Most stolen cars in America—and steps you can take to avoid losing yours

Fact-checked with HomeInsurance.com

You may not realize how much your car is being scoped out by potential thieves. Is your car aging, parked on a high-traffic street, and in good shape? You could be driving one of the most commonly stolen cars in America, from perennial favorite family sedans to iconic trucks and SUVs.

In 2020, most newer cars have pretty robust security features as a matter of course. But the average car on the road is a record-high 16 years old, meaning every new car is balanced by at least one car that’s a great deal older. These older cars often have long track records of reliability and low-cost operation. But they also could be a song and dance to break into with a simple Slim Jim.

But why is it worth it for thieves to steal these much older cars of lower value? Parts. Car owners with vehicles that are out of warranty aren’t going to new car dealerships for repairs; they go to repair shops or search online for parts. That drives interest in components stripped from older cars, bought by shops looking to cut corners, or sold online to unwitting consumers who think they’re buying pieces from wrecked—not stolen—vehicles.

Because of this, theft is a major concern. Which cars are thieves looking for most, and why are they drawn to certain cars? Coverage.com used 2018 data (released on Nov. 19, 2019) from the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s Hot Wheels report to compile the top 10 car models that are most frequently stolen in America. The cars are ranked by the number of total car model thefts as reported to the National Crime Information Center every year. Each slide also contains information on states where this model has been stolen the most, according to NICB. For brevity, the top four car models only include states that list the car as being the #1 most stolen in the state, and the other six car models include states that list the car as being in their top three most stolen.

To protect your vehicles from theft, there are common-sense rules worth following. Keep the doors locked, don’t store valuables in the vehicle, park in a well-lit or heavily trafficked area, and incorporate a tracking/recovery system and/or theft-prevention product (the more visible or loud, the better).

Keep reading to see which cars are the most stolen in the United States.

VanderWolf Images // Shutterstock

#10. Honda CR-V

– Total car model thefts: 10,094
– Year model was stolen the most: 2001
– States where car was stolen the most: Minnesota (#3 in state)

The Honda CR-V is a family-friendly four-door SUV that comes in both front wheel and all wheel drive—perhaps explaining its popularity in snowy Minnesota, as well as many models coming with anti-theft systems. Though the model is decades old, its styling has stayed pretty timeless, and parts for the aging generations are in high demand at this point

Ed Aldridge // Shutterstock

#9. GMC Pickup (full size)

– Total car model thefts: 11,164
– Year model was stolen the most: 2018
– States where car was stolen the most: Alaska (#3 in state), Arkansas (#3 in state), Maine (#2 in state)

It’s not surprising that the GMC pickup is one of the most popular thefts in Alaska, Montana, and North Dakota—rugged states where many people work outside and haul big loads. GMC usually trails in pickup truck sales behind the other big brands, but red states are more likely to support a traditional American car brand. Many recent models come with anti-theft alarm systems.

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#8. Dodge Pickup (full size)

– Total car model thefts: 11,292
– Year model was stolen the most: 2001
– States where car was stolen the most: Missouri (#3 in state), Montana (#3 in state), Nebraska (#3 in state), North Dakota (#3 in state), Oklahoma (#3 in state), Texas (#3 in state), Wyoming (#3 in state)

Dodge sold pickups under its Ram brand until Ram went solo in 2010. That includes the classic Ram truck as well as the Dakota made until the mid 2000s. Discontinued cars and generations of vehicles can be extremely popular for thieves, because they represent a limited supply of engine parts as well as clean body panels.

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#7. Toyota Corolla

– Total car model thefts: 12,137
– Year model was stolen the most: 2018
– States where car was stolen the most: Washington D.C. (#3 in state)

The compact Corolla is an entry-level Toyota, with great gas mileage along with cross-parts compatibility with some other Toyotas. The most common year model to steal is the 2018, which is the first year of the latest generation—a sweet spot to steal. Because of the Corolla”s popularity to thieves, vehicle owners are wise to always use any alarm system that came with the vehicle, have the VIN number etched onto the windshield and other parts of the car to prevent parts parsing, and employ a GPS tracking system for the vehicle.

