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Automotive Finances & Money

Top 10 Most Stolen Cars for 2008 [Interesting]

IIHS has released the top 10 most stolen cars in 2008, and the list is much different than past years. Previously, the top 10 consisted of 10-year-old Honda Civics, but this is the year of the big trucks.
Car: Claims Per 1,000/Average Loss Payment Per Claim

10.) Honda S2000 Convertible: 8.1/$13,624
9.) 2005-2007 Dodge Durango: 8.1/$9,682
8.) 2005-2007 Hummer H2: 8.7/$18,791
7.) 2005-2007 Dodge Magnum: 9.9/$8,926
6.) 2005-2007 Hummer H2 SUT: 10.0/$23,771
5.) 2005-2007 Ford F-350 SuperCrew: 10.7/$20,138
4.) 2006-2007 Dodge Charger: 11/$7,047
3.) 2007 Cadillac Escalade: 11.3/$14,657
2.) 2005-2007 Ford F-250 SuperCrew: 13.1/$19,250
1.) 2007 Cadillac Escalade ESV: 15.0/$13,060

Looking at this list, what stands out the most is the large number of high value, big trucks like the Hummers, Escalades and Ford trucks. Normally vehicles are stolen to sell their parts overseas. Why would these vehicles be stolen when they’re not really sold overseas, or at least in any significant volume (except the Ford trucks)?

Perhaps people are committing insurance fraud by claiming that they’re stolen when they’re really just burned in a field or driven into a lake? That might just happen when you can’t afford the hefty car payment on a $60,000 Hummer or Escalade, or your home construction business is suffering and you can’t afford that heavy-duty pickup.

What do you think?

About the author

Clever Dude

6 Comments

  • couple reasons.

    1. lack of parts made it is easier to obtain parts on the black market then to go the legit routes sometimes.

    2. lots of them on the road really, if you are going to steal something ,wouldn’t you rather steal an escalade vs. a prius?

    3. resale of precious metals think of the catalytic converter alone.

  • My first thought on reading was the same as yours, it sounds like there are a lot of incidents of fraud to get out of your loan. I am sure the insurance companies see this but it would be really hard to prove most of the time.

    I wonder how many of these vehicles are recovered after being stolen?

  • Sometimes the overseas market isn’t in the parts, it’s in the whole vehicle. The fact that some of these vehicles aren’t available in some markets (most notably Russia) really drives the demand. I can recall seeing several SUVs (Excursions, Escalades) in St. Petersburg with NA-spec bumpers- clearly imported, but not necessarily with the consent of the previous owner!

  • You are one Clever Dude, and I think you hit the nail on the head drawing a connection between the incidence of insurance fraud and gas guzzling vehicles.

    Interestingly, the National Insurance Crime Bureau pretty much confirms what IHS says and went one further by telling me that there’s a definite link between the increased incidence of suspicious reported cases of vehicle theft and the rising cost of gas. The NICB’s top 10 list overlaps with some of the vehicles in the list you mentioned. You might be interested to read my full story at http://tinyurl.com/6bkmh3.

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