When purchasing a new or used car, you may want to consider the list of most stolen vehicles before choosing a model. Because there are many motivations for stealing a car, the most stolen vehicles are not necessarily the nicest or fanciest cars. In fact, the 1994 Honda Accord was the most stolen vehicle in the United States in 2010, followed by the 1995 Honda Civic and the 1991 Toyota Camry.
- 1994 Honda Accord
- 1995 Honda Civic
- 1991 Toyota Camry
- 1999 Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)
- 1997 Ford F150 Series/Pickup
- 2004 Dodge Ram
- 2000 Dodge Caravan
- 1994 Acura Integra
- 2002 Ford Explorer
- 1999 Ford Taurus
The top three cars on the 2010 list were in the same positions in 2009; Toyota and Honda models have held the top three spots since 2000. Part of the reason that these cars have higher rates of theft is that they are so popular which means proportionally there are more of them on the road to steal.
For the first time since 2000, however, domestic brands outnumber foreign models in the top 10. All models in the list were in the top 10 on last year’s list, too, except the 1999 Ford Taurus, which took out the 2009 Toyota Corolla for the tenth spot.
It is interesting to note that all the vehicles on the list are at least seven years old; most are from the 1990s. The NICB points out that of the almost 52,000 Honda Accords stolen in 2010, more than 44,000 were made in the 1990s, compared with fewer than 5,700 that were produced since the year 2000. The reason for this is pretty clear: old cars are stolen more frequently because new cars are equipped with technology that makes them harder to steal and easier to track down if they do get stolen. Newer cars still get stolen but they require a more sophisticated and experienced thief.
Why are Cars Stolen?
The motivation to steal newer, more expensive vehicles is often to resell them intact with counterfeit vehicle identification numbers or to ship them out of the country. Older cars are usually stolen for their parts (which are more valuable than the car as a whole), to be taken for a joyride, or to get from one place to another.
Car theft Rates Going Down
New technology and police stings are working to drive down rates of car theft. There was a 7.2 percent decline in auto thefts compared to 2009, making 2010 the year with the fewest vehicle thefts since 1967.
Preventing a Stolen Vehicle
The NICB recommends security measures to help protect a stolen vehicle. Lock your door, keep your windows rolled up, set your car alarm, or use a steering wheel lock. If you have a newer vehicle, take advantage of electronic immobilizing and tracking devices. Never leave valuables visible in your car.
Before buying a used vehicle, make sure it hasn’t been reported stolen. NICB has a free online VINCheck service that lets you conduct a search on the vehicle identification number.
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