Which Cars Are Stolen The Most

It’s a gut-wrenching moment when you discover that your beloved car has vanished from its parking spot. Unfortunately, auto theft is a significant problem in the United States. Economic factors and the rise of social media crazes have contributed to an increase in reported car thefts in recent years. But certain cars are more appealing to thieves than others. Whether you’re a car dealer or a car owner, it’s essential to know which models are the most targeted.

How Common Is Motor Vehicle Theft?

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), there were 1,020,729 reported car thefts in the United States in 2023, a 1% increase from the previous year. That means there were three thefts per 1,000 residents, or a theft every 32 seconds on average. The rate of vehicle theft has been on the rise since 2019.

California, Texas, Florida, Washington, and Illinois are the states with the highest number of car thefts. This comes as no surprise, considering the large population and number of vehicles in these areas. Adjusting for population, the District of Columbia, Colorado, Nevada, Washington, and California have the highest motor vehicle theft rates. Washington, D.C., experienced a staggering 64% increase in auto thefts in 2023 alone.

The likelihood of your vehicle being stolen depends on various factors, such as your location, the security measures you have in place, and, of course, the type of car you own.

What Are the Most Stolen Cars as of 2023?

The NICB regularly releases a “Hot Wheels” report, detailing car thefts across the country during the most recent year. Here are the top ten most stolen cars in America:

  1. Chevrolet Pickup
  2. Ford Pickup
  3. Honda Civic
  4. Honda Accord
  5. Hyundai Sonata
  6. Hyundai Elantra
  7. Kia Optima
  8. Toyota Camry
  9. GMC Pickup
  10. Honda CR-V

Let’s take a closer look at each of these vehicles and why they are so appealing to thieves.

#1: Chevrolet Pickup

Most Stolen Cars #1 Chevrolet Pick-up

Chevy’s full-size pickups have consistently made the list of most stolen cars. They are extremely popular among buyers, which means there are more of them available to steal. The Chevy Silverado, in particular, is one of the top ten most commonly owned vehicles in the country. Its higher price also makes it an attractive target. Additionally, since pickups often transport valuable goods, thieves may see stealing one as a two-for-one crime.

Total annual thefts: 49,903
Top model year stolen: 2004

#2: Ford Pickup

Most Stolen Cars #2 Ford Pick-up

Ford’s full-size pickup trucks, including the F-150 and F-250, are also frequent targets for thieves. The F-Series is the second most popular car in the country, particularly in the heartland. Notably, thieves made off with approximately $1 million worth of F-150s from a factory lot in Dearborn, Michigan, in June 2022.

Total annual thefts: 48,175
Top model year stolen: 2006

#3: Honda Civic

Most Stolen Cars #3 Honda Civic

The Honda Civic is one of three Honda models on this list, making Honda the automaker with the most entries. The Civic is one of the most commonly owned vehicles in the US and holds the top spot in heavily populated California. It has been in production for a long time, which means older models with fewer security features are still on the road, making them attractive targets for thieves.

Total annual thefts: 27,113
Top model year stolen: 2000

#4: Honda Accord

Most Stolen Cars #4 Honda Accord

The Honda Accord, like the Civic, has been a target for thieves for many years. It is currently the most popular car in the country and makes up 3.06% of all cars on the road. The interchangeable parts between the Civic and Accord make it easier for thieves to resell stolen components.

Total annual thefts: 27,089
Top model year stolen: 1997

#5: Hyundai Sonata

Most Stolen Cars #5 Hyundai Sonata

The Hyundai Sonata is another popular car on US roads. However, it found its way onto the most stolen list due to a security vulnerability highlighted by the infamous Kia Boyz craze. This social media trend exposed security weaknesses in older Kia and Hyundai vehicles, leading to a wave of thefts, primarily by teens. Fortunately, most of these thefts were joyriding incidents.

Total annual thefts: 21,707
Top model year stolen: 2013

#6: Hyundai Elantra

Most Stolen Cars #6 Hyundai Elantra

The Hyundai Elantra, like its sister car, the Sonata, has also become a target of the Kia Boyz trend. While the automakers responsible for the security vulnerabilities have offered solutions, thefts of Hyundai and Kia vehicles continue to rise.

Total annual thefts: 19,602
Top model year stolen: 2017

#7: Kia Optima

Most Stolen Cars #7 Kia Optima

The Kia Optima is the third vehicle on this list linked to the Kia Boyz trend. Alarmingly, even after receiving a security software upgrade, at least one Optima was stolen. Newer models, however, are less vulnerable to theft.

Total annual thefts: 18,221
Top model year stolen: 2015

#8: Toyota Camry

Most Stolen Cars #8 Toyota Camry

The Toyota Camry dropped from the fifth position on the list to number eight. This is not because it is less targeted by thieves, but rather due to the increasing theft rates of other models. The Camry is a popular choice because of its affordability and practical size. The reputation of Toyota’s long-lasting vehicles means there are many older models on the road with fewer security features, making them a desirable target for thieves. The 2021 model, in particular, was targeted more frequently than any other recent model.

Total annual thefts: 17,094
Top model year stolen: 2021

#9: GMC Pickup

Most Stolen Cars #9 GMC Pick-up

GMC Pickup, which falls under the General Motors umbrella like Chevrolet, is another popular target for thieves. The shared parts and similar anti-theft measures between GMC and Chevy pickups make them equally appealing to criminals.

Total annual thefts: 16,622
Top model year stolen: 2005

#10: Honda CR-V

Most Stolen Cars #10 Honda CR-V

The Honda CR-V, another popular Honda model, rounds out the top ten most stolen cars. Its popularity among families and residents in snowy regions contributes to its high theft rate. The CR-V has been on the market for a long time, resulting in a thriving market for stolen parts.

Total annual thefts: 13,832
Top model year stolen: 2001

Beyond the Top 10 (Most Stolen Cars)

Although the top ten list highlights the most frequently stolen cars in the US, many other models are also targeted. According to the NICB report, additional frequently stolen cars by state include models from BMW, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, GMC, Hyundai, Infiniti, Jeep, Kia, Land Rover, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Ram, Subaru, and Toyota. In 2021, the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat topped the list of most stolen cars on a per capita basis, while the Tesla Model 3 had the lowest theft rate.

Protect Yourself and Your Dealership

As a car owner, you can take several precautions to protect your vehicle from theft:

  • Register your vehicle with the National Motor Vehicle Theft Bureau (NMVTBI).
  • Always lock your car and roll up your windows.
  • Park in well-lit areas with surveillance cameras, preferably ones monitored by security guards.
  • Never leave your keys or valuables in plain sight inside your car. Store your key far away from the vehicle if possible.
  • Install security alarms, immobilizers, and GPS tracking devices.
  • Report a stolen vehicle as soon as possible for a higher chance of recovery.

If you run an auto dealership, it’s crucial to take additional security measures to protect your inventory:

  • Install bright floodlights and regularize lighting to deter thieves.
  • Maintain the appearance of your dealership, repairing any damage promptly.
  • Conduct background checks on employees.
  • Utilize wheel locks, GPS trackers, and immobilizers on your vehicles.
  • Control access points with gates and change locks and passwords regularly.
  • Secure keys, key fobs, code lists, and dealer plates in a hidden location indoors.
  • Park vehicles strategically to make them difficult to tow away.
  • Consider investing in automotive dealership live video surveillance for comprehensive 24/7 coverage.

By implementing these precautions, you can safeguard your car from becoming one of the most stolen cars in the future.

Last updated: April 2024

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