The Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) has released its annual report on the top ten most likely stolen vehicles. What is surprising is that eight of the top ten vehicles on this list are either trucks or SUVs.
This list is not about most frequently stolen vehicles, but instead it provides a statistical insight into how often a thefts occurs on each vehicle type. This means that total sales figures of a car model are less of a factor. The statistics are broken down into number of reported claim frequency per 1,000 vehicles, and a theft is counted if the whole vehicle is stolen or just components are stolen off the vehicle.
HLDI's Top Ten Stolen Vehicles for 2011:
10. Chrysler 300 Hemi V-8 -- claim frequency 6.3
9. GMC Yukon -- claim frequency 6.4
8. Chevrolet Avalanche 1500 -- claim frequency 6.4
7. Ford F-350 Super Crew 4WD -- claim frequency 7.0
6. Chrysler 300 V-6 -- claim frequency 7.1
5. GMC Sierra 1500 Crew Cab -- claim frequency 7.3
4. Ford F-450 Super Duty Super Crew 4WD -- claim frequency 7.9
3. Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab -- claim frequency 9.2
2. Ford F-250 Super Duty Super Crew 4WD -- claim frequency 9.7
1. Cadillac Escalade (SUV, ESV, EXT, and hybrid) -- claim frequency 10.8
The Cadillac Escalade is not a newcomer to being a target for thieves. The HLDI reports that the Escalade has dominated this list for years. The worst of the four versions of the Escalade is the EXT pickup/SUV. This version has more than 14 claims per 1,000 insured vehicle years, or more than 8 times the national average.
The list represents the vehicles from the 2008-2010 model years, which means all the Super Duty diesel trucks had not yet crossed over to utilizing diesel exhaust fluid. So these trucks utilize NOx absorbers, which traditionally consist of precious metals. Despite this, the HLDI's research does not provide a direct link between the absorbers and their theft rate.
There is some better news for SUVs on the other end of the list. Five of the top ten vehicles with the lowest claim rates are crossovers or SUVs. They include Mercury Mariner, Lexus RX 350, Saturn VUE, and Chevrolet Equinox (both FWD and AWD).