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Thief getting ready to steal a car on New Year's, the holiday with the highest number of cars stolen
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Your Car Will More Likely Get Stolen on New Year’s Than Any Other Holiday

The New Year’s holiday is a time for celebration, but it can also be chaotic when people fill their bellies with alcohol. As a result, car theft is very high on New Year’s. More than any other holiday, your car is most likely to get stolen on New Year’s.

You face the risk of car theft any time of the year, but the risk is even higher on the New Year’s holiday. Car thieves are on the prowl, ready to either steal your car or break into your car to steal your belongings. While enhanced security systems help to keep thieves at bay, car theft is still a significant problem. As we approach the New Year, you should be extra vigilant. This is because your car will more likely get stolen on New Year’s than any other holiday.

What holiday has the most cars stolen?

Thief getting ready to steal a car on New Year's, the holiday with the highest number of cars stolen
Thief getting ready to steal a car | Bastian Pudill via Unsplash

The holiday in which the most cars are stolen is New Year’s, as detailed by Snopes. Every year, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) releases data on incidents of car theft. Time and time again, the data shows that more cars are stolen on New Year’s than any other holiday.

The NICB’s most recent set of car theft data, released in November 2020, shows that in 2019, New Year’s topped all other holidays for car thefts, with a total of 2,320 cars stolen in the United States.

Why are so many cars stolen on the New Year’s holiday? Alcohol is likely a huge factor. In 2017, NBC4 Washington quoted Frank Scafidi, an expert at the NICB. He spoke very bluntly in blaming alcohol for the high number of car thefts on New Year’s:

“People get drunk on New Year’s and that makes many otherwise ordinary, responsible adults act like mindless morons and do things they might not do when sober.”

– Frank Scafidi, NICB expert

What holiday has the least cars stolen?

In a recent tweet, the NICB listed the holidays with the least number of cars stolen. The data shows that your car is the safest from the prying hands of thieves on Christmas. In 2019, “only” 1,580 cars were stolen on Christmas. The holiday with the 2nd lowest number of car thefts is Thanksgiving (1,683), followed by Independence Day (1,995), Christmas Eve (2,011), and Memorial Day (2,162). 

Why are so few cars stolen on Christmas? While one can only speculate, we can subjectively say that, as a whole, people tend to be “nicer” and more generous on Christmas. Instead of stealing cars on Christmas, perhaps thieves opt to be the best versions of themselves.

Car theft is increasing

Not only is your car more likely to get stolen on New Year’s than any other holiday, but it also faces a greater risk of car theft than in previous years. This is because car theft is on the rise. In another analysis, the NICB stated that “car thefts dramatically increased in 2020 over 2019.” In 2019, there were 799,644 auto thefts, but in 2019, there were 873,080 thefts. That’s a 9.2% increase, with 73,000 more auto thefts in 2020, compared to 2019.

Ward off car theft: Tips to prevent your car from getting stolen


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With car thefts on the rise and a higher risk of your car getting stolen on the New Year’s holiday, it’s important to take necessary precautions. Here are four tips to prevent your car from getting stolen, as detailed by the NICB:

  • Common sense: Be sure to remove your keys from the car, lock the doors, and close the windows. If you park your car outside, try to park it in an area with plenty of lighting. 
  • Warning devices: If your car doesn’t already have a factory-installed warning device, get one. Warning devices include both visible devices and audible alarms. Examples of visible devices include brake locks, steering wheel locks, and column collars. 
  • Immobilizing devices: A common tactic for car thieves is “bypassing the ignition and hot-wiring a vehicle.” An immobilizing device prevents this. Examples include smart keys, fuse cut-offs, wireless ignition authentication, kill switches, and ignition, starter, and fuel pump disablers. 
  • Tracking devices: If a thief manages to steal your car, a tracking device is a useful aid for enabling authorities to recover it. Tracking devices work by utilizing wireless and GPS technologies. If your car moves, the tracking device alerts you, and then you can track your car on a computer or a smartphone. 

Keep car thieves at bay on the New Year’s holiday and throughout the year. Follow these tips to prevent your car from getting stolen.