The automobile has had a more significant impact on humanity than any other invention. It affects all facets of society, including the economy, family life, and, of course, the environment.
We have become so dependent on our cars for daily transportation. When stolen, the unexpected loss of a vehicle is devastating. There is nothing worse than the sinking feeling in the pit of the stomach one gets when exiting the house for work and finding the car missing from the driveway – or after grocery shopping when returning to the same parking spot where you were sure you left the car. That’s when you anxiously search the entire lot at a loss for finding your vehicle.
However, there is a way to reduce the probability of losing your valuable mode of transportation to theft: avoid purchasing one that thieves like to steal. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (HLDI) compiles and publishes data on late-model cars that are most susceptible to robbery. Cars are rated based on insurance relative claim frequency with 100 as the average.
Here are twenty cars no one should ever buy because they are on the list, and their relative claim frequencies are high.
The Dodge Charger is the number one most likely car to be stolen with a relative claim frequency of over five times the average at 544 (average = 100).
Matt Moore, senior vice president of HLDI, said, “If you’re going to commit a crime, you’re likely going to want to profit from that crime.” He stated that illegally exporting stolen vehicles to foreign countries is a major reason a car gets boosted. The Dodge Charger Hemi has plenty of international appeal.
The supercharged 6.7L HEMI SRT Hellcat V8 provides plenty of power for a fast getaway. It produces 707 HP and 650 lb.-ft. of torque, which enables the Hellcat to reach the quarter mile in 11.2 seconds on its way to a top speed of 204 MPH.
The relative claim frequency is 529, nearly as high as the Dodge Charger Hemi.
U.S. News named the QX60 the 2019 Best Luxury 3-Row SUV for the Money because of its high quality and retained value. The only difference between the QX60 and the QX50 is the size. The QX50's turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder generates 268 hp, making it an attractive purchase for families.
However, the highly rated crossover also appeals to thieves. The relative claim frequency of 525 puts it in the third spot on the list.
The Infiniti QX80 SUV has luxury credentials, including an impressive powerful engine. It produces 400 hp, 413 lb-ft of torque, and allows the body-on-frame to tow up to 8,500 pounds. A rear-wheel-drive model QX80 sells for about $66,000, and about $3,000 more for the AWD. The fully loaded Limited with all optional equipment commands about $91,000.
All of which makes it an attractive target for thieves. The Relative claim frequency is 422.
The 2018 Sierra 1500 has several attractive features. The crew-cab has one of the highest tow ratings in its class, which gives it a high hauling capacity. It has convenient cargo bed features and more than ample cabin storage. The highly adjustable front seats and roomy rear seats make for a comfortable ride.
These features make it attractive to buyers and anyone seeking to acquire one illegally. The relative claim frequency is 393.
In 2018, the Dodge Challenger was offered in 16 trims from the base model SXT to the highest-performance SRT Demon. The Challenger line earned its high ranking in the sports car class primarily from the extremely powerful engine options.
The SXT has a relative claim frequency of 358; not as high as the Dodge Charger Hemi (544), but high enough to think twice about a purchase.
The 2018 Nissan Maxima was offered in five trims: S, SV, SL, SR, and Platinum. All models came with front-wheel drive, a continuously variable automatic transmission, and a V6 engine. U.S. News rated the Maxima with a score of 8.3 out of 10 in the Affordable Large Cars category primarily for its powerful V6 engine and composed handling.
While it is a reliable car for everyday driving, it also appeals to drivers who preferred not to purchase it. The relative claim frequency is 351.
The Silverado 1500 is a workhorse, but on the highway, it rivals a passenger vehicle for comfort. It has robust brakes and firm, highly responsive steering, making it relatively easy to maneuver in a parking lot. The Silverado was offered with a 5.3-liter V8 with 355 hp and 383 pound-feet of torque in 2018.
A robber would enjoy this pickup on the highway or a country dirt road. The Relative Claim Frequency is 320.
The Chrysler 300 is powered by a 3.6-liter DOHC V6 that produces 300 horsepower @ 6,350 rpm and 264 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4,800 rpm. The Eight-speed automatic transmission is connected to all four wheels which boast disc brakes and ABS.
Driving.com reports, “In spite of being a throwback to the days of the Chrysler's alliance with Daimler, the 300 remains the company’s most expressive ride.”
