Hot Cars: The Most Frequently Stolen Cars (Plus More Data) ""

By | November 3, 2017

Hot Cars: The Most Frequently Stolen Cars (Plus More Data)

From the November 2017 issue

Think that blinking red light on your dash doesn’t do a damned thing? Anti-theft measures on modern cars have prevented millions of hot-wiring, steering-lock-snapping thefts over the last two decades. Even as our swelling population registers a record number of light vehicles, people can’t steal them like it’s 1991, when vehicle thefts peaked at nearly 1.7 million. Heck, they don’t even steal them like it’s 2005, when the rate of motor-vehicle thefts was 61 percent higher than it was in 2014. (The data here is compiled annually by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Since it’s a government agency, NHTSA runs a little slow; 2014 is the most recent year for which it has analyzed data.)

But determined thieves still prey on late-model cars and even brand-new ones. NHTSA ranks the most frequently reported stolen vehicles of each model year in relation to their total production in that year. Across the fleet, the average was 1.2 vehicles stolen per 1000 produced in 2014. But the theft rate was highest for these:

Hot Cars: The Most Frequently Stolen Cars (Plus More Data)

We Said “Best”

We already know that a spot on our 10Best list doesn’t necessarily make a car popular with buyers, but neither does it make a car popular with thieves, apparently. 2014’s 10Best winners were appropriated thusly:

We Said “Best”

Booster Fodder

Those high-visibility cars that make for such beautiful posters tend to be the same vehicles thieves shun. Not one new Aston Martin, Bugatti, Dodge Viper, Lamborghini, McLaren, or Nissan GT-R was stolen in 2014, nor was any Ferrari other than two 458s. But criminals made off with a few of these:

Booster Fodder

Golden Oldies

Using the same FBI data set as NHTSA—only two years newer, since it’s not a plodding government agency—the National Insurance Crime Bureau counts thefts for all model years, breaking out the one most popular with thieves. If you own an old Accord, look out: Thieves prefer the 1997 model 15 to 1 over the 2016. Perhaps coincidentally, 1997 is the last year Accord keys didn’t have some sort of chip in them.

Golden Oldies

Billions Lost
-Vehicles stolen in 2014 totaled more than $4.5 billion, with an average value of $6537. Recovered ones totaled just $2.2 billion.
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Garmin Be Gone
-In 2014, there were 1.2 million reports of stuff stolen from cars’ interiors, with an average value of $835.
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Trickle Down
-An estimated 689,527 vehicles were stolen in 2014, a decrease of 1 percent from 2013. But compared with 2005, it’s down a whopping 44 percent.

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