its lack of security and anti-theft systems.
Factors influencing car theft
Comprehending the aspects that impact car theft can provide practical insights into the minds of thieves. Factors like desirability, market demand, and vulnerability of certain car models contribute to the likelihood of them being targeted. By familiarizing yourself with these factors, you can make informed decisions about your vehicle and take preventive measures accordingly.
Insurance and legal considerations
In the unlucky event of car theft, having the right insurance coverage is necessary. Understanding your insurance policies and learning about the claims process. Furthermore, educate yourself on the legal implications of car theft and the rights available to victims.
Public awareness and anti-theft initiatives
Combating car theft requires a collaborative effort from law enforcement and the community. Discover the role of public awareness and education in raising consciousness about car theft risks. Learn about national campaigns and local initiatives aimed at curbing car theft incidents. Participating in these initiatives contributes to a safer community and deters potential thieves.
Protecting your vehicle
Prevention is key when it comes to guarding your vehicle against theft. Learn basic tips and techniques to protect your car from potential thieves. From securing your vehicle when parked to using advanced anti-theft systems and technologies, we provide useful advice to strengthen your vehicle’s defenses. Additionally, explore the importance of vehicle identification measures and collaboration with law enforcement and insurance companies for improved recovery chances.
What to do if your car’s stolen
Experiencing the theft of your car can be stressful, but being aware of the immediate steps to take can help in the recovery process. Promptly report the theft to the authorities and your insurance company for the best chance of recovering your vehicle. Delaying the report can seriously reduce the chance of recovering your stolen car. It’s vital to remain composed and follow the steps outlined below.
File an auto theft report with your local police department
When you know your vehicle has been stolen, immediately contact law enforcement. Provide them with information about your vehicle, including its color, license plate number, make, model year, and any notable distinguishing features it may possess. This quick communication will assist the authorities in starting the necessary steps to recover your vehicle.
Contact your auto insurance provider
Promptly contact your auto insurance provider and provide them with the appropriate information. Even if you don’t possess full coverage, notifying your insurer is important as it can offer protection if the stolen vehicle causes property damage or injuries. Depending on your insurance company, you may be required to report the claim online or over the phone.
Call the company that’s leasing or financing your vehicle
If your car is under a financing or leasing agreement, contact the respective institution and provide them with details about the theft. Request that they contact your insurance company to facilitate the payment of claims. This streamlined approach ensures that your insurer can effectively handle the processes and cover the required expenses.
Contact the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
Notifying the DMV about the stolen vehicle is important since they maintain a database of stolen vehicles. This step is valuable as it helps prevent the thief from registering the stolen vehicle. By informing the DMV, you contribute to their efforts to guard against fraudulent registration and improve the chances of recovering your vehicle.
Check the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s (NICB) VINCheck
If your stolen vehicle is located by the NICB or any of its partner agencies and companies, the information will be documented on VINCheck. Frequently utilize this tool by entering your vehicle’s identification number (VIN) to check if your car has been recovered. Regularly monitoring VINCheck increases the chance of being notified if your stolen vehicle is recovered and assists in reclaiming your car.
How to file a claim after your vehicle is stolen
Your theft coverage may vary depending on your auto insurance policy and the circumstances. Typically, the most comprehensive auto insurance policies include theft coverage, which also extends to repairing any damages caused during break-ins.
Steps to follow when filing a theft claim with your insurer:
- File an auto theft report: Most insurance companies require a police report when filing an auto theft claim. Contact the police to report the stolen vehicle and ensure all necessary details are documented.
- Gather relevant details: Gather details, including title certificate, key location, vehicle description, and stolen items, before contacting your insurer.
- Contact your insurer: You can report the theft online or by phone by contacting your insurance agent. It is essential to contact them as soon as possible and provide them with the information.
- Notify your leasing company: Notify your leasing company to coordinate with your insurer regarding the theft.
- Notify insurance provider: Promptly notify the insurance provider if your stolen vehicle is recovered to start necessary actions.
Which cars get stolen the most?
Recent top stolen car models include the 2000 Honda Civic, 1997 Honda Accord, and 2007 Toyota Camry. In 2021, stolen vehicle numbers neared one million, rising 8% from the previous year, as per NICB. Full-size trucks accounted for 14% of all stolen vehicles in 2021.
What is the most stolen car in 2023?
In 2023, the Chevrolet Silverado is projected to have the highest theft rate, at an alarming 48%. In Washington, DC, KIA, and Hyundai vehicles are particularly targeted, accounting for 30% of car theft incidents.
What is the hardest car to steal?
The Highway Loss Data Institute reveals that Teslas rank among the least-stolen vehicles because of their strong security measures. The Tesla Model S and Model X exhibit an amazing claim rate of 11 and 12, respectively.
Can keyless cars be stolen?
Yes, keyless theft is possible. With two small electronic boxes, car thieves can access your vehicle in 60 seconds. Two criminals cooperate in keyless theft, one using a relay amplifier and the other using a relay transmitter. These devices can bypass keyless entry security, allowing quick access to your vehicle.
What state has the most car thefts?
California tops the list with 202,685 motor vehicle thefts in 2022. Following closely behind is Texas, with 105,015 reported thefts, and Washington, with 46,939 cases. In 2021, 31 states observed a year-over-year increase in motor vehicle thefts.
Protect yourself from auto theft with the right car insurance
Protecting your wheels requires various preventive measures, insurance coverage, and public engagement. Stay alert, follow the tips provided, and take proactive steps to secure your vehicle from theft.
Don’t wait for an unfortunate incident to occur. Click the link below to ensure you have the right auto insurance coverage and enjoy peace of mind knowing your vehicle is protected.
- “Vehicle Thefts Continue to Skyrocket in Many Areas of U.S.” (National Insurance Crime Bureau)
- “Facts + Statistics: Auto Theft” (Insurance Information Institute)
- “Top 10 Most Stolen Vehicles By State 2021” (National Insurance Crime Bureau)