The Honda CR-V was the most stolen vehicle in Canada for the second year in a row, according to Équité Association.
The auto insurance fraud prevention organization recently announced its Top 10 Most Stolen Vehicles in Canada, which now includes theft frequency figures, regional breakdowns and a list of the least stolen vehicles.
In 2022, the insurance industry saw 1.2 billion in losses from auto theft — the highest loss year yet. Diligence will be required to prevent that figure from repeating, Bryan Gast, vice president, Investigative Services at Équité toldCanadian Underwriter.
“The first half of 2023 was trending higher than 2022,” he said. “We’re not out of the woods yet.”
Most stolen cars
With 5,620 thefts in 2022, the Honda CR-V has a theft frequency rate of 1.2% (per 469,144 insured CR-Vs nationally). The 2020 model year is the most stolen.
Next on the list is the 2022 Dodge RAM 1500 Series. This truck has a 0.5% theft rate, at 508,061 cars insured nationally and 2,600 total stolen vehicles.
Third is the Ford F150 Series. The 2020 model is particularly at risk. Overall, the truck has a theft rate of 0.3%, with 1,833 stolen vehicles, per 615,740 insured nationally.
Including theft frequency, the remaining top 10 stolen cars in Canada are:
Of note, trucks and SUVs account for nine of the top 10 stolen cars.
“The vehicles that are being stolen are the higher end and newer model vehicles,” Gast says. “They’re all push-to-start vehicles, with the exception of the Chevy pickup truck, which is a much older model.”
Regionally, the most stolen car in Ontario and Quebec is the CR-V, while in Alberta and Atlantic Canada it’s the Dodge RAM 1500.
In Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic, Gast says vehicles tend to be stolen for overseas export, due to those provinces’ close proximity to ports.
“It has a lot to do with the high population of Ontario and Quebec, and the number of concentrated areas of higher-value vehicles in the GTA,” he said.
In Alberta and western Canada, cars tend to be stolen with the intent of being re-vinned and resold, or sent to chop shops for parts that are sold to fund other forms of crime.
Least stolen cars
Drivers who are shopping for cars with a low risk of theft may look to Équité’s new list, the Top 10 Least Stolen Vehicles of 2022.
Ranked by number of thefts, the Chevrolet Volt is deemed Canada’s least stolen vehicle. There was only one recorded theft last year, despite there being 16,471 insured vehicles on the road — a theft frequency rate of 0.006%.
Second on the list of least stolen vehicles is the Kia Niro 5DR, which was stolen three times last year. Of 11,276 cars, the theft rate in 0.027%.
Third is the Cadillac XT5, which was stolen four times in 2022. There are 21,268 of these SUVs insured nationally, with a theft rate of 0.019%.
The remaining least stolen vehicles are:
Grassroots theft reduction
But manufacturers, government and drivers themselves are also key pieces to the auto theft puzzle.
Standards for immobilizers, i.e., the devices that prevents a car’s engine from being started unless the correct key is present, haven’t been updated for decades, Gast says.
“There are some techniques that criminals are using where they can steal a vehicle in 15 seconds,” he says. “An individual shouldn’t spend $90,000 on a brand-new vehicle and then still have to rely on the insurance industry, or their own pay out of their own pocket to add certain features like an aftermarket immobilizer to protect the vehicle from being stolen.
“It starts with the manufacturers making the vehicles harder to steal in the first place.”
Plus, there are layered consequences of a driver’s vehicle being stolen. Personal belongings and sensitive information are at risk. That means it’s on drivers to make sure they’re protecting their data when they drive.
“Don’t leave your registration in the vehicle,” Gast says, “but also make sure that you have what’s required to present [to law enforcement] if you’re ever pulled over.”
- Canadian Underwriter