These cars are the most likely to be stolen: Is yours on the list?

The 10 most-stolen cars and the cost of theft insurance

These cars are the most likely to be stolen: Is yours on the list?

A Chinese group hacked a Tesla Model X. Elizabeth Keatinge (@elizkeatinge) has more.

Driving an older vehicle is often a smart financial decision, as they’re typically more affordable to buy and insure. But an older vehicle could also make you a target for car thieves.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau recently released its annual “Hot Wheels” report, which identifies the 10 most-stolen vehicles in 2016 in the United States according to vehicle theft data.

Honda Accords and Civics are at the top of the list, with nearly 100,000 thefts combined. And older models of those cars are the most-targeted by thieves:

VehicleTotal thefts in 2016Model year most stolen
1. Honda Accord50,4271997
2. Honda Civic49,5471998
3. Ford pickup32,7212006
4. Chevy pickup31,2382004
5. Toyota Camry16,7322016
6. Nissan Altima12,2212015
7. Dodge pickup12,1282001
8. Toyota Corolla11,9892015
9. Chevy Impala9,7492008
10. Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee9,2452000

Buying insurance for car theft

If your vehicle is on the list, you might feel a brief wave of panic. Finding that your car has been stolen can be a nightmare, and older vehicles without built-in anti-theft systems are especially vulnerable.

Whether or not your car is on the list, buying the right car insurance can help you avoid paying for a new car yourself if yours is stolen. Comprehensive insurance pays the current value of your car if it’s stolen and not recovered. It also pays for damage from vandalism, weather, fire and animal collisions.

Comprehensive claims have a deductible, which is the amount deducted from your insurance check. Comprehensive and collision insurance are typically required if you have a car loan or lease, but they are not otherwise required by state law.

The makes and models of vehicles on the NICB’s most-stolen list haven’t changed much over the past few years. However, when comparing the first half of 2015 to the first half of 2016, the I found that the total number of reported vehicle thefts in the U.S. increased 6.6%.

According to the NICB, one possible cause for this uptick could be that thieves are using sophisticated hacking technology designed to overcome electronic anti-theft systems, in addition to targeting older cars.

Here’s a look at the cost of collision and comprehensive insurance for the most-stolen vehicles in the model year most affected by theft. Since these coverage types are often sold as a package, we looked at rates for policies with both.

 Annual cost of collision and comprehensive insurance (with a $1,000 deductible)Vehicle’s replacement value (= maximum insurance payout)
1. 1997 Honda Accord$296$251$307$3,675
2. 1998 Honda Civic$264$211$272$2,850
3. 2006 Ford pickup$462$365$372$7,450
4. 2004 Chevy pickup$381$292$343$6,425
5. 2016 Toyota Camry$644$548$740$17,900
6. 2015 Nissan Altima$682$580$719$13,075
7. 2001 Dodge pickup$379$285$308$4,350
8. 2015 Toyota Corolla$661$560$683$13,200
9. 2008 Chevy Impala$423$346$476$6,250
10. 2000 Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee$286$198$233$3,575

Is it worth it?

The maximum payout from collision or comprehensive coverage (for a stolen car, for example) is the value of the vehicle minus your insurance deductible.

If you have an older car, consider whether the cost of collision and comprehensive coverage over several years is worth the potential insurance payout.

Remember to subtract your deductible from the amount of the vehicle’s value. For example:

  • You pay for collision and comprehensive coverage in California for a 1997 Honda Accord for five years = $1,480
  • Your vehicle is stolen and was worth $3,675 at the time. Your deductible is $1,000.
  • Insurance payout: $2,675

