With the national car theft rate at a near-fifty-year low, car owners may not always take theft statistics into account when choosing a new or pre-owned vehicle. But the fact is, despite declining rates of theft, some cars are stolen much more than others.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) attributes the decreasing rates of theft to the sophistication and optimization of anti-theft technology and more refined security systems, especially among newer models. But with a car stolen every forty seconds last year, it’s safe to say that as long as there are cars on the road—whether or not they boast the latest anti-theft features—there will be car theft, too.

To help consumers make smarter choices at the dealership and on the road, the data scientists at Insurify have compiled the NICB’s latest “Hot Wheels” data, which profiles the vehicle makes and models most stolen in the year 2017. They also took the analysis on step further by calculating the theft rate of these models based on the approximate number of each car on the road today. The latest models of each of these vehicles boast state-of-the-art security features, but older models may be lacking in this anti-theft technology. Furthermore, the biggest threat to car security is nothing more than driver complacency. Preventing auto theft can often be as easy as remembering to lock your car doors. As such, Insurify’s data scientists have also provided recommendations on how to best protect unattended cars from theft.

Insights

  • Pickups are often pilfered. Full-size pickups are among the most coveted vehicles among car thieves. Models across four car brands (Chevrolet, Dodge, Ford, and GMC) are popular choices for car thieves. According to Insurify’s proprietary calculations, Chevrolet and GMC pickups have the highest rates of theft per model on this list.
  • A select few. Very few car models are the number one most stolen car for a given U.S. state, and very few models account for a large share of car thefts. In fact, the top four most stolen models accounted for 28 percent of all car thefts in 2017.
  • A warped timeline? NICB reports which model year was the most stolen in 2017 for each top-ranked vehicle. Some late-90s models still on the road are more susceptible to theft because they lack proper anti-theft technology. However, car models from the 2000s and even 2016-17 dominate this list. The mix of both old and new models among these filched four-wheelers might suggest that anti-theft tech is not always sufficient.
  • Don’t forget Dodge. Not listed below is the Dodge Caravan, which was 2017’s most stolen car in the states of Wisconsin and Illinois, but not featured in the top 10 most stolen nationally.

Methodology

The data scientists at Insurify, an insurance quote comparison website, compiled data from the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s 2017 Hot Wheels study, which reports and ranks the car models most susceptible to vehicle theft in the year 2017. Data on number of thefts, which year of each model was most stolen in 2017, and the most stolen cars in each U.S. state are all included in the NICB report.

Theft rates per 1,000 cars were calculated based on the approximate proportion of each model as a share of the 264 million cars on the road today (a recent estimate provided by IHS Markit). These proportions were determined based on the prevalence of each car model in Insurify’s proprietary database of over 1.5 million insurance applications. The theft rates reported here represent a ratio of stolen cars in 2018 as a share of the approximate total number of that model on the road per 1,000 cars; for instance, roughly 2 out of every 1,000 Chevrolet Impalas on the road was stolen in 2017.

Top 10 Most Stolen Cars in America

Credit: Shutterstock / Darren Brode

10. Chevrolet Impala

  • Number of thefts: 9,487
  • Model year most stolen: 2008
  • Theft rate: 2 per 1,000 vehicles

Credit: Shutterstock / Ed Aldridge

9. GMC Pickup (Full Size)

  • Number of thefts: 10,865
  • Model year most stolen: 2017
  • Theft rate: 10 per 1,000 vehicles

Credit: Shutterstock / Ritu Manoj Jethani

8. Dodge Pickup (Full Size)

  • Number of thefts: 12,004
  • Model year most stolen: 2001
  • Theft rate: 4 per 1,000 vehicles

Credit: Shutterstock / Roman Korotkov

7. Toyota Corolla

  • Number of thefts: 12,337
  • Model year most stolen: 2016
  • Theft rate: 2 per 1,000 vehicles

Credit: Shutterstock / Ritu Manoj Jethani

6. Nissan Altima

  • Number of thefts: 13,358
  • Model year most stolen: 2016
  • Theft rate: 2 per 1,000 vehicles

Credit: Shutterstock / Ritu Manoj Jethani

5. Toyota Camry

  • Number of thefts: 17,278
  • Model year most stolen: 2017
  • Theft rate: 2 per 1,000 vehicles

Credit: Shutterstock / Barry Blackburn

4. Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)

  • Number of thefts: 30,058
  • Model year most stolen: 2004
  • Theft rate: 11 per 1,000 vehicles

Credit: Shutterstock / Darren Brode

3. Ford Pickup (Full Size)

  • Number of thefts: 35,105
  • Model year most stolen: 2006
  • Theft rate: 7 per 1,000 vehicles

Credit: Shutterstock / betto rodrigues

2. Honda Accord

  • Number of thefts: 43,764
  • Model year most stolen: 1997
  • Theft rate: 5 per 1,000 vehicles

Credit: Shutterstock / betto rodrigues

1. Honda Civic

  • Number of thefts: 45,062
  • Model year most stolen: 1998
  • Theft rate: 6 per 1,000 vehicles

Preventing Auto Theft

  • Secure your car. Don’t leave your vehicle running or unlocked—not even on an unseasonably warm or cold day, or before a quick stop at the convenience store. Keep your keys on you at all times, and be wary of keeping spare car keys in easily uncovered places. Be sure to roll up your windows all the way before turning off your ignition.
  • Warning devices. NICB recommends that the next most rigorous layer of safety is the use of warning devices, like aftermarket alarms, steering column collars, brake locks, and wheel locks. Whether audible or visible, features like these indicate to prospective robbers that your vehicle is secure.
  • Immobilizing devices. Many cars are equipped with sophisticated safety features that prevent would-be thieves from hot-wiring cars or bypassing ignition. These include smart keys, fuse cut-offs, and kill switches: knowledge of your car’s capabilities is a vital element of car ownership. Just because you’ve invested in a newer model or high-tech hot rod doesn’t mean you’re impervious to theft.
  • Tracking. Having some form of vehicle recovery system could be the difference between an irrevocable theft and a successful trackdown of your stolen auto. GPS or other wireless tracking systems allow remote systems to alert owners and track vehicle movement.