Car Theft Trends: The 10 Most Stolen Cars in America (2023)

Cassie Sheets
Written byCassie Sheets
Cassie Sheets
Cassie SheetsContent Writer
  • 9 years writing data-driven content

  • Lifestyle contributor to 30+ local news sites

Cassie Sheets has a background in home and garden and real estate content. At Insurify, she translates industry jargon into insights that empower insurance buyers.

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Tanveen Vohra
Edited byTanveen Vohra
Tanveen Vohra
Tanveen VohraManager of Content and Communications
  • Property and casualty insurance specialist

  • 4+ years creating insurance content

Tanveen manages Insurify's data insights, annual home and auto insurance reports, and media communications. She’s regularly featured in media interviews on insurance topics.

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Published December 10, 2023 at 4:00 PM PST

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Thieves steal a car every 32 seconds in the U.S., according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).1 Whether or not you’ve experienced vehicle theft, you can probably picture the sinking feeling of walking up to your parking spot only to find it empty. That nightmare scenario is a more common reality for drivers of certain makes and models.

Car thieves target certain vehicles more often than others, but their top picks are wide-ranging, from the compact Honda Accord to full-size GMC pickups. Older models are more common targets due to less robust anti-theft systems. Newer models, however, are often susceptible to high-tech relay attacks.

Owning an easily stolen car doesn’t just set you up for a major inconvenience — it could also increase your insurance premium — if your car insurance policy covers theft at all. Fortunately, every driver can take some common-sense measures to reduce the risk of auto theft and make their car insurance cheaper.

To identify the most stolen cars in America, the data science team at Insurify turned to the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s (NICB) latest Hot Wheels report, which collected data on 2022 car thefts. To create the list, Insurify identified the “theft rate” for each vehicle, which quantifies the probability of the vehicle being stolen based on how many of that car model were on the road overall. Additionally, Insurify’s team analyzed more than 90 million insurance rates to calculate the theft rate per 100,000 vehicles.

Insights

  • Full-size Chevrolet pickups are the most commonly stolen vehicle in the U.S., with 49,903 total thefts in 2022. Car thieves in California and Texas accounted for nearly 53% of all stolen Chevy pickups.

  • Three new cars made the most-stolen list this year. Hyundai Elantra, Hyundai Sonata, and Kia Optima vehicles cracked the top 10, likely due to a viral TikTok challenge.

  • Eight of the top 10 most-stolen cars cost more to insure than the national monthly average of $139. Of the group, Kia Optima drivers pay the most for auto insurance, at $192 monthly — or 38% more than the U.S. average.

  • The 10 most frequently stolen vehicles in America have an average theft rate of 487.9 thefts per 100,000 cars.

  • The most popular model years among car thieves ranged from 1997 to 2021. Whether old or new, the most targeted models typically had easily exploitable flaws in their anti-theft systems.

  • Honda was the most represented brand in the top 10. The manufacturer has a reputation for reliability, making the cars easier to resell. Hondas are extremely common, so used parts are in high demand.

Top 10 most stolen cars

Car thieves targeted these 10 vehicles for various reasons, from poor anti-theft systems to high resale value.

10. Toyota Camry

  • Theft rate per 100,000 vehicles: 195

  • Total thefts in 2022: 17,094

  • Most stolen model year: 2021

  • Average monthly cost to insure: $177

The Toyota Camry is affordable, common, and compact — three qualities car thieves love. The Camry also ranks fourth on Insurify’s list of the most popular cars, making the 17,094 Camry vehicles stolen in 2022 easier to hide in plain sight.

The Toyota Camry is the most popular stolen model in Washington, D.C., but the car didn’t top the list in any of the 50 states. Given the car’s small size and D.C.’s crowded city streets, some car thieves might target Camrys because they’re easier to resell locally.

9. Honda Accord

  • Theft rate per 100,000 vehicles: 281

  • Total thefts in 2022: 27,089

  • Most stolen model year: 1997

  • Average monthly cost to insure: $177

A 26-year-old vehicle doesn’t seem like it would be a top target for thieves, but the 1997 Honda Accord is the most frequently swiped model year for this car. Ease of theft might be a significant reason car thieves target older Accord models.