How to make it harder to steal your car

  • Always turn off your vehicle if you’re not in it and take the keys with you. Even in your own driveway.
  • Lock all doors, windows and the trunk or hatch every time you leave your vehicle.
  • Use anti-theft systems in your car such as external steering wheel locks, hood locks, tire locks, kill switches, car alarms and tracking systems such as Lojack. Bonus: Having an anti-theft system might qualify you for a discount on your comprehensive car insurance.
  • Choose parking spaces that are off-street, highly visible and well-lit whenever possible. Also, don’t leave your vehicle in an unmonitored parking lot or parking garage for long periods of time.
  • Never write your name or address on your keychain. If lost, thieves can use this information to locate and steal your vehicle.
  • Park your vehicle with the front end facing an obstacle, such as a wall or guardrail, whenever possible. This makes it harder for thieves to tow or roll your car away if they can’t get it started.
  • When you must park on the street, park with wheels turned toward the curb and lock the steering wheel. Again, this makes it harder to tow your car away without damage.
  • Have your VIN number chemically etched on your windows by a car dealership or local police department, if it’s not there already. Etching makes it harder for thieves to resell your vehicle and its parts.

Beth Buczynski is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email:

Methodology: The list of stolen vehicles was compiled by NICB using data submitted to the National Crime Information Center by law enforcement.

For rates, NerdWallet looked at annual prices with and without collision and comprehensive insurance. We averaged the three lowest rates in each state shown for 30-year-old men and women in 10 ZIP codes from the largest insurers in each state.

We used a $1,000 deductible for comprehensive and collision coverage. All rates include liability coverage of $30,000 bodily injury per person and $60,000 bodily injury per accident. Rates are for drivers with no accidents or violations on record.

For Ford trucks, we looked at rates for the F-150. For Chevy trucks, we used the Silverado. For Jeep, we used the Cherokee.

These are sample rates generated through Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.

“Replacement value” indicates average retail or clean retail value from the National Automobile Dealers Association using ZIP code 94404. We used 2-wheel-drive vehicles when more than one option was available. The car values listed do not represent all possible option packages.

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The article The 10 Most-Stolen Cars and the Cost of Theft Insurance originally appeared on NerdWallet.

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Top 10 most stolen cars in Canada

These cars are the most likely to be stolen: Is yours on the list?

If you own a Ford pickup truck, you’re more ly to have it stolen than any other automobile in Canada. That’s according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, which ranks models that are the most stolen cars in Canada each year.

The data is insurance claims from across the country, and it can affect your car insurance rates depending on your make, model, and even your neighbourhood (as of writing).

The effects of car theft reach far beyond insurance problems. It costs Canadians nearly $1 billion each year. That includes about $550 million for insurance companies to fix or replace stolen vehicles and $250 million for police, health care, and judiciary expenses. Tack on millions more for correctional services.

Don’t make yourself part of those statistics. Here are the 10 most stolen cars in Canada for 2016, along with some advice on what you can do to avoid becoming a target.

Top 10 most stolen cars in Canada (2017)

Ford cars take up seven of the top 10 spots on the list. The most stolen cars in Canada include:

  1. 2015 LEXUS GX460 4DR AWD SUV
  2. 2007 FORD F350 SD 4WD PU
  3. 2006 FORD F350 SD 4WD PU
  4. 2005 FORD F350 SD 4WD PU
  5. 2001 FORD F350 SD 4WD PU
  6. 2003 FORD F350 SD 4WD PU
  7. 2004 FORD F350 SD 4WD PU
  9. 2002 FORD F350 SD 4WD PU
  10. 2006 FORD F250 SD 4WD PU

That list has a lot of Ford F350s on it. These models aren’t equipped with an electronic immobilizer for theft deterrence, but trucks also tend to have higher price tags than the average sedan or compact car.

Top 10 most stolen cars in Canada (without repeated models)

That list might not help you much if you don’t own a Ford F350, so we made another list of the 10 most stolen vehicles in Canada without repeated models, data from the Insurance Bureau of Canada between 2013-2017.

  1. 2007 FORD F350 SD 4WD PU
  2. 2015 LEXUS GX460 4DR AWD SUV
  7. 2000 HONDA CIVIC SiR 2DR
  9. 2006 ACURA RSX TYPE S 2DR 2D

Top 10 most stolen cars in Ontario (2017)

IBAC also has a list of the 10 most stolen cars in Ontario, which you can see here.

