No matter what you drive, there’s always the unfortunate risk that you could fall victim to car theft. These ten vehicles are the most stolen cars in America.
After decades of steadily declining rates, auto thefts have increased dramatically in recent years. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s (NICB) latest Hot Wheels report, there were reported 880,595 vehicle thefts in 2020, up 11% from 794,019 in 2019. Nationwide, about one vehicle was stolen every 36 seconds.
While there isn’t one clear leading factor for this sudden spike in thefts, a likely contributor is the COVID-19 pandemic and its nationwide economic repercussions in 2020. Still, owner complacency remains a major contributing factor to vehicle theft, so removing keys from the ignition, keeping the car locked, and parking in well-lit areas are some of the best ways to avoid carjacking.
To raise awareness of this recent increase in car thefts and help educate drivers on anti-theft safety, the data scientists at Insurify analyzed the most recent NICB Hot Wheels report to identify the most stolen cars in America.
Chevy Silverado: the new hot target. Though thefts of practically all vehicle models increased in 2020, thieves targeted Chevrolet pickups dramatically more often than in 2019. They stole a full 26.7% more Chevrolet pickups in 2020 than in the year prior, making the car the second-most stolen model in the country by total cars stolen. With 9.5 thefts per 1,000 vehicles, full-size Chevy pickups were also swiped at the highest rate of any car in the top ten most stolen vehicles.
“Dodged” a bullet, except in Michigan. Despite not ranking among the top ten most stolen cars in the country, the Dodge Charger nonetheless had the highest theft rate in Michigan. 755 Chargers were stolen in Michigan in 2020, placing it just ahead of the Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee and Ford full-size pickups for total thefts in the state. Though common logic dictates that car thieves target older cars because of their dated security systems, Michigan carjackers surprisingly stole more 2018 Dodge Chargers in 2020 than any other model year.
Regional preferences. The most stolen car model in each state reasonably reflects the country’s geographically-diverse vehicle preferences. Honda sedans are most stolen along both coasts, while pickup trucks, especially Fords and Chevrolets, have the highest theft rates practically everywhere in between. One notable outlier is Michigan: the only state where an American-made sedan is the most stolen vehicle.
The data scientists at Insurify, a site to compare auto insurance quotes, referred to the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s (NICB) latest Hot Wheels report to determine the ten 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 ten car models is stolen in the United States, Insurify’s data scientists calculated theft rates per 1,000 of each car model. First, they determined the proportion of each of the ten most stolen cars’ ownership compared to all other car models from Insurify’s proprietary database of over 4 million insurance applications. Then, they calculated the total number of each of the top ten car models on the road by applying those proportions to the total number of cars on the road in the United States (276.49 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 MSRP comes from the appropriate year listed on Autotrader, and the average cost of a new car in 2021 comes from Cox Automotive’s July vehicle price data.
The Most Stolen Cars in America
1. Ford Pickup (full size) - Number of thefts: 44,014
2. Chevrolet Pickup (full size) - Number of thefts: 40,968
3. Honda Civic - Number of thefts: 34,144
4. Honda Accord - Number of thefts: 30,814
5. Toyota Camry - Number of thefts: 16,915
Top 10 Most Stolen Cars in America
10. Dodge Pickup (full size)
Number of thefts: 11,991
Thefts per 1,000 vehicles: 4.6
Model most stolen in 2020: 2001 Dodge Pickup
MSRP (base model) for most stolen model: $15,285
Dodge sells its full-size pickups under the RAM moniker, with the RAM 1500 model being the most popular of the brand’s options. Unfortunately, the RAM pickup line was also popular among car thieves in 2020, as full-size Dodge pickups were the tenth-most stolen vehicles in America. An estimated 4.6 out of every 1,000 RAM trucks were stolen in 2020 alone.
9. Honda CR-V
Number of thefts: 12,309
Thefts per 1,000 vehicles: 4.5
Model most stolen in 2020: 2000 Honda CR-V
MSRP (base model) for most stolen model: $18,650
Since its inception in the mid-1990s, the Honda CR-V has offered reliability and affordability for drivers seeking a smaller SUV. As such, the car is favored by motorists across the country, though it does not have a particular geographic concentration akin to the Honda Civic’s heavy prevalence on the West Coast or the Accord’s popularity on the East Coast. While the CR-V was the ninth-most stolen car in America in 2020, it did not have the highest theft rate in any individual state.
8. Toyota Corolla
Number of thefts: 12,515
Thefts per 1,000 vehicles: 2.2
Model most stolen in 2020: 2020 Toyota Corolla
MSRP (base model) for most stolen model: $19,600
The Toyota Corolla is a perennially affordable and well-renowned car, making it a popular choice for drivers across the country. Its theft rate of 2.2 thefts per 1,000 cars is less than half that of the Honda CR-V, even though carjackers swiped over 200 more Corollas than CR-Vs in 2020. In addition to its widespread popularity, the Corolla also stands out because brand new Corollas were stolen more often in 2020 than Corollas made in any prior year. This model ties for the newest among all the vehicles in the top ten most stolen cars in America.
