A vehicle was stolen an average of every 32 seconds in the United States in 2022, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). These thefts cost drivers thousands of dollars and also cause insurance premiums to rise.
In 2022, more than 1 million vehicles were stolen, a 7% increase in cars from the previous year, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). The total estimated dollar loss related to motor vehicle theft for the year was $8.9 billion.
California and Texas had the most reported stolen vehicles in 2022. Illinois had the most significant theft increase, estimated at 35%. In Washington state, vehicle thefts increased by 31%.
The NICB reported the Top 10 Most Stolen Vehicles nationally were:
- Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)
- Ford Pickup (Full Size)
- Honda Civic
- Honda Accord
- Hyundai Sonata
- Hyundai Elantra
- Kia Optima
- Toyota Camry
- GMC Pickup (Full Size)
- Honda CR-V
There is also a surge in catalytic converter thefts, with an estimated 64,000 thefts reported in 2022, according to the NCIB. Due to metals like rhodium, palladium, and platinum, thieves will take catalytic converters and turn them into recycling facilities for money. California, Texas, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Washington are the top five states with the highest catalytic converter theft.
“While a catalytic converter can be removed in just a few minutes, for vehicle owners, the cost is much more than the replacement parts,” said David J. Glawe, President and CEO of NICB. “Victims must find alternate transportation, schedule necessary repairs, and may face loss of work as a result.”
There are a number of ways you can try to prevent motor vehicle theft. The NHTSA has some recommendations:
- Park in well-lit areas
- Close all windows and lock your vehicle every time you walk away
- Do not leave your keys/fob in your vehicle
- Do not leave the area while your vehicle is running
- Never leave valuables inside your vehicle – especially where they can be seen
- Install a catalytic converter anti-theft device
Adding layers of protection like immobilizing devices can also help prevent thieves from hot-wiring your vehicle. The NICB recommends smart keys, fuse cut-offs, fuel pump disablers and wireless ignition authentication.
If you DO fall victim to vehicle theft, contact police immediately to file a stolen-vehicle report. You will need this police report to file an auto claim with MAPFRE Insurance. If you have comprehensive coverage on your auto insurance policy, you may be covered for the theft but your agent will discuss your specific coverage options with you.