New reports from the National Insurance Crime Bureau show which vehicles are most likely to vanish from American streets. A top 10 “Hot Wheels” list from the NICB specifies the most commonly stolen vehicles by year, make and model. The organization is claiming that overall car theft rates have continued to drop in recent years, partially because of new technology that allows many car owners to recover their vehicles after a theft. None of the vehicles on the list are newer than seven years old. The data suggests that some larger vehicles, especially those from domestic auto makers, are most at risk, although the top two models belong to the Honda brand, a well-recognized target of car thieves in the United States.
The 1994 Honda Accord and 1995 Honda Civic were the two most stolen cars in America in 2010, followed by the 1991 Toyota Camry. The next two models were pickup trucks, and both of them are from domestic auto makers: the 1999 Chevrolet full-size pickup and the 1997 Ford F-150 both figured on the list of top choices for crooks or joyriders. The 2004 Dodge Ram, the newest model, followed. Thieves also had their eyes on the 2000 Dodge Caravan and the 1994 Acura Integra, as well as the 2002 Ford Explorer and 1999 Ford Taurus. Analysts point out that this is the first time since 2002 that domestic brands overshadowed foreign ones in the top 10 list.
If you are the proud owner of any one of these most stolen vehicles, or are looking for newer rides at your local dealer’s lot, it’s important to take common sense steps to protect your investment from thieves. The NICB recommends locking your doors, as well as installing warning devices, engine immobilizers, or tracking devices like LoJack. But for some owners, this kind of technology doesn’t figure into the overall total cost of ownership that they’re anticipating.
One strategy for including security in your vehicle purchase is to lower costs elsewhere. If you are planning to finance more than you pay in cash at the lot, think about how you can use competitive interest rates, low fee offers, special deals to cut down the amount of debt you will owe on your vehicle. With the leftover money, you can afford those extras for making sure that your vehicle is safe in the garage or driveway, or on the street.