When it comes to auto theft, older cars have always been a hot target for criminals. While most of us will be checking out a shiny new BMW, the average car thief is eyeing up a dusty 1997 Honda Accord. Yep, most stolen cars are around 20 years old.
There are a few reasons why older cars get stolen the most. For starters, there are more of them out on the road and popular car models will always have a greater likelihood of being targeted. But it’s also down to security systems. Every year car manufacturers up their security game. Back in the early 2000s most cars still didn’t have alarm systems—and those that did were easily duped.
Remote fobs, laser cut keys, RFID ignition systems, which are all pretty standard these days, were only found on high-end vehicles. A screwdriver and a pair of wire cutters would be more than enough to steal most cars.
Every year the fine people at the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NCIB) release a report listing the top ten most stolen cars in the US. With their help, let’s take a look at the favorite models for auto-thieves.
10. dodge ram
In 2020, the tenth most stolen car was this popular Dodge pickup. Almost 12,000 were stolen that year with thieves mostly targeting the 2001 model.
9. honda CRV
There was a big increase in thefts of the Honda CRV in 2020—up by 22% on the previous year, according to the NCIB. It’s one of the most popular SUVs around and among thieves it's just as desirable. The 2000 model was targeted the most.
8. toyota corolla
There’s been a recent spike in newer Toyotas and Hondas getting stolen, and the 2020 Toyota Corolla, a very popular vehicle with great resale value, is one example of this. Around 12,000 Corollas were stolen in 2020, pushing it right up the auto theft rankings.
7. GMC sierra
Old pickups can be a popular target for thieves and the 2005 GMC Sierra, which doesn’t have the strongest security system, is another model up there in the most stolen vehicles.
6. nissan altima
The Nissan Altima is popular with drivers and a lot of them get stolen. Some people have pointed out that the keyless ignition could be a weakness. If you get into the habit of leaving the keyfob in the car, it makes it an easy target for thieves. Be warned!
5. toyota camry
Nearly 17,000 Toyota Camrys were stolen last year. It’s a popular hybrid with a good resale value, so, you know, it’s got appeal. Like the Toyota Corolla, it was a newer model, from 2019, that was targeted the most.
4. honda accord
Ah, the Honda Accord. It’s a super popular car in the US, but security on older models is pretty light. According to the NCIB, more than 30,000 were stolen in 2020, and the 1997 model was stolen the most.
3. honda civic
Another Honda…it’s a compliment though right? Around 35,000 Civics were stolen in 2020, with thieves targeting the 2000 model the most. Fun fact: Along with the Nissan Altima and Honda Accord, the Honda Civic is actually one of the most popular cars that Peddle buys.
2. chevrolet silverado
There’s a lot to love about the Chevrolet Silverado. The space! The engine! And, if you take care of it, it could last you a lifetime. No wonder thieves have a thing for it too. Over 40,000 Silverados were stolen in 2020 with the 2004 model taking the most hits.
1. ford F-150
In number one place, taking the prize for America’s most stolen car, is the Ford F-150. This full-size pickup is a heavy-duty classic and the 2006 edition is the most targeted model. It’s reliable, spacious, and well known for its top-notch towing capabilities. Drivers love it, thieves love it too. According to the NCIB, 44,000 were stolen in 2020.
The stats don’t lie: Older cars are top of the list for car thieves. And with one car stolen every 36 seconds in 2020, auto theft remains a big concern for drivers across the country.
If it's time to upgrade your vehicle to a model with a better security system (or if you want to cash in an old car that’s collecting dust), give us a shout. Peddle will arrange for someone to safely pick up your car in no time—and hand you a check on the spot.
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