Is a Cheaper Car Less Likely to Get Stolen?

Nobody wants to have their brand-new and expensive get car stolen, and a common tactic that some folks try is that they’ll buy a cheap car. The idea is that thieves are less likely to target a cheaper car as they could score more money by stealing a more expensive vehicle, providing drivers with an additional car safety measure. With that being said, this is a complicated topic, and it depends on how you look at it. 

A lot of cheap cars, a lot of stolen cheap cars

A car thief in a blue baseball cap breaking into a vehicle for a police demonstration
A car thief breaking into a vehicle | Paul Faith – PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images

The vehicles that are stolen the most in America are Honda sedans and SUVs. These aren’t expensive Hondas either. In fact, they’re relatively affordable within the market. This trend also isn’t exclusive to Honda. In fact, according to Insurify, sedans get stolen a lot in America. Five out of the 10 most stolen cars in America are all sedans, including the Toyota Camry, the Toyota Corolla, and the Nissan Altima.

The Honda Civic and the Honda Accord take first and second place, respectively. About 38,000 Civics get stolen in America every year, while about 36,000 Accords get stolen. That being said, as some folks might’ve noticed, these cars are also very popular. So, when considering how many of these models are sold and owned nationwide, it’s a bit less grim.

For example, Insurify said that about 17,000 Camrys get stolen every year. This equals about two thefts per 1,000 Camrys. For comparison, there are about 11,700 thefts of a GMC pickup every year. This is equal to about six thefts per 1,000 GMC pickup trucks.

Expensive cars aren’t safe

This shows that even big, expensive trucks like the Ford F-150 or the Chevy Silverado aren’t safe from thieves. Indeed, as ValuePenguin wrote, trucks are more popular in southern U.S. states, and as such, many thieves will target trucks there. Due to that, the average value of a stolen car in the South is much higher than elsewhere in the country. 

The average stolen car in the South is worth about $10,000, while the average stolen vehicle in the Midwest is worth just under $7,000. This shows that, despite any security systems that a brand-new car might have, thieves are willing to try. Additionally, due to how many trucks get stolen every year, it’s clear that many thieves succeed, too. 

That being said, it’s always going to be a game of cat and mouse. Teslas are expensive cars, and they have a lot of security features that an older car won’t have. Many consider Teslas to be safe from thieves, but thieves have found ways to steal Teslas. Still, that doesn’t mean that drivers and car owners are helpless against thieves. 

What can be done about this

Ultimately, a car is a car, and thieves will steal cheap cars and expensive cars if they can. As such, every owner needs to be vigilant, or else they may become a victim. Furthermore, there are quite a few things that people can do. Some of these options are cheap, while others will not be. For example, simply parking in a well-lit area is an easy way to prevent car theft.

Thefts can still happen in broad daylight, of course. That said, visible security devices can do a lot of work, too. This is mostly because, while they won’t make your car invulnerable, it will encourage thieves to go for an easier target. Additionally, folks can go the Tesla route with their vehicle. There is a lot of fancy aftermarket gear that can help track or stop a stolen car. This is an expensive option, however, and it won’t be foolproof, either.

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