Ritu Manoj Jethani // Shutterstock

#6. Nissan Altima

– Total car model thefts: 13,355
– Year model was stolen the most: 2015
– States where car was stolen the most: Connecticut (#3 in state), Delaware (#3 in state), Florida (#2 in state), Louisiana (#3 in state), Mississippi (#3 in state), New York (#3 in state), North Carolina (#3 in state), Pennsylvania (#3 in state), Tennessee (#3 in state)

The 2015 Nissan Altima is in a sweet spot, just before a 2016 facelift common to aging generations. The 2018 and after, latest-generation Altima also has better, more up-to-date anti-theft technology.

OvuOng // Shutterstock

#5. Toyota Camry

– Total car model thefts: 15,656
– Year model was stolen the most: 2007
– States where car was stolen the most: Florida (#3 in state), Kentucky (#3 in state), Maryland (#2 in state), Massachusetts (#3 in state), New York (#2 in state), Rhode Island (#2 in state), Virginia (#3 in state), Washington D.C. (#2 in state)

The Toyota Camry is a very popular, mid-level family car whose parts can be expensive for owners—making it tantalizing to steal. The 2007 model year is in the Goldilocks zone between older models and newer ones that are harder to steal.

bankerwin // Shutterstock

#4. Honda Accord

– Total car model thefts: 30,745
– Year model was stolen the most: 1997
– States where car was stolen the most: Connecticut (#1 in state), Delaware (#1 in state), Maryland (#1 in state), Massachusetts (#1 in state), New Jersey (#1 in state), New York (#1 in state), North Carolina (#1 in state), Pennsylvania (#1 in state), Rhode Island (#1 in state)

The Honda Accord is toward the higher end of Honda’s line, but the Accord still shares parts across several other Hondas, making it a high-value steal. With a 1997 model, a thief would just have to Slim-Jim in, no alarm-thwarting required.

Kevin Tichenor // Shutterstock

#3. Chevrolet Pickup (full size)

– Total car model thefts: 32,583
– Year model was stolen the most: 2004
– States where car was stolen the most: Alabama (#1 in state), Alaska (#1 in state), Arizona (#1 in state), Arkansas (#1 in state), Idaho (#1 in state), Iowa (#1 in state), Maine (#1 in state), Montana (#1 in state), Nebraska (#1 in state), North Dakota (#1 in state), Oklahoma (#1 in state), South Dakota (#1 in state), Tennessee (#1 in state), Vermont (#1 in state)

Pickup trucks of all kinds are always in demand because they’re used by so many different kinds of workers. And in the United States, while foreign-made SUVs and cars are often more popular than American-made models, pickup trucks are still mostly an American-made phenomenon. (Toyota pickup trucks, especially vintage ones, are also beloved here.)

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#2. Honda Civic

– Total car model thefts: 33,220
– Year model was stolen the most: 2000
– States where car was stolen the most: California (#1 in state), Minnesota (#1 in state), Nevada (#1 in state), Oregon (#1 in state), Utah (#1 in state), Washington (#1 in state)

The Honda Civic has long been the most popular model to steal, because it’s such a common car and also shares parts across Honda models. The most commonly stolen year, 2000, predates many anti-theft technologies.

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#1. Ford pickup (full size)

– Total car model thefts: 38,938
– Year model was stolen the most: 2006
– States where car was stolen the most: Colorado (#1 in state), Florida (#1 in state), Georgia (#1 in state), Hawaii (#1 in state), Indiana (#1 in state), Kansas (#1 in state), Kentucky (#1 in state), Louisiana (#1 in state), Michigan (#1 in state), Mississippi (#1 in state), Missouri (#1 in state), New Hampshire (#1 in state), New Mexico (#1 in state), Ohio (#1 in state), South Carolina (#1 in state), Texas (#1 in state), Virginia (#1 in state), West Virginia (#1 in state), Wyoming (#1 in state)

If you’re surprised to see Ford pickup trucks so high on this list, keep in mind they’ve been the bestselling U.S. vehicle for 43 years as of 2020. A 2006 is right on the cusp of coming with more standard anti-theft technology, and trucks are extremely useful to have—especially if your job is taking other people’s stuff in a hurry.

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