Credit: Shutterstock / plantic
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.
- 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.