In its annual “Hot Wheels” report, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) lists 2020’s top 10 most stolen cars in America. Aside from seeing a dramatic increase in the number of thefts from 2019, the Ford full-size pickup truck was the top stolen vehicle in the U.S. for the second year in a row. It was followed by the Chevrolet full-size pickup in second place, overtaking the Honda Civic’s 2019 spot and making it the third most stolen car in America in 2020.
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The Most Stolen Cars by State
Vehicle theft can occur anywhere, but some places are more at-risk than others. For instance, California has the most number of vehicle thefts in 2020 at 168,323, where the top 10 most stolen cars take up 41.23% (69,407) of the total number.
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In contrast, Vermont has the least number of vehicle thefts at 264, but the top 10 most stolen vehicles in the state consist of more than half (63.64%) of the overall number.
Regardless of where you live or what you drive, keeping an eye on your vehicle and taking the proper measures to avoid theft is essential. Find out what the top stolen car is in your state by clicking or tapping the states on the interactive map found here.
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America’s Top 10 Stolen Cars
Thieves like certain vehicle models for a number of reasons, such as being easy to steal or having parts that are popular to sell. Owner complacency can also play a big role in vehicle theft, especially if key fobs are left in the car or if you leave your vehicle running in a parking lot or your driveway. Being aware of which car models are most often stolen can help you determine if you should take extra safety precautions with your vehicle.
The following are the top 10 most stolen cars in America.
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10. Dodge Full-Size Pickup
- Number of thefts: 11,991
- Model most stolen: 2001
- Model base price: $21,150
The 2001 Dodge Ram is a reliable and tough car — perfect for any need. This may be why in 2020, there were 11,991 of them stolen. This is 699 more than in 2019, which ranked eighth at the time. This late model truck may be a popular theft choice because of its lack of high-tech anti-theft devices.
Image Credit: Dodge.
9. Honda CR-V
- Number of thefts: 12,309
- Model most stolen: 2000
- Model base price: $18,650
In terms of size and demeanor, the CR-V resembles your typical sedan, while still maintaining many features buyers want in an SUV. Beyond that, the CR-V is a family-friendly SUV that comes with front and four-wheel drive, which explains its popularity in many states regardless of the climate. This may be why such a classic car has been stolen over 12,309 times in 2020, which is 2,215 or 22% more than in 2019.
Image Credit: Honda.
8. Toyota Corolla
- Number of thefts: 12,515
- Model most stolen: 2020
- Model base price: $19,600
The 2020 Toyota Corolla is a five-seat, four-door compact sedan that comes with several luxuries and outstanding safety tech. Unfortunately, not enough. In 2020, 12,515 units of this model were stolen, a small increase from 2019, where 12,137 units of the 2018 model were stolen, ranking seventh for the year. Compared to older models, the 2020 Toyota Corolla has a crisper style, a classier interior and touchscreen dashboard with Apple and Amazon integration, which may be why this model is popular amongst thieves.
Image Credit: Toyota.
7. GMC Full-Size Pickup
- Number of thefts: 13,016
- Model most stolen: 2005
- Model base price: $18,190
The GMC Sierra is another pickup on the list, with 13,016 units stolen in 2020 — up by 16.6% from 2019 for the 2018 model. With front and all-wheel drive options, this quiet pickup truck is a reliable option given its price range. As the third most stolen pickup truck and the seventh most stolen vehicle, GMC full-size pickup owners may want to invest in alarm systems, as older models lack the necessary technology to help prevent theft.
Image Credit: GMC.
6. Nissan Altima
- Number of thefts: 14,668
- Model most stolen: 2020
- Model base price: $24,300
The Nissan Altima is a five-seat, mid-size sedan that offers front and all-wheel drive, one of the few of its kind. With a sleek exterior and several tech integrations, it’s no wonder thieves target this modern model. There were 14,668 units stolen in 2020, 9.8% or 1,313 higher than in 2019 for the 2015 model. Despite having multiple safety features, its keyless ignition may lead owners to be complacent and leave their key fobs in the car, which can lead to theft.
