How to Keep Your Car From Getting Stolen

Lt. Bruce Hosea, an auto theft specialist with the Los Angeles Police Department, tells CR that much of the increase in thefts they've seen involves cars deemed easy marks by criminals--older models without anti-theft technology and cars with keys or fobs left inside. At the same time, police say some thieves have become more tech-savvy, using electronic tools to steal vehicles without damaging windows, locks, or steering columns.

Hyundai and Kia models, in particular, have been a key factor in the recent trend, as online videos expose how to steal models without engine immobilizer, which would prevent them from starting without a key.  A Kia spokesman told CR, "All of our vehicles meet or exceed Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. While no car can be made theft-proof, criminals are seeking vehicles solely equipped with a steel key and "turn-to-start" ignition system." 

Kia models from the 2022 model year forward, and Hyundai vehicles built at Nov.

1, 2022, have engine immobilizers. Representatives told us that the automakers are providing steering wheel locks to police departments that are hard hit by these crimes. Further, Hyundai will offer a security kit through its dealerships this fall that can be added to at-risk models.

The most stolen vehicles in American, according to NCIB, are the Chevrolet Silverado, Ford F-150, Honda Civic, Honda Accord, and Toyota Camry. Popularity and availability play a key role in these rankings.  No matter what brand car you own, the tips below show how to keep your car from becoming a target and how to save on car insurance in the process.

Remember: The key is to deter theft by making your car seem like more trouble than it is worth.

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