The most stolen cars in the U.S.

Last updated: January 1

In the first quarter of 2022, nearly a quarter million vehicle thefts were reported, according to theNational Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). Find out which cars are most commonly stolen, how you can avoid buying a stolen car and what you can do to help prevent your vehicle from being stolen.

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The top 10 most stolen vehicles of 2020

Each year, the NICB compiles a "Hot Wheels” report that provides information on the most stolen vehicle makes and models. Here are the 10 most stolen vehicles of 2020 by make and model year:

  1. 2006 Ford full size pick-up
  2. 2004 Chevrolet full size pick-up
  3. 2000 Honda Civic
  4. 1997 Honda Accord
  5. 2019 Toyota Camry
  6. 2020 Nissan Altima
  7. 2005 GMC full size pick-up
  8. 2020 Toyota Corolla
  9. 2000 Honda CR-V
  10. 2001 Dodge full size pick-up

Theft of all ten cars in this list were up year-over-year in 2020, with some models seeing double digit percentage increases in theft. Also, six of the top ten most stolen cars were made by Japanese car manufacturers. To see the top 10 stolen cars in your state, take a look at NICB’s list, broken down by state.

How to avoid buying a stolen car or part

The NICB warns that even if you didn't know you bought a stolen vehicle, it can be confiscated and returned to its original owner. To help avoid buying a stolen vehicle, NICB recommends that you:

  • Contact your state's motor vehicle department to check the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
  • Run a title search on the vehicle.
  • Ask your insurance company if they can inspect the vehicle before you buy.
  • Be wary of buying a car from anyone you don't know who is using a cell phone for contact, especially from online ads
  • Walk away if you don't trust the seller and something doesn’t feel right

Stolen car parts, from catalytic converters to bumpers, doors, wheels and hoods are also on the rise, says the NICB. To avoid unknowingly having stolen parts installed on your vehicle, the NICB suggests:

  • Using repair shops with Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certified technicians.
  • Getting shop recommendations from friends, family or your insurance provider.
  • Asking for a written warranty for installed parts and completed paint work.

How to prevent auto theft

Taking steps to help prevent your car from being stolen could save you a lot of time and money, particularly if you drive one of the most stolen cars or you live in an area prone to auto theft. Some basic preventive measures, such as locking your doors, installing an anti-theft system and parking in well-lit areas, can help deter thieves.

It may also be a good idea to review your auto insurance coverage, since comprehensive coverage may help if your vehicle or just certain parts of it are stolen. Knowing you've taken action to help protect your car may give you some peace of mind.