Image Credit: Nissan.
5. Toyota Camry
- Number of thefts: 16,915
- Model most stolen: 2019
- Model base price: $24,095
The Toyota Camry has long been a popular mid-size sedan known for its reliability and great resale value. This may be why it’s so popular amongst thieves. The 2019 model boasts a fuel-efficient engine and a hybrid version, which can be appealing for eco-friendly drivers. Such features may be why 16,915 units were stolen in 2020, up by 8% from 2019 for the 2007 model.
Image Credit: Toyota.
4. Honda Accord
- Number of thefts: 30,814
- Model most stolen: 1997
- Model base price: $15,100
The Honda Accord is a popular model across the U.S. known for its high resale value and part-reliability. However, with it being an old model, security is limited. In 2020 alone, 30,814 models were stolen — just 69 or 0.2% higher than in 2019. A slim jim is all a thief may need to get in, which could be a good reason for current 1997 Honda Accord owners to upgrade their security.
Image Credit: Honda.
3. Honda Civic
- Number of thefts: 34,144
- Model most stolen: 2000
- Model base price: $10,750
The 2000 Honda Civic is known for being a compact sedan with a lot of power, making it a popular option amongst drivers and thieves. In 2020, 34,144 units of the 2000 Honda Civic were stolen, higher by 2.8% compared to 2019 for the same model. This may also be because the Honda Civic shares parts across other Honda models, making it ideal for thieves to strip parts to sell.
Image Credit: Honda.
2. Chevrolet Full-Size Pickup
- Number of thefts: 40,968
- Model most stolen: 2004
- Model base price: $19,545
The 2004 Chevrolet Silverado is both the second most stolen pickup and the second most stolen car in America in 2020, with 40,968 units stolen. This is up a whopping 25.7% from 2019. With an expansive interior space, stellar performance and great overall value, it’s no wonder this pickup is a favorite for many consumers and thieves alike.
Image Credit: Chevrolet.
1. Ford Full-Size Pickup
- Number of thefts: 44,014
- Model most stolen: 2006
- Model base price: $18,930
Topping the list of the most stolen cars in America in 2020 is the 2006 Ford F-150. This is the second year the pickup has topped the listing, with over 44,014 units stolen in 2020, 13% higher than in 2019. Pickup trucks are clearly a favorite amongst thieves, especially given their power, reliability and versatility. The F-150 in particular, however, may be the most popular option given how it boasts a great hauling capacity, a spacious interior and a powerful engine.
Image Credit: Ford Motor Company.
5 Car Security Tips to Prevent Car Theft
Next to a home, one of the largest investments many people will ever make is a car. With around 873,080 car thefts in 2020 — up by 9.2% from 2019 — knowing how to keep your car safe is a must. Make sure you protect your investment by following the tips below:
- Practice protecting your car. The simplest thing you can do to keep your car safe is to practice common safety habits, such as keeping your car doors and windows locked when you’re in and out of the vehicle.
- Be mindful of your keys. Losing your keys or leaving them in your car is an open invitation for any thief to take your vehicle. Keep a close eye on them and make sure they’re on your person or near you at all times, even if you’re at home. Consider getting alarms for your keys in order to keep track of their whereabouts on your phone.
- Install safety devices. While practicing good car safety habits is always advisable, you can go the extra mile and install safety devices. You can get vehicle immobilizers, steering wheel locks, GPS tracking devices and more to curb car theft.
- Park in secure areas. While you cannot always control where you can park, you can be selective about where you leave your car. Aim for well-lit areas and places with CCTV cameras or opt for a parking lot that has security.
- Protect your wheels. If a thief can’t steal your car, they can try to steal your wheels instead. If you intend to not use your vehicle for a period of time, it’s a good idea to get lug nut locks or wheel clamps to protect it.