The 1997 Honda Accord is the last model year that didn’t have anti-theft immobilizer technology. The vehicle isn’t just comparatively easy to steal — it’s also the most popular car in the U.S., making it difficult for law enforcement to track down the 27,089 stolen in 2022.

8. Honda Civic

  • Theft rate per 100,000 vehicles: 310

  • Total thefts in 2022: 27,113

  • Most stolen model year: 2000

  • Average monthly cost to insure: $182

Honda Civics are likely popular with car thieves for similar reasons to the Honda Accord and CR-V. The 2000 model, which was the most stolen, is the last year the Civic didn’t have robust anti-theft systems. In 2001, Honda rolled out keys with secure chips for the Civic.

Car thieves often target Honda Civics for parts, but they don’t need to take your whole car to get what they want. Airbag theft is on the rise, according to the NICB, and Honda Civics and Accords are major targets.2 Airbags go for $50 to $200 on the black market, but replacing your airbag through a reputable auto repair shop can cost upwards of $1,000.

7. Hyundai Elantra

  • Theft rate per 100,000 vehicles: 363

  • Total thefts in 2022: 19,602

  • Most stolen model year: 2017

  • Average monthly cost to insure: $191

Hyundai is the parent company of Kia Motors. While the viral trend urging TikTok viewers to steal cars is known as the Kia Challenge, certain Hyundai models, including the Elantra, have been targeted too. The impact is apparent. Two Hyundai models and a Kia made the latest NICB ranking of most stolen vehicles, but neither brand cracked the top 10 in 2022.

Hyundai’s February 2023 anti-theft software update benefited Elantra cars manufactured between 2011 and 2022 (including GT, Coupe, and Touring models). However, only about 15% of all owners with susceptible models have the free update installed, so it’s smart to check with your dealership to ensure you’re protected.

6. Hyundai Sonata

  • Theft rate per 100,000 vehicles: 418

  • Total thefts in 2022: 21,707

  • Most stolen model year: 2013

  • Average monthly cost to insure: $186

Just like the Kia Optima and Hyundai Elantra, TikTok-inspired car thieves targeted the Hyundai Sonata. Models from 2011 to 2019 are most susceptible to the method of theft that the viral videos promoted, so it’s not surprising that the most stolen Elantra model year is 2013.

If you own a Hyundai Elantra and don’t want to part with your comfortable, compact, and fuel-efficient car, you could be eligible for a free steering-wheel lock. As part of a settlement, Hyundai Motor America and Kia America made multiple anti-theft upgrades available to the approximately 9 million Hyundai and Kia drivers affected by security flaws.

5. Honda CR-V

  • Theft rate per 100,000 vehicles: 432

  • Total thefts in 2022: 13,832

  • Most stolen model year: 2001

  • Average monthly cost to insure: $139

Honda CR-Vs have the 10th-highest number of total thefts. However, with 432 cars stolen per 100,000 vehicles, the CR-V theft rate is the fifth-highest in the top 10. Thieves target 2001 CR-Vs most often because the anti-theft systems are less advanced. Plus, Honda’s reputation for reliability means there’s still a big market for used cars and parts.

Honda introduced more theft deterrent measures in 2002 CR-Vs. Cars previously equipped with keyless entry were reworked with a “copy protection system” that made cloning the entry code harder. The 2002 model also updated the inside door lock knobs and added a plastic cover to deflect “slim jim” style lock-picking thefts.

4. Kia Optima

  • Theft rate per 100,000 vehicles: 534

  • Total thefts in 2022: 18,221

  • Most stolen model year: 2015

  • Average monthly cost to insure: $192

If you’re not a Kia driver, you might think the worst thing to come out of TikTok is an edible cookie dough recipe made with cottage cheese. But in 2022, a viral TikTok challenge showed viewers how to easily steal Kia and Hyundai models that use a mechanical key. The Kia Optima, including the most-stolen model year (2015), is one of the vehicles the challenge targeted.