  7. 2003 HUMMER H2 4DR AWD SUV

Looking to buy a car? Read this list of the cheapest cars to insure in Ontario to make sure you’re getting the premium you want.

How to prevent your car from being stolen

It’s not always possible to prevent car theft, but there are plenty of simple steps you can take to avoid seeming an easy target. Keep the following in mind when you park your car:

Stash your valuables sight

If a thief spots any expensive electronic equipment or your wallet in your car, they may be tempted to break in and take it. Once inside, they may consider taking your vehicle as well. Hide valuables in the glove compartment, the trunk, or under your seat. Put larger items ( laptops) in bags, and put those bags in the foot well.

Also avoid leaving holiday gifts in your car during the shopping season. Thieves know when to look!

Park in visible, well-lit spots

Car thieves prefer to operate in the shadows for obvious reasons, so avoid parking in alleys or hidden-away places.

It’s best to park under a light, by an entrance, or in full view of a security camera. This increases the odds of thieves being seen, recorded, and having their ness being reported to the police.

They’ll avoid those situations wherever possible, which means you should embrace them.

Lock up and shut down

It might seem obvious, but keep your car doors locked and windows shut any time you’re parked. That includes your own driveway. Never leave your car running unattended, either! If you quickly run inside while leaving your car to warm up on a chilly day, you might return to find it stolen.

This is twice as important if you keep your house keys and your car keys on the same chain, because then the thief could get into your house.

Hide your keys at home

While it’s convenient to leave your keys hanging by the door of your home, this is the first place a burglar will think to look for them. Don’t make it easy for any unwanted guests! Keep your keys hidden, or in your bedroom while you sleep. If you have a hidden spot for the spare key, then change the hiding spot every few months.

Get an alarm

If your car didn’t come with an alarm system, consider getting one installed. Don’t forget to put a sticker on your windshield to let crooks know that your vehicle has an alarm. Deterrence is half the battle!

Go the extra mile

Feel the need to be absolutely secure? Consider buying an anti-theft device such as a steering wheel lock. Not only would it make your car more difficult to steal, but if a thief notices the device they might turn away without even trying.

Stay safe and reduce insurance costs

One factor taken into account when car insurance companies calculate premiums is an automobile’s make and model, and as well as the statistical chance of a vehicle theft. Help keep your car off the Top 10 list and save yourself some cash by taking note of which cars are stolen most often and following the steps above to avoid car theft.

Get a 5-minute online quote with us to see what your rates will look with the car you have in mind.


What to Do If Your Car Has Been Stolen

These cars are the most likely to be stolen: Is yours on the list?

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Motor vehicle theft is a common crime in America with hundreds of thousands of cars being stolen every year.

If you're the victim of car theft, report your stolen car to law enforcement and file a claim with your car insurance company.

You also may need to contact your financing or leasing company about the stolen vehicle. Doing so will help you avoid legal issues, and ensure a smooth claims process with your insurance policy. Below we outline the key steps you should take if your car is stolen.

What to do if Your Car is Stolen

While getting your car stolen can be overwhelming, there are immediate steps you’ll need to take to ensure that you don’t face any repercussions. If you don’t take these steps within a reasonable time—ideally immediately—you’ll not only not have a car, but you could be accused of crimes that were committed with your vehicle even if it was stolen.

The longer you wait to report the car stolen to the police and your insurer, the lower your chances are to recover the car.

Below, we outline the steps you should follow if your vehicle has been stolen.

If your car is stolen, you need to contact law enforcement and file a stolen vehicle report first. Insurers won’t honor an auto theft claim unless a police report has been filed.

You should be prepared to tell the police everything you know about your stolen vehicle. Police departments have different procedures, meaning you may be required to file your police report online or on the phone.

