Samantha Kohn, Freelance Blogger
With files from James Battiston.
This post was originally published on January 5, 2022, and was updated on November 20, 2023.
Have you ever considered the possibility of waking up one day to find your car missing? It's a common concern among car owners. Imagine the immediate shock followed by the daunting task of reshuffling your daily schedule. From arranging alternative transportation for your family to the often tedious process of filing insurance claims, the repercussions of car theft extend far beyond the initial loss.
Unfortunately, auto thefts in Canada reached record highs in 2022, with a 48% increase in Ontario and a 50% increase in Quebec.
Auto insurance premiums are largely determined by the level of risk that an insurer assumes when providing a policy. In simple terms, the more likely it is that an insurer will have to pay out a claim, the more they charge for the insurance coverage to offset this risk. This is why premiums are often higher for vehicles that are more likely to be stolen.
Every year, certain makes and models of vehicles are targeted for theft more frequently than others. Équité Association, the Canadian non-profit organization that works to combat insurance fraud, has released their list of the top 10 stolen cars in Canada, as well as the top 10 list for each province (where vehicle insurance is private).
Let’s take a look at their findings and consider the implications.
Key takeaways on the top 10 stolen vehicles in Canada
- According to Équité Association's report, the most stolen vehicle in 2022 was the 2020 Honda CR-V. This was followed by the 2022 Dodge RAM 1500 Series and the 2020 Ford F150 Series.
- Highly stolen vehicles often come with increased insurance rates. If insurers see a trend of one particular model being stolen more frequently than another, they'll want to offset the risk by charging more.
- In most provinces, coverage against vehicle theft isn't automatically included in your policy – you'll need to add comprehensive insurance to make sure you're protected. This is especially recommended if you find your vehicle on the list.
- Make sure you're taking the right steps to protect yourself from becoming a victim of vehicle theft. Installing anti-theft devices, parking in a private garage, and adding a steering wheel lock are some ways you can lower the risk.
The 10 most stolen vehicles in Canada
These are the makes and models that were most stolen in Canada in 2022.
The top 10 stolen vehicles by province
Top 10 most stolen cars in Ontario
Top 10 most stolen cars in Alberta
Top 10 most stolen cars in Quebec
Top 10 most stolen cars in Atlantic provinces
What do the top 10 stolen car lists tell you?
You’ve probably noticed the same makes and models appearing on multiple lists. For instance, Ford F Series pick-up trucks are present on every one of these lists, and Dodge RAM Series pickups crack the top five in every region. While the year of the vehicle may vary, the fact that certain models that are targeted more frequently is worth noting – so let’s dig a little deeper.
Why are high-end SUVs and pick-up trucks stolen so frequently?
You may be wondering why there are so many high-end SUVs and pickup trucks on these lists. The reason is simple – these are extremely popular vehicles for regular drivers and criminals alike.
Luxury SUVs have become increasingly popular over time. In fact, in 2021 SUVs made up 24% more of the luxury vehicle market than they did in 2015. This rise in popularity naturally makes them a more valuable target for thieves. More popularity means greater demand, which makes these vehicles easier for thieves to sell.
Popular vehicles are also more attractive for criminals to use while committing crimes. The more common a car is, the more difficult it becomes to identify if it is used in a crime, increasing the criminal’s chances of getting away with whatever they did.
When it comes to pick-up trucks like Ford F Series, part of the attraction for thieves is the fact that they are not available for purchase in many countries overseas. Based on the simple law of supply and demand, the low supply of these vehicles overseas gives them a high resale value when they are smuggled to places where they are scarce.
These high theft rates contribute to the increasing costs associated with SUV and truck insurance these days.
The cost of car theft in Canada
Whatever the reason a vehicle is stolen, the cost to both vehicle owners and the insurance industry is immense. The Canadian Financing and Leasing Association says a vehicle is stolen every six minutes in Canada at a cost of over $1 billion.
Also read: What if your stolen car is actually found?
Why is the cost so high? Not only is auto theft expensive for auto insurance companies, but it also affects social services and other industries. A stolen car needs to be reported to the police, who will spend time and money trying to track it down. If the vehicle is found, there’s a cost for repairing or replacing the vehicle. If the thieves are apprehended, there are costs associated with the justice system. If the car is involved in a collision and individuals are injured, there are hospital and recovery costs – the list goes on and on.
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Car theft and your insurance premium
If you’re in the market to buy one of the vehicles on the list, there’s a good chance your insurance premiums will be higher than it would be if you chose a vehicle less-likely to be stolen.
When a vehicle is stolen, it costs the insurance company money. If they see a trend of one particular model being stolen more frequently than another, they’ll want to offset the risk – and they can do this by charging higher premiums.
There are always exceptions to the rule, and there are many factors that come into play when calculating car insurance premiums. Age, gender and driving history will always affect how much you pay, but when you’re searching for cheap car insurance, remember that the type of vehicle you purchase can have an impact on your premiums.
It’s also important to know which type of coverage you need when purchasing auto insurance. In order to protect your vehicle from theft you will need comprehensive car insurance coverage. Just like collision insurance, it is an optional coverage (in most provinces) that you can seek to add to your policy for an additional cost. Comprehensive coverage protects your vehicle when it is not in use/parked from a number of named perils, such as theft. With auto thefts on the rise, having comprehensive car insurance added to your policy is worth it – especially if you have one of the vehicles we’ve listed above.
When purchasing a new vehicle, it’s always a good idea to compare car insurance quotes beforehand and budget for the costs in your monthly expenses. Buying a car is a huge investment, and you don’t want to find yourself surprised by the monthly premiums you’ll have to keep paying to keep your car on the road.
Lowering your risk of car theft
If you are in the market for one of the more commonly stolen vehicles, it’s also advisable to take additional anti-theft security steps to deter thieves. For instance, parking in a private garage versus a driveway and adding a steering vehicle lock can deter thieves, and every action you take to protect your vehicle reflects favourably on your insurance application as well.
The bottom line
Replacing a stolen vehicle isn’t cheap, and driving one that is more likely to be stolen can increase the cost of your car insurance. If you’re shopping for a new ride, double-check the top 10 stolen vehicle lists in your region beforehand, so you can ensure you’re making the best decision for you and your family. And if you do opt for one of the listed vehicles, be sure to take proactive measures to limit your risk of theft, including purchasing the right level of car insurance coverage.