Overview

No one likes the idea of stepping outside to find out that their vehicle has been stolen. Unfortunately, auto theft can happen beyond our control. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 770,000 drivers become victims of auto theft each year.

Granted, there are locales where auto theft is more  prevalent, but there are several things you can do to help protect yourself from becoming a victim, and potentially lower your car insurance. You can purchase a car monitoring device, a “kill switch” as well as other anti-theft devices. Additionally, there are more common checks you can do to ensure you’re not making it easy for thieves to steal your wheels.


The Top 10 States Where Auto Theft is Most Prevalent

It should come as no surprise that some of the most populous states in the nation have the most vehicular theft incidents. California, Texas and Florida are among the top ten on the list. Outside of population, vehicles that have outdated security features and individual negligence also heighten the risk for auto theft. As the latest full report detailing crime for each state, the FBI’s 2017 Crime in the United States report lists the following states as the top 10 for reported auto theft:

 

State

California

Texas

Florida

Washington

Georgia

Colorado

Illinois

Ohio

Missouri

Michigan

Auto Theft Offenses

168,391

68,041

42,914

28,796

26,263

21,861

20,881

20,253

19,921

19,573

 


What Cars are Auto Thieves Taking?

The Honda Civic and Accord are the two most common vehicles stolen, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), but why? ABC News reports that since some parts can be used across model years, auto thieves will take those parts and sell them, in some cases “[getting] up to three time the value of the vehicle”. Here are the top 10 vehicles the NICB’s 2017 Hot Wheels Report lists as the ones most stolen:

 

Make and Model

Honda Civic

Honda Accord

Full-size Ford truck

Full-size Chevrolet truck

Toyota Camry

Nissan Altima

Toyota Corolla

Full-size Dodge truck

Full-size GMC truck

Chevrolet Impala

Total Stolen in 2017

45,062

43,764

35,105

30,058

17,278

13,358

12,337

12,004

10,865

9,487

 


Can Auto Theft Affect Your Car Insurance Premium?

Your location and the likelihood of your vehicle being stolen can affect your car insurance premium. TheBalance writes that where you live can affect your car insurance premium. For instance, if you live in an urban area where crime is more likely to be more prevalent, then your insurer may take that into consideration when determining your monthly premium. In the event that your vehicle is broken into or stolen, comprehensive coverage could protect you. You’ll need to check with your insurer to find out if the company offers this type of coverage. In terms of premium adjustment if your vehicle is stolen, this will depend on your insurer.


How Can You Protect Yourself?

1. Keep your vehicle locked

Even while it’s parked in your driveway. This is the first layer of protection as you’ll make it harder for thieves to break in.

2. Don’t leave your car on while unattended

Even if it’s just to run into the store for a few minutes. The National Insurance Crime Bureau reported a significant uptick in vehicle theft from 2016 to 2018 “because drivers left their keys or fobs in their vehicles, making them attractive targets for thieves.”

3. Keep valuables out of sight

The old saying, “Out of sight, out of mind” applies here. Even throwing your purchased items into the floor won’t guarantee safety. Prevent temptation by locking your valuables in the trunk instead.

 

4. Keep your windows/sunroof closed while you’re gone

It might be uncomfortable when you get back inside, but keeping your windows and sunroof closed while you’re away will prevent thieves from “finessing” their way into your car.

5. Park in a well-lit area

Even while it’s parked in your driveway. This is the first layer of protection as you’ll make it harder for thieves to break in.

6. Consider anti-theft systems

Even if it’s just to run into the store for a few minutes. The National Insurance Crime Bureau reported a significant uptick in vehicle theft from 2016 to 2018 “because drivers left their keys or fobs in their vehicles, making them attractive targets for thieves.”

 


Products to Help You Protect Your Vehicle

As additional layers of protection for your vehicle, these are some products that can also help prevent auto theft:

Vivint CarGuard Device

1. Vivint CarGuard Device

Rating:

4.0

Cost:

Description:

Keep tabs on your vehicle’s location, security and diagnostics with the Vivint Car Guard device. If your car is bumped or even stolen, you’ll be notified. This device can be installed in the onboard diagnostics port of most vehicles.

Key Features

  • GPS location tracking
  • Tamper alerts
  • Remote management by mobile app
Learn More
Spytec GPS Tracker

2. Spytec GPS Tracker

Rating:

4.0

Cost:

$49.95

Description:

The Spytec GPS Tracker is an Amazon Best Seller and is a small, 3-inch device that can be used to monitor and locate your vehicle from your computer or mobile device. You can set up the device to send you location alerts as well as get alerts whenever the device leaves a certain area.

Key Features

  • Small size, easy for discreet placement
  • Location alerts
  • Geo-fencing technology
Learn More
E-KYLIN Battery Switch Disconnect Relay

3. E-KYLIN Battery Switch Disconnect Relay

Rating:

3.5

Cost:

$59.99

Description:

The E-KYLIN Remote Battery Switch Disconnect Relay (better known to most as a “kill switch” can help protect your car from being stolen by allowing you to remotely switch off the car’s power within 160 feet. This device can also eliminate battery power leakage to help prolong its life. This package comes with the car battery switch, wireless remote, remote receiver, 4 wiring cables and a manual.

Key Features

  • Wireless remote
  • Remote relay disconnection within 160 feet
  • Eliminates battery power leakage to prolong life
Learn More

Summary

While auto theft is a more prevalent criminal offense in some states than others, it can still happen anywhere. Luckily, there are precautions you can take and products you can use to help prevent yourself from becoming a victim. Keeping these tips in mind as well as purchasing an anti-theft device can help you to avoid giving thieves an unsolicited ride. 

You can learn more about a variety of products and services to help protect your family and valuables on our website.