Do you own a 1996 Honda Accord? If so, and if it’s still in your possession, consider yourself lucky. Why? That particular make and model was the most stolen vehicle in the US last year.
If you’re wondering where this information comes from, that would be the just-released "Hot Wheels 2015" report. This annual report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) details the year’s most stolen vehicles. It includes the top 10 most stolen vehicles by state, as well as the top 10 most stolen vehicles in the US. It also highlights the 2015 makes and models thieves are most likely to snatch.
We’ll summarize all of those findings below, as well as offer some advice related to how you can keep your car, SUV, truck, or van from being stolen in 2016 and beyond.
Most Stolen Cars in the US for 2015
The information that follows comes from data submitted by law enforcement to the National Crime Information Center.
- 1996 Honda Accord
- 1998 Honda Civic
- 2006 Ford Pickup (Full Size)
- 2004 Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)
- 2014 Toyota Camry
- 2001 Dodge Pickup (Full Size)
- 2014 Toyota Corolla
- 2015 Nissan Altima
- 2002 Dodge Caravan
- 2008 Chevrolet Impala
Wondering how many times each vehicle was stolen in 2015? According to NICB’s report, just under 52,000 Honda Accords went missing, as well as nearly 50,000 Honda Civics. Also, thieves drove away with about 30,000 Ford and Chevrolet pickups each last year.
As for the other vehicles highlighted in "Hot Wheels 2015," here’s how many went missing (approximately, of course):
- Toyota Camry—15,000
- Dodge pickups—13,000
- Toyota Corollas—10,000
- Nissan Altima—10,000
- Dodge Caravan—Under 10,000
- Chevrolet Impala—Under 10,000
Compare those numbers to the "Hot Wheels 2014" report and you’ll see the makes and models are almost exactly the same. In fact, the Honda Accord and Civic also rank number one and two, respectively, on last year’s list.
Why is that? One reason is these autos are fairly common. That makes them more likely to be targeted by thieves.
Most Stolen 2015 Model Year Vehicles
As for the most stolen 2015 model year vehicles, here they are:
- Nissan Altima
- Chrysler 200
- Toyota Camry
- Toyota Corolla
- GMC Sierra
- Dodge Charger
- Hyundai Sonata
- Chevrolet Malibu
- Chevrolet Impala
- Chevrolet Cruze
As far how many of these cars, SUVs, and trucks were stolen last year, more than 1,000 of the Nissan and Chrysler models went missing. In the case of the Toyota Camry and Corolla, just over 900 and just under 800 were taken in 2015, respectively. Thieves took between 600 and 700 of the remaining vehicles on the list in that time.
What can you do to protect your vehicle from a similar fate? Keep reading for some tips that should keep your wheels safe.
Vehicle Safety Tips
What’s interesting about all of the autos on the NICB’s lists is that none of them are luxury vehicles. They’re affordable and common. Of course, that abundance likely makes them a hot target for carjackers.
Given that, if your vehicle made one of the lists above, or even if it didn’t and you just want to safeguard it against theft, follow these safety tips.
Be Aware of your Surroundings
This may seem obvious, but just being aware of where you park your car and where you place your keys is a simple and effective way to prevent theft. Specifically, try to park your vehicle in a well-lit, safe location, and never leave your keys behind.
According to Frank Scafidi, NICB’s director of public affairs, “As simple as it sounds, just locking your car and taking the keys with you is still an effective theft deterrent. Each year, thousands of vehicles are stolen because people make [it] easy—almost inviting—to thieves.”
Speaking of which, Scafidi says too many people leave their cars running when they go to make a quick purchase at a convenience store or gas station. That’s a bad idea, as thieves can get into and drive away with your vehicle within seconds.
Install Anti-Theft Devices
If you want some extra protection for your vehicle, consider investing in anti-theft technology. The NICB suggests buying immobilizing and tracking devices.
Immobilizing devices prevent a thief from starting your car. A few examples: “kill” switches, fuel cut-offs, and smart keys. As for tracking devices, Lojack and OnStar are good options that help law enforcement locate stolen vehicles.
Still, Scafidi reminds that “if a good thief, a really good thief, wants your car, they’ll get it. That’s why you want insurance.”
Update your Car Insurance Policy
The number one way to protect yourself and your auto against theft is to purchase adequate car insurance coverage. In particular, you want a comprehensive policy, as that’s what covers vehicle theft. If you feel like you don’t have the right kind of policy or enough coverage, talk with your insurer or shop around by contacting a number of insurance companies.