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What You Need to Do if Your Car Was Stolen
Having your car stolen can be an overwhelming situation, but knowing what to do immediately after can help make the process of recovery easier. Ideally, you need to report your car as stolen to the authorities and your insurer as soon as possible; the later you report it, the lower your chances of recovering your vehicle.
If you ever happen to be in the unfortunate situation of having your car stolen, maintain a logical, level-head and follow the steps below.
- Call the police and file an auto theft report: Once you’ve realized your vehicle has been stolen, contact law enforcement immediately and inform them of the vehicle details, such as the color, license plate, make and model year and any distinct features it may have.
- Call your insurer: Contact your auto insurance provider and inform them of the theft. Even if you don’t have a comprehensive policy, notifying them can ensure you’re protected if your stolen vehicle causes property damage or injuries. Depending on your insurer, you may have to report the claim online or by phone. Make sure to have all the necessary details on hand to expedite the process.
- Call your leasing or financing company: If your car is being financed or leased, contact them with details of the theft. Have them contact your insurance company directly so that your insurer can pay for the claims.
- Inform the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV): Notifying the DMV of the stolen vehicle is essential as they have a database of stolen vehicles — this is useful in case the thief tries to register it.
- Check the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s (NICB) VINCheck: If the NICB or any of its partner agencies and companies find your stolen vehicle, it will be reported on VINCheck. Use your vehicle’s identification number (VIN) to look up your car on this tool regularly in case it gets recovered.
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5 Steps to Claim Insurance After Car Theft
You may be covered for theft by your auto insurance policy depending on the circumstances and the type of auto insurance you have. Typically, the best auto insurance policy includes comprehensive coverage, which will cover theft and repair expenses associated with break-in damage.
If your auto insurance policy covers theft, keep the following steps in mind in case you need to file a claim:
- File an auto theft report: Most insurance companies require a police report if you want to file an auto theft claim. Contact the police to report the stolen vehicle so they can document everything necessary.
- Note the details: Prior to contacting your insurance provider, make sure you have the necessary information ready, such as your Certificate of Title, location of all keys to the vehicle, names and information of those who have access to the vehicle, an accurate description of your vehicle and any personal property stolen from your vehicle.
- Contact your insurer: You can report the theft online or via phone by contacting your insurance agent. Make sure to contact them as soon as possible and give them all the information you have compiled.
- Contact your leasing company: If you’re leasing or financing your vehicle, contact your company and let them know to discuss the case directly with your insurer.
- Inform authorities if your vehicle is recovered: In case your vehicle gets recovered, remember to inform the police and your insurance provider immediately.
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Car Theft FAQs
Vehicle theft can be an extremely stressful experience, which is why being aware of vehicle theft statistics can help you protect your ride. In order to promote safer driving and car practices, below are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about car theft.
Does car insurance cover theft?
Most comprehensive auto insurance policies cover car theft, but liability-only policies only provide minimum coverage and do not cover car theft. Keep in mind that home insurance policies do not cover your vehicle, which means that even if it gets stolen on your property, only your comprehensive auto insurance will cover you.
What is the reason most cars are stolen?
The reason why cars get stolen can vary greatly and thieves may have different reasons. For instance, older models are easier to steal, and some individuals may leave their keys in the car. This makes it easy and inviting for a thief.
Some people may also leave valuables in the car, such as a purse, wallet or electronic device, which can attract unwanted interest and encourage a thief to break-in.
How frequent is car theft in the U.S.?
In 2020 alone, there were 873,080 vehicle thefts — that’s around 2,385 vehicles stolen per day. This is a 9.2% increase compared to 2019, which had 799,644 thefts.
Which is the hardest car to steal and why?
Given the number of new technologies being put into cars these days, there are a lot of cars that are harder to steal. For example, Tesla models and other luxury brands, such as Jaguar or Lexus, have anti-theft technologies that make it difficult to steal without the owner or even the brand knowing about it.
What is the most stolen car in America 2020?
The 2006 Ford F-150 was the most stolen car in America in 2020, with over 44,014 units stolen.
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