NICB Releases Annual ’Hot Wheels’ Report: America’s Top Ten Most Stolen Vehicles

he National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) today released its annual Hot Wheels report identifying the top 10 most stolen vehicles in the United States in 2020. For the second year in a row, the Ford full size pick-up was the model most targeted by thieves, followed by the Chevrolet full size pick-up, which supplanted the formerly second-place Honda Civic.

‘Auto thefts saw a dramatic increase in 2020 versus 2019 in part due to the pandemic, an economic downturn, law enforcement realignment, depleted social and schooling programs, and, in still too many cases, owner complacency,’ said David Glawe, president and CEO of the NICB. ‘For many people, a car is the second largest investment they will ever make behind a home. No matter what kind of vehicle you have, take steps to protect your investment – lock your car and take your keys.’

Thefts for all models in the top 10 were up in 2020 compared to 2019, but only Ford, Chevrolet, and GMC full size pick-ups and the Honda CR-V saw double digit theft increase percentages. In this year’s list, six of the top 10 most stolen vehicles were Japanese models.

Top 10 Stolen Vehicles in 2020

# Vehicle Make & Model Thefts Increase from 2019 Most Common Model Year Stolen
1 Ford Full Size Pick-up 44,014 13.0% 2006
2 Chevrolet Full Size Pick-up 40,968 25.7% 2004
3 Honda Civic 34,144 2.8% 2000
4 Honda Accord 30,814 0.2% 1997
5 Toyota Camry 16,915 8.0% 2019
6 Nissan Altima 14,668 9.8% 2020
7 GMC Full Size Pick-up 13,016 16.6% 2005
8 Toyota Corolla 12,515 3.1% 2020
9 Honda CR-V 12,309 21.9% 2000
10 Dodge Full Size Pick-up 11,991 6.2% 2001

To guard against thefts of vehicles, NICB recommends drivers follow these four layers of protection to guard against vehicle theft:The annual Hot Wheels report examines vehicle theft data submitted by law enforcement to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and determines the vehicle make, model, and model year most reported stolen in 2020.

Common Sense — the common-sense approach to protection is the easiest and most cost-effective way to thwart would-be thieves. You should always:
Remove your keys from the ignition
Lock your doors/close your windows
Park in a well-lit area

Warning Device — the second layer of protection is a visible or audible device which alerts thieves that your vehicle is protected. Popular devices include:
Audible alarms
Steering column collars
Steering wheel/brake pedal lock
Brake locks
Wheel locks
Theft deterrent decals
Identification markers in or on vehicle
VIN etching
Micro dot marking

Immobilizing Device — the third layer of protection is a device which prevents thieves from bypassing your ignition and hot-wiring the vehicle. Some electronic devices have computer chips in ignition keys. Other devices inhibit the flow of electricity or fuel to the engine until a hidden switch or button is activated. Some examples are:
Smart keys
Fuse cut-offs
Kill switches
Starter, ignition, and fuel pump disablers
Wireless ignition authentication

Tracking Device — the final layer of protection is a tracking device which emits a signal to police or a monitoring station when the vehicle is stolen. Tracking devices are very effective in helping authorities recover stolen vehicles. Some systems employ ‘telematics’ which combine GPS and wireless technologies to allow remote monitoring of a vehicle. If the vehicle is moved, the system will alert the owner and the vehicle can be tracked via computer.

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About the National Insurance Crime Bureau: Headquartered in Des Plaines, Ill., the NICB is the nation’s leading not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to combatting and preventing insurance crime through Intelligence, Analytics, and Operations; Education and Crime Prevention; and Strategy, Policy, and Advocacy. The NICB is supported by more than 1,200 property and casualty insurance companies and self-insured organizations. NICB member companies wrote over $530 billion in insurance premiums in 2020, or more than 82% of the nation’s property-casualty insurance. That includes more than 95% ($236 billion) of the nation’s personal auto insurance. To learn more, visit

Tully Lehman