“Hot Wheels” – The Top 10 Most Stolen Vehicles

Jalesa Campbell
Updated Jan 28, 2021
2 min read

Surprisingly, thieves aren’t targeting the most luxurious or sportiest rides you can find on the road today. BMW’s, Porsches, and other high-end vehicles did not top the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s (NICB) 2017 "Hot Wheels" list as the most commonly stolen rides. See which ones made the top 10 most stolen vehicles and why they are targeted by thieves.

The Top 10 Most Stolen Vehicles in America

  • Honda Civic - 45,062 models were stolen in 2017
  • Honda Accord - 43,764  models were stolen in 2017
  • Full-Size Ford Pickup Truck - 35,105 models were stolen in 2017
  • Full-Size Chevrolet Pickup Truck - 30,058 models were stolen in 2017
  • Toyota Camry - 17,278 models were stolen in 2017
  • Nissan Altima - 13,358 models were stolen in 2017
  • Toyota Corolla - 12,337 models were stolen in 2017
  • Dodge Pickup Truck - 12,004 models were stolen in 2017
  • Full-Size GMC Pickup Truck - 10,865 models were stolen in 2017
  • Chevrolet Impala - 9,487 models were stolen in 2017

Why Are Some Vehicles More Popular Targets Than Others?

According to the NICB’s 2017 report, older Honda Civics and Honda Accords were the most stolen cars in the nation. The 1998 Honda Civic and the 1997 Honda Accord were popular targets. Esurance.com writes that older vehicles are more easily stolen because they lack the anti-theft technology of newer vehicles. According to TorqueNews.com, Hondas are targeted in general because they “hold their resale value. . . .[and] thieves can profit by stripping them and selling the parts to repair shops and junkyards.” 

Following behind Honda cars, Ford and Chevrolet pickups were commonly targeted vehicles as well. In terms of regional popularity, Insurify.com shares that pickup trucks in general were more popular in the Southeast and Midwest. Models that were commonly stolen were Ford 2006 pickups and Chevrolet 2004 pickups. KTNV.com shares that Ford truck and SUV models made between 2000 and 2006 in particular came with keys that lacked a security chip, so the vehicle would start without much hassle. 

Further down the list are newer models that raise the question, “How are auto thieves getting away with these vehicles?” TopSpeed.com explains that thieves have gotten more “technical” and can use a relay amplifier and transmitter to steal the car. Generally, two individuals are involved, and one uses a relay amplifier near the house in an attempt to detect the key fob and amplify the signal. The other attempts to transmit that signal to unlock the vehicle’s doors — very technical, indeed.

Protect Your Car Against Auto Theft

Another reason auto thieves are getting away with vehicles is because of a lack of diligence and wise decision-making. It’s unfortunate, but the NICB shares that “ every single day from January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2018, an average of 209 vehicles were stolen across the U.S. because drivers left their keys or fobs in their vehicles making them attractive targets for thieves.” There are strategies and devices that can help you take proactive measures to protect your vehicle from being stolen and prevent auto thieves from making a getaway in your ride.

Safety and Security Reporter

Jalesa Campbell

Jalesa is one of Safety.com's staff experts on home security, natural disasters, public safety, and family safety. She's been featured on Today.com and elsewhere.

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