The Top 10 Most Stolen Cars list always garners a lot of attention when the National Insurance Crime Bureau distributes it, but the list of least stolen cars published by the Highway Loss Data Institute receives a lot less coverage. Maybe it’s because it’s not by its nature a crime story. After all, how sexy is it to say, “Car not stolen. No film at 11”?
The list of Top 10 least stolen cars is just as important because it points to used cars with good security systems in most cases. Just as with the Top 10 List of Most Stolen Used Cars, there are things you can learn from reading the list of cars. The most important thing to take away is it is not how valuable your used car is. The likelihood of it being stolen is reduced if you have a good theft system in place. Not a good alarm, per se, but a theft system that immobilizes your vehicle if somebody tries to steal it.
Here’s the top 10 cars that thieves reject:
• Audi A6 all-wheel-drive, large luxury car
• Mercury Mariner (2009-10) small SUV
• Chevrolet Equinox (2010) midsize SUV
• Volkswagen CC (2009-10), midsize car
• Chevrolet Equinox four-wheel-drive (2010) midsize SUV
• Lexus RX 350 (2010) midsize luxury SUV
• Saturn Vue midsize SUV
• Chevrolet Aveo (2009-10) mini station wagon
• BMW 5 Series all-wheel-drive large luxury car
• Mini Cooper Clubman two-door car
The list of least stolen used cars is also informative because it includes some cars that are just duds, but, duds aren’t always bad things. They can be bought for less money if you are just looking for basic transportation from Point A to Point B. Case in point would be the Chevrolet Aveo, a truly uninspired car if ever there was one. However, it’s going to keep you dry when it’s raining out and it beats having to queue up at the bus stop. Is a Chevy Aveo going to make your heart go pitter-patter? Nope but it’s also not going to garner a second glance from a car thief, either.
As mentioned, higher prices don’t always mean higher attention. The Audi A6, Lexus RX 350, and BMW 5 series are all expensive cars with the A6 and 5 series being performance sedans. Yet, somehow, thieves give them little attention and instead focus on vehicles like the Cadillac Escalade. The list also points out the stupidity of car thieves. The Chevrolet Equinox is an outstanding SUV that thieves should be dying to get their hands on but there’s no accounting for taste.
Curious how all of this is determined? The Highway Loss Data Institute’s theft numbers differ from reports by other organizations because they are based on the number of insured vehicles on the road. In contrast, information published by the National Insurance Crime Bureau simply lists the most frequently stolen vehicles. As a result, the list usually reflects the most commonly driven vehicles, not how likely a vehicle is to be targeted.
According to the Highway Loss Data Institute, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is required by law to report theft data, but light-duty trucks with gross weight ratings of more than 6,000 pounds – a category that includes the Cadillac Escalade for example – are excluded. The agency looks at thefts in a single calendar year of vehicles from that model year. It measures exposure by the number of vehicles produced.
HLDI’s data come from insurers representing about 80 percent of the market for privately insured vehicles. The data does not include information on thefts of vehicles that aren’t insured or are insured by non-reporting companies. They also don’t distinguish among thefts of entire vehicles, vehicle parts, and vehicle contents. HLDI is an affiliate of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
By the way, keep this in mind: even the least-stolen used cars get stolen. They are not invincible. You still need to lock your doors and take your keys with you every time you park your vehicle. After all, a lot of stolen cars are crimes of opportunity and not well-planned heists like you might see in “Gone in 60 Seconds.”