Study: Auto Thieves Still Prefer Trucks, SUVs, and Cadillac Escalades

According to a new study, eight of the top 10 most-stolen vehicles are trucks or SUVs — but that list may be led by Cadillac’s Escalade..

According to the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), which studied insurance claims for stolen 2008-2010 vehicles, the Escalade is nearly six times more likely to be lifted than the average vehicle. Subsequently, the model also posts the highest average overall theft losses, which typically are ten times the national average. This applies to each of the Escalade’s six variants (base, Hybrid, Platinum, Platinum Hybrid, ESV, and EXT), although the pickup-like EXT leads the pack in claims filed (14 per 1000 vehicles).

The Ford F-250 crew cab four-wheel-drive truck comes in second on the list, but other F-Series models also rank high on the list. Overall, pickups have a higher theft rate and losses than passenger cars and SUVs. Theft losses for trucks average $24 per insured vehicles, while SUVs average around $12. For comparison, cars only average $9 per vehicle. Truck losses did fall between 2007 and 2009, reportedly due to the increased prevalence of ignition immobilizers. That said, immobilizers only reduce vehicle theft; they don’t protect against break-ins and theft of personal property left within, which are also factored into it doesn’t protect against break-ins for personal property left in the vehicles (which is also included in HLDI’s rankings).

The only car making it to the top ten is the Chrysler 300. In six-cylinder form, it snags the sixth-place spot, but in V-8-powered 300C guise, it also earns the tenth place ranking. Conversely, there were no trucks on the bottom of the list, but the Mercury Mariner, Chevrolet Equinox, Lexus RX350, and Saturn VUE SUVs all earned spots in the top 10 least stolen vehicles. Passenger cars filled out the rest of the list.

HLDI sources its data from insurance companies that represent approximately 80 percent of the privately-owned vehicle market, and reflects vehicles insured. Data reflects all vehicle thefts, including entire vehicles, vehicle parts and vehicle contents.

Source: Highway Loss Data Institute



Model / Size / Claim Frequency / Average Loss Payment for Claim / Overall Theft Losses


Model / Size / Claim Frequency / Average Loss Payment for Claim / Overall Theft Losses

  • Audi A6 4WD / large luxury car / 0.5 / $16,882 / $8
  • Mercury Mariner (2009-10) / small SUV / 0.5 / $1,970 / $1
  • Chevrolet Equinox (2010) / midsize SUV / 0.6 / $2,069 / $1
  • Volkswagen CC (2009-10) / midsize car / 0.6 / $7,098 / $4
  • Chevrolet Equinox 4WD (2010) / midsize SUV / 0.6 / $4,870 / $3
  • Lexus RX 350 (2010) / midsize luxury SUV / 0.6 / $6,084 / $4
  • Saturn Vue / midsize SUV / 0.6 / $3,747 / $2
  • Chevrolet Aveo (2009-10) / mini station wagon / 0.6 / $7,642 / $5
  • BMW 5 Series 4WD / large luxury car / 0.7 / $12,200 / $8
  • MINI Cooper Clubman / mini 2-door car / 0.7 / $1,883 / $1
  • AVERAGE ALL PASSENGER VEHICLES / 1.7 / $6,767 / $11

Note: Claim frequencies are per 1,000 ins. vehicle yrs.; overall losses are avg. payments per ins. vehicle yr.; vehicles 2008-10s unless otherwise noted.

Source: HDMI

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