Like everybody else, thieves have preferences. There are cars they like, for various reasons, and there are cars they wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot slim piece of metal to jimmy open the door lock.
What might surprise you is exactly which vehicles make the least stolen list, and why. (Although it probably wouldn’t surprise auto insurance companies -– they know their stuff on car thefts.) First, our list:
- The Mini Cooper Clubman
- Chevy Aveo
- BMW 5 Series
- Saturn Vue
- Lexus RX 350
- Chevy Equinox 4WD
- Volkswagen CC
- Chevy Equinox (yep, two models make the list)
- Mercury Mariner
- And the least stolen car of the year, the Audi A6 4WD
If that sounds like a strange list, well, it is. But there are a few reasons each car makes the list.
Lack of Demand
The cars that get often stolen are the cars people want, or the cars people drive the most. For example, your typical Honda or Toyota is at risk of being stolen, simply because the thief knows there will be a market for the parts. With other cars, there’s less demand. For example, the Chevy Aveo is a fine car, but if it’s a choice between the Aveo and a more popular car in the same class, the Aveo is being left alone.
Location, Location, Location
Why do all these luxury cars, which would seem to be prime targets for profit minded thieves, actually number among the least stolen? Wouldn’t a Lexus or a BMW be considered a juicy score for a greedy thug?
Well, sure, but first they have to find them. Cars like a BMW 5 Series or an Audi A6 aren’t usually parked on the curb; they’re kept in garages on private property, with security systems and quite possibly a guard with a gun in the booth.
Most crimes are crimes of opportunity, and most owners of these cars just don’t give thieves the opportunity.
Better Security Systems
Car security has improved across the board: it’s why we currently have car theft rates at a 40-year low. But luxury cars are better at it than most, and use what are called ignition immobilization.
It’s pretty simple: if you don’t attempt to start the car using a key, the car doesn’t run. It’s impossible for thieves to route around the ignition and steal the car. So, they don’t bother: they can find something else to steal.
There’s Something to Be Said for That Boxy Look
Finally, there’s the fact that…how do we put this…some of these cars are more “modest looking” than some of the others on the street.
Professional car thieves are looking for a score, but some car thieves are just essentially troublemakers looking for a hot car to impress girls with. So, the more stylized the car, the more of a target it is for thieves.
What that says about the vehicles on this list is entirely up to the reader.
So, what do we know about how to keep your car from being stolen? One, lock it up at night in a garage, if possible. Two, install a strong security system that will keep it from being driven away. And three, buy something that’s not the most popular in its class, and preferably not the most stylish, either.
Or save even more money: drive a junker no thief would touch. We’re sure there’s got to be an operating AMC Gremlin out there somewhere.