With approximately 700,000 automobiles stolen annually, auto theft is a major problem in the United States. Each year the National Insurance Crime Bureau helps keep consumers in the know by publishing a list of the most-stolen cars in the country. Take a look at 2017's list. The results may surprise you.
1. Honda Civic
*total number of thefts in 2017: 45,062
* model year most stolen: 1998
2. Honda Accord
*total number of thefts in 2017: 43,764
* model year most stolen: 1997
3. Ford Pickup (full size)
*total number of thefts in 2017: 35,105
* model year most stolen: 2006
4. Chevrolet Pickup (full size)
*total number of thefts in 2017: 30,058
* model year most stolen: 2004
5. Toyota Camry
*total number of thefts in 2017: 17,248
* model year most stolen: 2017
6. Nissan Altima
*total number of thefts in 2017: 13,358
* model year most stolen: not given
7. Toyota Corolla
*total number of thefts in 2017: 12,337
* model year most stolen: 2016
8. Dodge Pickup (full size)
*total number of thefts in 2017: 12,004
* model year most stolen: 2001
9. GMC Pickup (full size)
*total number of thefts in 2017: 10,865
* model year most stolen: 2017
10. Chevrolet Impala
*number of thefts in 2017: 9,487
* model year most stolen: 2008
You may have noticed that the cars on the list are not brand new, luxury SUVs or sleek sports cars. Not even BMW or Mercedes made this list. Instead, the entire list is made up of ordinary, everyday models driven by ordinary, everyday people. You might have even noticed that only 2 of the top 10 models have 2017 as the most popular model year. Does this surprise you? It shouldn't. Individuals who steal cars are not looking to stand out or experience the thrill of getting behind the wheel of a fast car. They steal cars to make money while remaining as inconspicuous as possible. Parts for common cars are more in demand, guaranteeing that thieves will be able to sell those parts quickly. It's also more difficult to find a stolen car on the road when everyone is driving the same model. So while you think you might be doing yourself a favor by driving a less flashy car, you might find yourself more at risk for car theft than you thought.
My Car is on the List. What Should I Do Now?
Don't worry if your car made the list. While this makes you more at risk for a car theft, it by no means makes you a sure target. In fact, exercising common sense while being vigilant and proactive can significantly reduce your risk.
Keep Your Car Locked and Your Keys on You
This may seem like common sense, but many people don't bother to lock their car doors when they are out in public. Whether they feel like their car won't get stolen or it really isn't worth anything, leaving the car doors unlocked is actually an invitation for someone very skilled in car theft to hot-wire their car and drive away with it. Take the extra couple of seconds to make sure your doors are locked and your keys are with you.
Invest in an Anti-Theft Device
There are many options for anti-theft devices that can fit any budget. A simple car alarm can deter a potential thief by drawing attention to them, while a more sophisticated immobilization device will ensure that no one but you will be able to start your car. Consult a mechanic or car parts store to find out which device will give you the most security for your money.
Keep the Car Parked in a Well-Lit Area
Yeah, you can get some easy exercise in and keep your vehicle from getting any scratches if you park as far away from the store as possible, but you are also inadvertently setting yourself up for a potential theft. Cars that loom at the edges of the parking lot where there is little activity do not attract the attention of passersby. This makes it much easier for someone to attempt to take your car without drawing suspicion from others. Park where there is more light and more people, for your safety and for the safety of your car.
Get a Policy that Protects Your Car
Take all the necessary precautions, and the risk of having your car stolen decreases significantly. But, being proactive doesn't stop at preventing a theft from happening. You must also be prepared in the event that a theft does occur. Contact us to start an insurance policy that can ease the devastation of a potential car theft.