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Hondas, plus Ford and Chevy pickups are the favorite vehicles of thieves

Drive a used Honda Accord or Civic instead of a new one? Congrats, your old car is more likely to be stolen than the newest model.

The nonprofit fraud investigation organization National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) found that used vehicles are stolen more than new vehicles, with nine of the top 10 most-taken vehicles of 2016 coming from non-current model years. The Civic tops the list of all cars with over 50,427 thefts of the vehicle in various model years, while the Accord was second with 49,547.

But it’s not all bad for new car owners, as technology like smart keys — which prevents users without a proper key from starting the car — are helping stop thefts. Only 493 2016 Accords were stolen, suggesting the tech is starting to help.

“While thefts are down dramatically since their all-time high in 1992, thousands of vehicles continue to be stolen each year because owners leave their keys or fobs in the vehicles and that invites theft,” the NICB report says.

Watch the old ones

Don’t relax just yet because you don’t drive a Honda or a Ford pickup. Here’s what the top 10 looks like:

  • Honda Accord: Total models stolen: 50,427 | Most stolen model year: 1997 (7,527)
  • Honda Civic: Total models stolen: 49,547 | Most stolen model year: 1998 (7,578)
  • Ford Full Size Pickup: Total models stolen: 32,721 | Most stolen model year: 2006 (2,986)
  • Chevrolet Full Size Pickup: Total models stolen: 31,238 | Most stolen model year: 2004 (2,107)
  • Toyota Camry: Total models stolen: 16,732 | Most stolen model year: 2016 (1,113)
  • Nissan Altima: Total models stolen: 12,221 | Most stolen model year: 2015 (1,673)
  • Dodge Full Size Pickup: Total models stolen: 12,128 | Most stolen model year: 2001 (1,288)
  • Toyota Corolla: Total models stolen: 11,989 | Most stolen model year: 2015 (1,070)
  • Chevrolet Impala:  Total models stolen: 9,475 | Most stolen model year: 2008 (1,013)
  • Jeep Cherokee/ Grand Cherokee: Total models stolen: 9,245 | Most stolen model year: 2000 (898)

Compared to the last time the study was done in 2015, the Dodge Caravan fell out of the top 10 while the Jeep Cherokee got in. The Impala and Altima went up in the rankings, while the Corolla and Dodge Pickup fell. The top five cars remained the same from year to year.

States that steal

Having an old car isn’t the only risk. You’re better off in some places than others in America, and the study found the most and least dangerous states for theft…

  • California led the way once again, clocking in as the only state with two vehicles that have been stolen over 20,000 times (both Hondas). Every other car on their top 10 was stolen at least 1,000 times.
  • Texas had the second most cars stolen at least 1,000 times, with nine of their top 10 reaching that mark.
  • Vermont had the lowest number of thefts of all states, with their top two most stolen vehicles barely reaching double digits at 10 each. Vermont was the safest state for thefts in 2015, too.
  • Delaware, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Wyoming were the only other states without a top 10 car reaching 100 thefts or higher.

How can you prevent theft?

The NICB says there are some steps you can take to limit the chances your car will be jacked:

  • For one, use common sense when parking your car for extended periods, such as staying in a well-lit area and closing all your windows before you leave. Don’t leave your keys or fob in the car, otherwise, you’re letting the thief win half the battle.
  • Make sure your car has some type of warning device that works and can be heard easily. It helps if you can hear someone trying to break into your car.
  • If your vehicle has a kill switch or a smart key that can stop it after a thief has tried to get away, know how it works and be prepared in case you need to use it.
  • Many new cars use some type of built-in GPS device that can track it in case of emergency. Knowing how to track your vehicle can make a difference in the moments after a theft.

Make sure you have insurance that provides theft coverage. Remember, your insurance cost may not be lower just because your car has safety features.

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Meet the Author

Ryan Lynch

Ryan Lynch


Lynch is a freelance writer for

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