The good news: Car thefts continue to drop. The National Insurance Crime Bureau reports in its annual Hot Wheels report that the number of stolen vehicles reached its lowest since 1967. The bad news: That's still a car stolen every 45 seconds - and the vast majority of them are older models that are easier to steal and whose owners may not be covered by comprehensive car insurance. Looking at preliminary data for 2013, the FBI predicts a reduction in national vehicle thefts of 3.2 percent from 2012, to fewer than 700,000. Compare that with 1991, the peak year: 1,661,738. The top 10 most stolen vehicles in 2013, according to the NICB:
- Honda Accord (53,995)
- Honda Civic (45,001)
- Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size) (27,809)
- Ford Pickup (Full Size) (26,494)
- Toyota Camry (14,420)
- Dodge Pickup (Full Size) (11,347)
- Dodge Caravan (10,911)
- Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee (9,272)
- Toyota Corolla (9,010)
- Nissan Altima (8,892)
1. SilverIf you are unfortunate enough to own a silver mid-1990s Accord and live in one of the NICB's 2013 car-theft hotspots (basically, California), think really hard about adding comprehensive coverage, or rethink dropping it, if you can't afford to replace your car. It's typically much cheaper than liability or collision coverage. And take these NICB-suggested steps:
- Lock your car and take your keys.
- Have and use a visible or audible warning device.
- Install an immobilizing device - that is, a “kill switch,” or fuel cutoff that keeps a car from starting. If it can't be started, it can't be stolen … easily.
- Install a tracking device that emits a signal to the police or to a monitoring station when the vehicle is stolen.