Whether you drive a 1994 Honda Accord or a 2010 Mercedes-Benz S-Class, having your car stolen is bound to ruin your day. And while the vehicles topping the “most-commonly stolen popularity” charts frequently consist of older model Accords, Civics, Camrys, and F-150 Pickups (see the full list below), today’s luxury car drivers can still learn from the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s recommended “layered approach” to vehicle protection.
The “layered approach” consists of four components: common sense, a warning device, an immobilizing device, and a tracking device. Common sense is pretty straightforward: park in a well-lit area, close your windows, lock your doors, and don’t forget to take your keys. Warning devices are also fairly common as well, whether they be in the form of an audible alarm, a steering lock, a brake lock, or any other visible theft deterrent device. An immobilizing device takes theft deterrent to the next level by disabling the car when a thief attempts to bypass the ignition and hot-wire the vehicle. There are many different methods through which this can be accomplished including kill switches, fuel pump disablers, and more, but most of these need to be professionally installed. Finally, a tracking device helps to facilitate the recovery of a stolen vehicle through the use of GPS technology.
Granted, even doing all of these things doesn’t guarantee that your car won’t be stolen, but the goal of these protections is to make the thief believe that the risks of trying to steal the vehicle outweigh the rewards.
The Top 10 Most Stolen Cars in the U.S. in 2009:
10. 2002 Ford Explorer 11,783 stolen last year
9. 1999 Ford Taurus 11,958 stolen last year
8. 1994 Acura Integra 12,024 stolen last year
7. 1996 Jeep Cherokee 14,350 stolen last year
6. 2000 Dodge Caravan 15,555 stolen last year
5. 2004 Dodge Ram 17,405 stolen last year
4. 1997 Ford F-150 Pickup 17,416 stolen last year
3. 1989 Toyota Camry 26,245 stolen last year
2. 1995 Honda Civic 48,073 stolen last year
1. 1994 Honda Accord 55,170 stolen last year
[National Insurance Crime Bureau]