These Are the 10 Cars That Are Most Likely to Get Stolen
Find out if one of America's most stolen cars is parked in your garage right now.
With the pandemic disrupting supply chains worldwide, the prices of new and used cars are rising—and so are thefts. Car thefts jumped almost 11 percent in 2020, with one vehicle stolen every 36 seconds, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). Worried that your car might be next? The following vehicles are the most stolen cars in America, according to the NICB’s latest “Hot Wheels” report. Whether or not your car made the list, you can always make it harder to steal by investing in anti-theft devices, avoiding the cities where your car is most likely to be stolen, and learning why keyless entry cars get stolen more often.
Ford Pickup (Full Size)
Ford F-Series pickup trucks have been the best-selling trucks in America for 43 years straight, and they are also a prime target for thieves. Believe it or not, Ford’s full-size pickup is the most stolen vehicle in nearly half of all U.S. states, including Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
- Number stolen: 38,938
- Most popular model: 2006
If you own a Honda Civic, watch out. Civics have interchangeable parts that match other Honda vehicles, so criminals like to swipe Civics and sell the doors, wheels, and engines for a profit. Thieves particularly love the 2000 model-year Civic because it doesn’t have the high-tech security features offered on newer car models, experts say. FYI, that’s not the only secret that car thieves won’t tell you.
- Number stolen: 33,220
- Most popular model: 2000
Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)
Both the demand for parts and the lack of anti-theft technology make full-size Chevrolet pickup trucks appealing to thieves. Unfortunately, word is spreading fast that these trucks are easy to steal. Chevrolet’s pickups have made the “Hot Wheels” list every year since 2007, and the number of stolen pickups has continued to increase each year.
- Number stolen: 32,583
- Most popular model: 2004
Like Civics, Honda Accords are in high demand from drivers and crooks alike. Accords are particularly popular with thieves on the East Coast, according to the NICB. These compact vehicles top the list of most stolen cars in states like Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York, where drivers prefer small, city-friendly cars. No matter what kind of car you own, never keep these things in your glove compartment.
- Number stolen: 30,745
- Most popular model: 1997
Are you noticing a trend here? Best-selling vehicles tend to be the most targeted by thieves, and Toyota Camrys are no exception. Their universal parts are catnip for criminals, who strip the cars and resell the parts for a profit. If you own a 2007 model, beware: The 2007 Toyota Camry was the most stolen version last year.
- Number stolen: 15,656
- Most popular model: 2007
Nissan Altima cars jumped by 9 percent last year and now have the dubious distinction of ranking among the most stolen cars, according to the NICB. Why? The FBI reports that thieves have learned how to hack the Altima’s keyless lock and ignition system using a “mystery device.” The device can find a car key fob and amplify the fob’s signal so that it unlocks the car door. From there, the thief can just push the engine button to start the car. Did you know your car’s color could increase your risk of getting into an accident?
- Number stolen: 13,355
- Most popular model: 2015
While newer cars offer high-tech security like “smart” keys and GPS tracking, that doesn’t mean they are completely safe from thieves. Criminals steal the 2018 model-year Corolla more than any other version, according to the NICB. Make sure to lock up your Corolla if you are in Washington, D.C., where these compact cars are stolen more often than any other place in the country.
- Number stolen: 12,137
- Most popular model: 2018
Dodge Pickup (Full Size)
Bad news, Dodge pickup drivers: You’re more likely to get a speeding ticket while driving these trucks, and now you’re more likely to be targeted by thieves, too. The 2001 model year is the most stolen car of them all, likely because it is a discontinued version that is worth big bucks for thieves. You should also avoid these car brands that mechanics won’t buy for themselves.
- Number stolen: 11,292
- Most popular model: 2001
GMC Pickup (Full Size)
Customers love GMC pickups for their practicality and wide-ranging features. But as the prices of these trucks rise, they become even more valuable to criminals, experts say. Turns out, it’s the 2018 model year—not older-generation versions—that is the most popular with car thieves. Experts don’t know exactly why GMC pickups are among the most stolen cars, but they suspect the ranking might to related to GM’s anti-theft technology.
- Number stolen: 11,164
- Most popular model: 2018
Got a Honda CR-V parked in your garage? These sedans are sleek, roomy, and affordable, but they are also gold mines for thieves. Older models like the 2001 model year are extra valuable to criminals for their parts, which are in high demand due to their popularity with drivers. What’s more, because of their all-wheel drive feature, they’re common in snowy states like Minnesota, where the number of CR-V thefts is highest. Looking for a new car? These are the most reliable car brands, according to Consumer Reports.
- Number stolen: 10,094
- Most popular model: 2001
Cars least likely to be stolen: BMW 3 Series
If you thought that luxury cars would be theft magnets, think again. Believe it or not, the two-wheel-drive BM3 series has the lowest rate of thefts, according to a Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) study. Among 104,901 insured vehicles in 2019, only one BMW 3 Series was stolen, the study found. Experts say that thieves probably stay away from this BMW model because of its top-of-the-line theft-prevention technology.
Cars least likely to be stolen: Tesla Model S and Model X
Both Tesla Models S and X are among the least-stolen vehicles thanks to their high-tech security features, the HLDI study found. One feature, called Sentry Mode, allows the vehicle’s cameras to record its surroundings even when the car is off and notifies the owner of suspicious activity. Tesla cars are also parked in garages or close to a house when they are plugged in to charge, which tends to deter thieves. On the other hand, these mistakes could make your home a target for burglars.
- Forbes: “Here’s Where Car Thefts Are Spiking Because of the Pandemic”
- NICB: “NICB’s Hot Wheels: America’s Top Ten Most Stolen Vehicle Makes”
- Motor Trend: “Going, Going, Gone: The Most Stolen Cars in America”
- Motor Biscuit: “Thieves Love to Steal This Chevy Silverado Model Year the Most”
- Top Speed: “Why Is the Nissan Altima the Most Stolen Car in the United States?”
- Trucks: “Insurance Group Says GM Pickups Are the Most Stolen Trucks”
- IIHS HLDS: “Dodge cars with big engines top HLDI’s list of most stolen vehicles”