7. GMC Pickup (full size)
Number of thefts: 13,061
Thefts per 1,000 vehicles: 8.3
Model most stolen in 2020: 2005 GMC Pickup
MSRP (base model) for most stolen model: $18,190
The GMC Sierra—the flagship model among GMC’s full-size pickups—earns critics’ praise for its engineering and tech-savvy features, but the GMC pickup line has never been as popular as other higher-profile pickup trucks. And yet, over 13,000 GMC pickups were carjacked in 2020, placing them seventh on the list of the ten most stolen cars in the country. Thieves stole a whopping 8.3 per 1,000 GMC trucks in 2020, the second-highest theft rate among the ten most stolen vehicles overall.
6. Nissan Altima
Number of thefts: 14,668
Thefts per 1,000 vehicles: 2.1
Model most stolen in 2020: 2020 Nissan Altima
MSRP (base model) for most stolen model: $24,300
The Nissan Altima is the second vehicle among the top ten most stolen cars in America to have thieves target its newest model most often in 2020. This might come as a surprise since there’s a common belief that carjackers tend to single out older vehicles due to their outdated security technology. Its theft rate per vehicle supports this logic: even though the Altima was the sixth-most stolen car in 2020, it had the lowest thefts per 1,000 vehicles of any car in the top ten, indicating there were simply more of them available to be stolen.
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5. Toyota Camry
Number of thefts: 16,915
Thefts per 1,000 vehicles: 2.4
Model most stolen in 2020: 2019 Toyota Camry
MSRP (base model) for most stolen model: $24,095
The Toyota Camry has been a model known for its functionality and reliability for decades. It was also a top target among carjackers in 2020, ranking fifth on the list of the most stolen cars in America. Like the Nissan Altima, however, its relatively low theft rate per 1,000 vehicles speaks more to its extreme popularity than to its particular appeal to car thieves.
4. Honda Accord
Number of thefts: 30,814
Thefts per 1,000 vehicles: 3.7
Model most stolen in 2020: 1997 Honda Accord
MSRP (base model) for most stolen model: $15,100
With over 30,000 thefts in 2020, the Honda Accord is fourth on the list of America’s top ten most stolen cars. The model saw an exceptionally high number of thefts on the East Coast: all nine states in which it was the most stolen vehicle border the Atlantic Ocean. The most common manufacture year—1997—among Accords stolen in 2020 is also the farthest back of any car in the top ten by a full three years.
3. Honda Civic
Number of thefts: 34,144
Thefts per 1,000 vehicles: 4.7
Model most stolen in 2020: 2000 Honda Civic
MSRP (base model) for most stolen model: $10,750
Despite the Honda Civic being similarly popular as the Toyota Camry, carjackers stole more than twice as many Civics as Camrys in 2020. On a per-vehicle basis, the Civic had 94% more thefts than the Camry and even 27% more thefts than the Accord. Unsurprisingly, the most common manufacture year of Civics stolen in 2020 was 2000, one of the last years before the Civic sported anti-theft technology. Additionally, the 2000 Civic is the cheapest most-targeted model year of any vehicle on this list, priced at just over $10,000 at the time of its release.
2. Chevrolet Pickup (full size)
Number of thefts: 40,968
Thefts per 1,000 vehicles: 9.5
Model most stolen in 2020: 2004 Chevrolet Pickup
MSRP (base model) for most stolen model: $19,545
With nearly 41,000 thefts in 2020, Chevrolet pickup trucks are the second-most stolen vehicles in America. Though carjackers swiped a higher number of Ford pickups overall, Chevy trucks had the highest number of thefts per 1,000 vehicles of any car in the top ten most stolen car models. Thieves targeted nearly 1% of all Chevy pickups in 2020, a share that’s 14% higher than the GMC Sierra’s second-highest theft rate among the top ten most stolen cars.
1. Ford Pickup (full size)
Number of thefts: 44,014
Thefts per 1,000 vehicles: 5.9
Model most stolen in 2020: 2006 Ford Pickup
MSRP (base model) for most stolen model: $18,930
Ford pickup trucks were the most stolen vehicles in America in 2020, with car thieves swiping over 44,000 of them. Ford’s pickups taking the top overall spot shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, as the brand’s full-size F-Series line is the most popular car in America. Still, F-Series models had a much higher number of thefts per 1,000 vehicles than many other of the nation’s most popular car models, including the Honda Accord, Honda Civic, and Nissan Altima, which all rank among the top five most popular cars in the nation. Ford pickups’ theft rate of 5.9 per 1,000 vehicles is over twice as high as any of those three models.
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