BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- Thieves steal a car in America every 43.7 seconds on average, but here's a look at five models you can buy that the bad guys rarely bother with.
"These vehicles are less vulnerable," says Matt Moore of the Highway Loss Data Institute, which recently released its latest annual list of cars that crooks target the most and least frequently.
The list covers claims filed last year for stolen cars, parts taken off of vehicles (typically expensive items such as airbag systems) or personal property taken from inside a cabin.
Ironically, the HLDI -- a research consortium funded by the insurance industry -- found that upscale models make up many of the vehicles with the lowest theft-claim rates.Moore speculates as to why: "Luxury vehicles are probably more likely to be kept in a
Claims rate: Claims rate: 0.408 for every 1,000 vehicle years Moore thinks thieves take a pass on the Matrix primarily because the Toyota (TM - Get Report) is popular with suburban moms who have garages, making it harder for crooks to notice the car and/or steal it. Besides, the Matrix is a small, station-wagon-like hatchback that Moore figures few self-respecting car thieves want. "When I think about the kind of vehicles that get stolen a lot, station wagons aren't it," he says. All told, the Matrix's theft rate of 0.408 claims for every 1,000 vehicle years is 66% below the U.S. average for all cars of 1.2 reported incidents per 1,000 vehicle years. So thefts boost Matrix owners' insurance bills by only around $3 a year vs. about $8 for the typical U.S. car. Alas, paying customers apparently haven't thought that much of the Matrix, either. Toyota has discontinued to model for 2014 amid lackluster sales, although used versions (and possibly some unsold 2013s) are still available.