Kia announced an anti-theft software update in February 2023. But with more than 18,000 Kia Optimas stolen in 2022, owners might still want to take additional security measures. Steering-wheel locks, security decals, and tracking recovery systems are a few of the theft deterrents the NHTSA recommends.

3. Ford full-size pickups

  • Theft rate per 100,000 vehicles: 604

  • Total thefts in 2022: 48,175

  • Most stolen model year: 2006

  • Average monthly cost to insure: $158

In addition to having the third-highest rate of theft in 2022, full-size Ford pickups had the second-highest number of overall thefts in the U.S., with more than 48,000 vehicles stolen. The Ford F-Series pickup was also ranked second on Insurify’s list of the most popular cars in America.

The most-stolen model year is 2006, likely because older F-Series trucks are easier to steal because they have ignition switches located under the steering column. The door handles are also easy to unscrew, so thieves can quickly access these vehicles.

2. GMC full-size pickups

  • Theft rate per 100,000 vehicles: 856

  • Total thefts in 2022: 16,622

  • Most stolen model year: 2005

  • Average monthly cost to insure: $160

Drivers of full-size GMC pickups, like the GMC Sierra 1500, love the roomy interior, powerful engine, and high towing capacity. Unfortunately, it seems car thieves love these features too. Thieves stole more than 16,000 GMC pickups in 2022, but because fewer are on the road than some commonly stolen cars, the theft rate is the second-highest.

GMC pickups could be so popular among car thieves because of the model’s high value. A 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 retails for between $37,100 and $82,100, but 2005 models (the most stolen year) still sell for between $18,190 and $41,735, according to Autoblog.

1. Chevrolet full-size pickups

  • Theft rate per 100,000 vehicles: 886

  • Total thefts in 2022: 49,903

  • Most stolen model year: 2004

  • Average monthly cost to insure: $164

Nearly 50,000 full-size Chevrolet pickups were stolen in 2022, making the truck the most-stolen car in America and the car with the highest theft rate — 886 stolen per 100,000 vehicles. The Chevy Silverado is the seventh-most popular car nationwide, which means it’s tougher to track down if stolen.

The 2004 models were most popular with car thieves, likely because older Chevrolet trucks don’t have sophisticated anti-theft systems or modern smart-key technology. California car thieves love Chevrolet pickups, with 15,557 thefts in the state in 2022. Texas also accounted for a significant number of thefts, with 10,820 Chevy trucks stolen.

The most stolen cars in every state

Car thieves in different states have a range of tastes. Whether they’re swiping the most popular pickups in the area or compact sedans with high resale value, these are the vehicles they target most in every state.

StateVehicleMost Stolen Model YearTotal Thefts
AlabamaFord Pickup2006491
AlaskaChevrolet Pickup2006162
ArizonaChevrolet Pickup20041,636
ArkansasChevrolet Pickup2000, 2004, 2005534
CaliforniaChevrolet Pickup200115,557
ColoradoFord Pickup20062,857
ConnecticutHonda Accord1996343
DelawareFord Pickup2010, 202256
FloridaFord Pickup20062,030
GeorgiaFord Pickup20061,068
HawaiiFord Pickup2006210
IdahoChevrolet Pickup200288
IllinoisHyundai Elantra20201,852
IndianaFord Pickup2006669
IowaChevrolet Pickup2004302
KansasFord Pickup2006647
KentuckyFord Pickup1999426
LouisianaFord Pickup2018726
MaineChevrolet Pickup202149
MarylandHonda Accord2013835
MassachusettsHonda Accord2013336
MichiganJeep Grand Cherokee20211,099
MinnesotaHyundai Elantra2017725
MississippiFord Pickup2017388
MissouriFord Pickup20041,832
MontanaChevrolet Pickup1999176
NebraskaChevrolet Pickup2005, 2006352
NevadaChevrolet Pickup20061,162
New HampshireChevrolet Pickup202137
New JerseyHonda Accord2018, 2021769
New MexicoChevrolet Pickup2006793
New YorkHonda CR-V20211,315
North CarolinaFord Pickup2006801
North DakotaChevrolet Pickup2003111
OhioHyundai Elantra20201,476
OklahomaChevrolet Pickup2004, 20051,150
OregonFord Pickup19991,796
PennsylvaniaHonda Accord2003, 2008679
Rhode IslandHonda Accord201396
South CarolinaFord Pickup2006713
South DakotaFord Pickup2010126
TennesseeChevrolet Pickup2005865
TexasChevrolet Pickup201810,820
UtahFord Pickup2006529
VermontChevrolet Pickup202134
VirginiaHonda Accord2018430
WashingtonFord Pickup19994,121
Washington, D.C.Toyota Camry2017231
West VirginiaChevrolet Pickup2021103
WisconsinHyundai Elantra2017697
WyomingChevrolet Pickup200442