If your car has a GPS device then you should notify the police as it can help track down the stolen car. Details about your car that will be helpful for the police include:

  • Any distinct features of your car
  • Color
  • License plate number
  • Make, model and year
  • Vehicle identification number

How to Report Your Car Stolen to Your Insurance Company

The next step is to contact your car insurance company and report your car stolen. While there is no such thing as “stolen car insurance”, if you have a comprehensive car insurance policy, you're covered for the stolen vehicle.

Comprehensive insurance is included in full coverage car insurance policies.

Learn more

However—even if you don’t have comprehensive car insurance—you should notify your insurer about the theft. This will protect you if someone is hurt or property is damaged while the vehicle is your possession.

Having the following information ready will help expedite the claims process with your insurer:

  • Contact information of your leasing or financing company, if any
  • Description of your vehicle
  • Information on the last known whereabouts of your vehicle
  • List of personal items that were in the car at the time of the theft
  • Location of all of the keys to the vehicle
  • Title for the vehicle

It's important that everything in your claim is consistent and truthful. It's very costly for insurers to pay out the cost of a stolen vehicle. Before incurring such a large expense, the insurer will usually launch an investigation.

An inconsistency between your police report and auto insurance claim can be a red flag, even if it was unintentional. Filing a police report quickly will prevent insurance companies from being skeptical about a delayed report.

You’ll ly need another method of transportation if your vehicle is stolen. If you have rental reimbursement coverage then your insurer will cover some of the cost of a rental car.

Reimbursement coverage varies by insurer so you should check with your insurance company to see what the maximum coverage per day is, and how many days they’ll cover. This benefit lasts until you reach your coverage limit, which depends on your specific policy.

Report Your Stolen Car to Your Leasing or Financing Company

If your stolen vehicle is financed or leased, you’ll need to contact the financing or leasing company. In this scenario, the insurance company pays a claim out to the financing or leasing company and you're no longer be liable for payments.

Have your financing or leasing company contact your insurer directly, so that the claims process moves quickly.

How to Find a Stolen Car

You can use your vehicle’s identification number (VIN) to look up your car on the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s (NICB) VINCheck, which functions as a stolen car database. The database can help you locate your stolen vehicle.

If any partner of the NICB—including insurance companies and law enforcement agencies—finds your missing vehicle, it will be reported on VINCheck.

Steps After Your Car is Recovered or Determined to be Lost

If your car is stolen and then recovered, you’ll want to check and see if any personal property has been taken. Comprehensive coverage won’t cover stolen property that wasn’t a part of the car—such as a phone or a laptop. However, if you have renters insurance or a homeowners policy, you may be covered.

Next, you should have your car examined by a claims adjuster to determine any damage to the stolen vehicle while it was your custody. You won’t be liable for this damage so long as your insurance company was contacted after the vehicle was stolen. Insurers typically have a waiting period of around 30 days before accepting a loss on a stolen vehicle.

Once your insurer’s threshold is reached, you’ll receive a payment reflecting the value of your car minus the deductible and a determined depreciation amount. In the case that the car is financed or leased, this amount will be paid to the financing or leasing company. If you own the car, you can negotiate with your insurer for a higher value than the initial offer.

Having a third-party assessment for the vehicle can help with your negotiation. You should get assessments regularly, but in the event that you don’t have one, you can find comparable cars online to determine the value of your stolen vehicle.

How to Prevent Your Car From Being Stolen in the Future

While it may be too late to protect your stolen car, there are several things you can do to ensure that your next vehicle is safer from thieves. Some of these measures will even help lower your auto insurance cost.

Here are some simple tips to reduce the chances of your car being stolen:

  • Close your windows
  • Install a car alarm system
  • Install a GPS tracking system
  • Keep valuables sight
  • Lock your vehicle
  • Park your vehicle in safe areas
  • Store keys in a safe area away from your vehicle
  • Turn off the ignition when not operating the vehicle
  • Use a physical anti-theft device


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