One of the important factors in determining your car insurance rate is your risk of theft. If you’re in an area with a high rate of auto theft, that will raise your rates. But do you know what’s even more of a factor? Your car’s level of popularity with thieves.
And what’s popular with thieves may surprise you.
The Most Popular Stolen Cars in 2011
1. 1994 Honda Accord
2. 1998 Honda Civic
3. 2006 Ford pickup (full size)
4. 1991 Toyota Camry
5. 2000 Dodge Caravan
6. 1994 Acura Integra
7. 1999 Chevrolet pickup (full size)
8. 2004 Dodge pickup (full size)
9. 2002 Ford Explorer
10. 1994 Nissan Sentra
Not what you were expecting, huh?
So why are these cars so popular with thieves? Don’t thieves want luxury vehicles and exotic supercars? Absolutely not. In fact, if a thief has a choice between, say, the Konigsegg Agera R and a busted, decade-old Honda Civic, the professional will boost the Civic, every time.
The reason is simple: he knows he can easily get rid of the Civic. It’s not that exotic supercars don’t get stolen, it happens all the time. But it’s hard to sell an exotic supercar for parts. Also, it’s really hard to pass off a gas-guzzling V12 sports car with a price tag of millions as your everyday vehicle.
The Civic, on the other hand, has sold millions upon millions of vehicles, and people are thus always looking for new parts. You might also notice that the newest car on there is from 2006; newer models have more anti-theft features, including standard alarms, key-code systems, and ignition disabling devices. These cars are easy to sell, easy to steal, and less likely to get you found by the police.
So which cars are the least popular? Again, it’s a bit of a surprise.
The 10 Least Stolen Cars
1. Audi A6 4WD ($16,882)
2. Mercury Mariner – (2009)
3. Chevrolet Equinox – (2010)
4. Volkswagen CC – (2009)
5. Chevrolet Equinox 4WD (2010)
6. Lexus RX 350 (2010)
7. Saturn Vue
8. Chevrolet Aveo (2009)
9. BMW 5 series 4WD
10. Mini Cooper Clubman mini
Yes, thieves do not like to steal SUVs, it seems. A lot of recent luxury cars are not popular among the kind of people who swipe vehicles for a living. Partially this is due to the anti-theft measures that have become standard; stealing a luxury vehicle has gotten harder and harder.
Other vehicles just aren’t popular, for reasons having to do with bad marketing or bad sales. For example, the Equinox, which makes the list twice, actually got respectable reviews and was widely seen in the car press as a great SUV. But Chevy didn’t exactly push it to Civic-level sales.
A better example is the Saturn Vue. It’s no longer in production, it wasn’t popular when it was in production, and honestly we’d forgotten it even existed. It’s so obscure that thieves just can’t sell it.
In short, if you want a car that’s very thief-safe, get a luxury SUV. Or, if you want to actually get a sense of what you need, call your insurer and talk models. After all… they don’t want your car stolen, either.