Methodology

The data scientists at Insurify referred to the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s (NICB) 2022 Hot Wheels report to determine the 10 most stolen vehicles in the nation. This report includes data on the number of thefts and the most stolen model year, as well as the most stolen car model in each state.

To determine how often each of the top 10 car models is stolen in the United States, Insurify’s data scientists calculated theft rates per 100,000 of each car model. First, they determined the proportion of each of the 10 most stolen cars’ ownership compared to all other car models from Insurify’s proprietary database of over 4.6 million insurance applications. Then, they calculated the total number of each of the top 10 car models on the road by applying those proportions to the total number of cars on the road in the United States (approximately 285 million, according to the latest report by Statista). From these totals, they calculated car theft rates based on the number of thefts for each model.

Each car’s cost to insure comes from Insurify’s proprietary database of car insurance applications. The rates in this article represent the median cost for a full-coverage policy among drivers of each vehicle over the past 12 months.

How to reduce your risk of car theft

Car thieves typically go for easy targets. The most stolen vehicles on NICB’s Annual Auto Theft Report have a few similarities. Popular vehicles, like the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, and Ford pickup, are probably targeted for sheer availability. Common cars are easier to hide from law enforcement and have a better chance of being sold for parts due to high demand.

Car thieves also favor older models of these popular vehicles, likely because they have less robust anti-theft systems and will quickly sell for parts on the black market. However, drivers with new cars should be wary of relay attacks, where criminals trick the keyless entry system into thinking your key fob is near the vehicle, enabling the push-start feature.

Taking a few practical measures can reduce the chance of your car being stolen.

  • Close and lock all windows and doors when you park your car.

  • Don’t leave valuables, like phones, bags, or laptops, in a visible location.

  • Use visual deterrents, like a steering-wheel lock or security decal. Some insurance companies offer discounts for anti-theft devices.

  • If your car has keyless entry, keep the fob in a Faraday pouch or metal tin to block hackers’ signals and prevent relay attacks.

  • Park in well-lit, highly visible areas whenever possible.

If someone steals your vehicle, report it to the police as soon as possible. When the theft is reported within 24 hours, cars have a 34% same-day recovery rate, according to the NICB. Comprehensive car insurance offers financial protection if law enforcement can’t track down your car. The good news for drivers is that more than 85% of stolen vehicles were recovered in 2022.

Cassie Sheets
Cassie SheetsContent Writer

Cassie Sheets has more than nine years of experience creating compelling content for clients, brands, and local news sites. She started her career at Movoto Real Estate, where she transformed dry data into interesting insights for potential homebuyers. She’s since covered a wide range of topics, from pop culture news to home and garden trends.

Before joining Insurify, Cassie wrote engaging landing pages and blog posts for medical practices at MyAdvice. Now, she uses her knack for diving into the latest data and pulling out key details to empower insurance buyers.

Cassie holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Columbia College Chicago. In her free time, you can find her exploring the city with her dog, trying not to fall over in yoga classes, and petting cats at the shelter.

Tanveen Vohra
Edited byTanveen VohraManager of Content and Communications
Tanveen Vohra
Tanveen VohraManager of Content and Communications
  • Property and casualty insurance specialist

  • 4+ years creating insurance content

Tanveen manages Insurify's data insights, annual home and auto insurance reports, and media communications. She’s regularly featured in media interviews on insurance topics.

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