As a result, the appealing car has a relative claim frequency of 293.
Mercedes-Benz set its goals high for the new S-Class: make it the best car in the world. While it lacks exotic styling appeal, it offers an unparalleled owner experience. The long-wheelbase saloon design gives it extraordinary torsional rigidity, and the smooth ride is achieved with standard air suspension with adaptive dampers.
On both highways and city streets, the S-Class steers directly and precisely, and the interior is spacious and extremely comfortable.
Who wouldn’t want to go for a joy ride in this exceptional automobile with a relative claim frequency of 291?
Although the base 2018 Charger SXT trim comes with a 292-hp V6 engine, its most impressive attribute must be the infotainment system. It features a six-speaker audio system, an SD card reader, a 7-inch touch screen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, voice recognition, Bluetooth, rear parking sensors, and a rearview camera.
No wonder the Charger is an oft-stolen auto. The relative claim frequency is 274.
The Car Connection wrote, “The 2019 Dodge Durango is a crossover SUV that will put a smile on your face with its power and handling.”
The earlier models have similar characteristics. Rear-wheel drive was standard, but all-wheel-drive was available as an option. The 8-speed automatic uses paddle shifters to power the wheels. Even the base model of the Durango rides well and boasts handling superior to other crossover SUVs.
The relative claim frequency is 271.
At 93-years-old, the Queen of England still enjoys a drive in the countryside. She has a fleet of custom cars to choose from, but often her preference is a Range Rover.
Her Majesty is still as sharp as ever and certainly understands the risk of driving a car that auto thieves want. On the other hand, with her security guards always on the lookout, she undoubtedly has “no worries.” The Range Rover has a relative claim frequency of 271.
While the Silverado 1500 standard crew-cab has a relative claim frequency of 320, the four-wheel-drive version poses slightly lower, but still significant, risk of theft with a rating of 269.
It is unlikely a thief would distinguish between the two models. The difference in theft frequency is perhaps attributed to vehicle use. The four-wheel-drive might be kept in a lower-risk location (off-road or in the country) than the standard version, which may venture into the city.
Although the Dodge Charger base model SXT comes with a 7-inch touchscreen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a rear-view camera, and rear parking sensors, it is not a Hellcat.
The relative claim frequency of 266 compared to the Hellcat rating of 529 reflects the difference in appeal to a potential thief. For the buyer, the standard Charger – while it lacks some performance – is less worrisome.
The most appealing feature of the Nissan Titan is the 5-year/100,000-mile powertrain guarantee – one of the best in the industry.
If the truck is sold or otherwise transferred, the manufacturer warranty goes with the vehicle and not the owner. Obviously, a stolen vehicle does not include a legal transfer. So, while the extensive coverage is attractive to an owner, it has no value to a car thief.
The relative claim frequency is 250.
Although car thieves are opportunists, selecting any car that is an easy target, they also have preferred makes and models. Cars that hold their resale value are popular targets. However, thieves can also strip down a vehicle and sell the parts to repair shops and scrap yards.
These preferences may account for the difference in theft rates for a standard Silverado and a Crew-Cab version. The standard 1500 has a relative claim frequency of 248, while the higher priced model is rated at 393.
The GMC Sierra 1500 Crew-Cab compares favorably with its sister pickup, the Silverado 1500, granted with some minor differences. It is a far better handling truck than the Silverado, specifically the Denali trim, which comes with Adaptive Ride Control. The Sierra also features premium materials, is more luxurious, but also more expensive.
The relative claim frequency of the Sierra 1500 is 241.
Audi classifies the 2018 A7 midsize luxury car as a “Sportback,” a name that refers to the hatchback body style. Two trims were offered in 2018 – Premium Plus and Prestige. Both are equipped with a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine that generates 340 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque, an eight-speed automatic, and all-wheel drive.
Edmunds gives the A7 an overall rating of 8.2 on a scale of 10. The relative claim frequency is 239.
Although the Infiniti QX80 four-wheel-drive occupies the twentieth place on the list of most frequently stolen vehicles, it still is a risky car to own. The Relative claim frequency of 236 makes it twice as likely to get pilfered than the average vehicle, but nearly half as likely of being robbed compared to the Dodge Charger Hemi.
Sources: motorbiscuit.com, businessinsider.com, caranddriver.com, digitaltrends.com