top of page
  • Writer's picturejoseph retcho

Auto Theft on the Rise



stealing car

Did you know that over a million cars were stolen in the U.S. in 2023? That's a lot of missing vehicles! And it's not just a one-time thing - auto theft has been on the rise since 2019. Experts say that one of the main reasons for this increase is because of technology.


How often do cars get stolen?

Car theft is becoming more and more common in the U.S. In 2023, over a million cars were stolen, compared to around 800,000 in 2019. That's a big jump in just a few years!

According to the FBI, in 2022, there were about 283 car thefts for every 100,000 people in the U.S. And get this:

  • Almost half of the people who had their cars stolen were between 20 and 39 years old.

  • 12 percent of the people who stole cars were teenagers.

  • Only about a quarter of car thefts were done by someone the victim knew.

  • Most cars were stolen from homes, followed by streets and parking lots.

So, if you're a young driver and you park your car outside of a garage, you might be at a higher risk of having your car stolen.


Where are the Most Cars Stolen?

The places with the most car thefts per 100,000 people were the District of Columbia, Colorado, and Nevada. The top cities where cars were stolen the most were Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago. Even though California, Texas, and Florida had the most cars stolen in 2023 because of their high populations, their theft rates didn't increase much from 2022 to 2023.


Car theft statistics by state

States in the Western part of the United States, as well as Washington, D.C., have been identified as key areas for motor vehicle theft. This means that if you live in these areas, you might want to take extra precautions to protect your car from being stolen.


On the other hand, states in New England like Maine and New Hampshire have some of the lowest rates of auto theft in the country. So if you live in these states, you can breathe a little easier knowing that your car is less likely to be stolen compared to other parts of the country. Below are 2023 statistics of car theft according to NICB.


Top 10 States by Volume

#

State

2023 Theft

1

California

208,668

2

Texas

115,013

3

Florida

46,213

4

Washington

43,160

5

Illinois

41,528

6

Colorado

34,068

7

New York

32,715

8

Ohio

31,647

9

Georgia

28,171

10

Missouri

27,279

Top 10 Theft Rate by State.

#

State

2023 Thefts Per 100,000 People

1

District of Columbia

1,149.71

2

Colorado

583.25

3

Nevada

572.7

4

Washington

554.44

5

California

534.49

6

New Mexico

489.67

7

Missouri

441.61

8

Maryland

427.99

9

Oregon

394.14

10

Texas

383

Used Cars Are More Likely to Be Stolen

Used cars are also more likely to be stolen than new cars, according to NICB’s research. With the exception of the Toyota Camry, the most-stolen model year for the top 10 models was at least five model years old.


Stealing Hyundai and Kia vehicles was more than a crime trend in 2023. It was also a social media trend, driven by a notable crack in the makes’ technological armor. While most cars manufactured in the 2010s included immobilizers — passive security systems that require a programmed key fob to match the car’s security system before the vehicle can be turned on — Hyundai and Kia didn’t include these devices in many of their cars manufactured between 2011 and 2022.


Only 26 percent of Hyundai and Kia vehicles from the 2015 model year came with immobilizers, compared to 96 percent of cars from other manufacturers. TikTok users discovered this technological security oversight and sparked an explosive auto theft fad, leading theft claims for Kia and Hyundai users to increase dramatically in 2022 and 2023. In 2022, insurance claim frequency for Hyundai and Kia users was 364 percent higher than the claim frequency for all others makes; in the first six months of 2023, it jumped to 681 percent. Model years from 2011 to 2021 saw the most severe increases.


Colorado and Wisconsin were among the first states to see a spike in Hyundai and Kia thefts, according to HLDI. In 2023, Maryland’s rising auto theft rates were driven in large part by Hyundai and Kia thefts, leading the city of Baltimore to file a lawsuit against both automakers in May 2023.


Does car insurance cover theft?

Your car insurance handles theft and loss in a few different ways.

So, if someone steals your car, your insurance can help cover the cost of getting it back or fixing any damage done during the theft. But here's the catch - this only applies if you have comprehensive coverage on your policy. If you don't have this type of coverage, you're out of luck when it comes to filing a theft claim with your insurance company.


What does comprehensive coverage actually cover?

Comprehensive coverage takes care of the vehicle itself, like repairs for broken windows, locks, ignition, or even replacement. But it doesn't cover the stuff you had inside your car when it was stolen. That's where homeowners or renters insurance comes in handy. If you have either of these, your personal belongings might be covered through that policy instead. So, when you report your losses, you might need to file claims with both your car insurance and home insurance companies.


How does vehicle theft affect your insurance rates?

Car insurance companies look at a lot of different things when deciding how much to charge you for coverage. One of those things is how likely your car is to be stolen. If you drive a car that's a popular target for thieves, you'll probably end up paying more for insurance. For example, some insurers won't even give policies to Kia or Hyundai drivers with certain models from 2011 to 2021 because those cars are stolen so often.


Protect Your Ride: Tips to Stop Car Thieves

Car thieves are getting smarter these days, using high-tech tricks to break into vehicles. They can hack keyless entry systems, reprogram software, and even use VIN codes to steal cars. It's like a game of cat and mouse, with thieves always finding new ways to get in.


  • Smart parking - One of the best ways to keep your car safe is by parking it in a locked garage at home. But when you're out and about, make sure to lock your car, park in well-lit areas.

  • Keep your seats clear - Thieves are more likely to target your car if they see valuables inside. So, make sure to keep your seats free of any items that might look valuable, like blankets or coats.

  • Invest in locks - Consider buying extra locks for your steering wheel, hood, or wheels. These can make it harder for thieves to steal your car when you're not around.

  • Add a GPS tracker - While a GPS tracker won't stop a thief from taking your car, it can help you find it quickly if it does get stolen. It's like having a secret weapon to track down your ride.

0 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page