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Old Cars: Popular Targets of Theft

Old Cars: Popular Targets of Theft

It's easy to think that thieves go after those bright, flashy, and expensive cars like BMWs, Mercedes, and sports cars of any make and model. You might even think your old beat-up car is immune to theft.

But in reality, your old car that is worth only a few thousand dollars is much more likely to be stolen than your neighbor's new, expensive model. This guide will help you understand why older cars are stolen more often and show you ways to protect yourself from theft.

The Appeal of Older Cars

To car thieves, newer cars can be more trouble than they're worth (or practically impossible to steal) because they generally have more advanced security components. Also, some cars have “smart key systems” that make it so they simply won't start without the right ignition key.

Since older cars did not come standard with the same level of security, it can be much easier for thieves to steal them.

The Value of Stolen Car Parts

Furthermore, most thieves are not really looking at the car itself, but at the car’s parts. In this way, old cars can provide a lot of value.

A thief can make much more money by selling the parts of an older car than you could make by selling the entire car to a buyer.

This is what happens with most stolen cars, which is one of the reasons the car theft game isn't all about the newest and flashiest models. Thieves can sell the whole car to a scrap yard for the value of the car parts or take it apart themselves and sell it piece by piece to repair shops.

Commonly Stolen Older Vehicles

Thieves often go after particular vehicle models that have been consistently popular because there is demand for the parts. Many of these vehicles even have parts that are versatile between years and models of the same manufacturer, which makes them more valuable.

According to The National Insurance Crime Bureau, the following makes and models were commonly stolen in 2012:

  • Honda Accord.
  • Honda Civic.
  • Toyota Camry.
  • Nissan Altima.
  • Nissan Maxima.
  • Acura Integra.
  • Dodge Caravan.
  • Pickups from Ford, Chevrolet, and Dodge.

Theft Prevention Tips

Even if your car is one of the most sought-after cars to steal, theft is not inevitable. You can perform a few steps to better protect it, which can sometimes have the added benefit of reducing your car insurance premiums:

  • Use a car alarm or other audio warning device to thwart theft.
  • Use a tracking system like OnStar that can help find your car if it is stolen.
  • Try tools that prevent theft, such as a smart key system or a steering column collar.
  • Always lock your car and take the keys.

The Benefit of Comprehensive Coverage

Many people decide to skip comprehensive car insurance coverage on their older cars. But since old cars are common targets for theft, it may be a wise choice to cover them with this type of car insurance coverage.

If your car is stolen and you don't get it back, you can use this inexpensive insurance coverage to help cover the cost of a replacement.

Installing anti-theft devices and buying comprehensive car insurance coverage can help you avoid becoming a victim. For more information on protecting yourself from auto theft, visit our Car Theft Prevention page.

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