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Car thieves still prefer luxury

The Cadillac Escalade continues its reign as the most-stolen vehicle in the US, according to an annual study.

By MSN Money Partner Aug 25, 2011 11:26AM

This post comes from Des Toups at partner site


Escalade owners, make sure you buy rental-car coverage.


One out of every 100 of you will lose your car to a thief this year and -- if we can hazard a wild guess about your lives -- fans of $60,000 Cadillac SUVs probably don't have a bus pass.


The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, an industry association that tracks these sorts of things, today released its 2011 list of most-stolen models, gauged by the frequency and size of their insurance claims. The 2008-2010 Escalade topped the list, stolen at a rate six times that of the average vehicle. The average claim against the owner's comprehensive coverage, the part that covers theft, was $10,555.


The Escalade has topped the IIHS list for a decade.


High-dollar pickup trucks dominate the rest of the top 10, despite the rise of anti-theft technologies such as engine immobilizers that prevent hot-wiring.


"Immobilizers are a good deterrent against joy-riding teenagers, but professional thieves can easily haul away an SUV on a flatbed truck," says Highway Loss Data Institute senior vice president Kim Hazelbaker. "A pickup that can't be driven away is still vulnerable to having tools and cargo snatched from its bed."


The list of least-targeted (or most-shunned, depending on your point of view) vehicles is topped by the Audi A6 luxury sedan and the Mercury Mariner, a now-defunct small SUV. Each has a claim frequency of 0.5 per 1,000 insured vehicle years; in comparison, the Escalade racks up 10.8 claims per 1,000 insured vehicle years. (See the list broken down by best and worst passenger and luxury cars as well.)


Highest claim rates overall


Average loss

Cadillac Escalade (4 versions)



Ford F-250 crew 4WD



Chevrolet Silverado 1500 crew



Ford F-450 crew 4WD



GMC Sierra 1500 crew



Chrysler 300



Ford F-350 crew 4WD



Chevrolet Avalanche 1500



GMC Yukon



Chrysler 300 HEMI



Lowest claim rates overall


Average loss

Audi A6 4WD



Mercury Mariner (2009-10)



Chevrolet Equinox (2010)



Volkswagen CC (2009-10)



Chevrolet Equinox 4WD (2010)



Lexus RX 350 (2010)



Saturn Vue



Chevrolet Aveo (2009-10)



BMW 5 series 4WD



Mini Cooper Clubman



All passenger vehicles




Post continues after video about the National Insurance Crime Bureau's list of most-stolen cars.

Affects your rates? Not that much

The IIHS says its list highlights the models specifically targeted by thieves because it compares the numbers of insured theft claims for a particular model against how many were sold. The National Insurance Crime Bureau's similar-sounding "Hot Wheels" list goes by raw numbers and is led perpetually by some kind of older, ubiquitous Honda or Toyota, the vast majority of which are not insured for theft.


We're not sure that ranking on either list is much of an honor, but it's also not necessarily a red flag for car buyers. Among the dozens of moving parts that make up your car insurance rate, theft isn't a particularly good indicator of how much you'll pay to insure one car versus another.


When we ran the numbers on rates for a 37-year-old driving an Escalade EXT in Fresno, Calif., (long a hotbed of car thievery) the comprehensive portion of the quotes ranged from just $132 to $440. Rather than shopping for a less theft-prone vehicle, Escalade owners are far better served by shopping for another insurance company: We found full-coverage quotes from $1,389 to $2,133 a year. (How does your vehicle compare on insurance rates?)


Comprehensive coverage just isn't a major factor; your own driving record and the specific model's collision history (Do they fall apart when tapped? Are they driven mostly by reckless teenagers?) are much bigger factors.


More on and MSN Money:

Aug 25, 2011 7:18PM
Just re-enforces my reasoning for Thumbs upcontinuouly driving my 11 year old piece of (paid for) $hit car. I hate car payments almost as much as I hate thieves. With a 2000 saturn, i don't need to worry about either.Wink
Aug 25, 2011 6:14PM
All those poor drug dealers getting their escalades stolen.
Aug 25, 2011 4:38PM

There was a study just published a month ago listing the "most stolen vehicles". The Escalade was near the top of that list, but the Camry and the Corolla, I believe were 1 and 2.

Which list should we believe? This must be very confusing to the car thieves.

Aug 25, 2011 2:29PM
"Leron, I just gots me a exklaide.  Get Lashronda, we goin' on a drive-by....
Aug 25, 2011 6:18PM
the gettomobile of choice wow does that suprise anyone
Aug 25, 2011 2:07PM

Dem vehicles dat sho nuff be poppin' in ghetto neighbuhoods and in rap videos go' be da #1 stolen, ya mean?


Fo rizzle, nizzles.


And in areas with lots of filthy illegals, like all the trucks listed #2 and following.

Aug 25, 2011 2:47PM

Wow.  Talk about trolling.  Not a whole lotta Ford F-450 dually work trucks hangin' 'round the 'hood, sucka.  Since racist13 is merely trying to incite a flaming war, I have nothing more to say about the comments of an unemployed, juvenile, short-penised Halo-addicted basement-dweller.

The vehicles in the top-10 are stolen for parts.  I bet you will see a correlation between vehicles that are frequently involved in accidents but are not written off as total losses and vehicles that are specifically targeted for theft.  Chop shops are "businesses" like any retail shop: They stock what sells.  The top targeted vehicles are disproportionally driven by inattentive people - whether its the worker that runs into a pole with the Ford truck or the trophy wife texting her side-action boytoy while cruising through a red light in her Escalade.

Aug 25, 2011 8:14PM
Low lives can't afford an Escalade, so why not steal one from someone who can???????????
Aug 25, 2011 9:38PM
Hardly a surprise that the Escalade, a car synonymous with gangsta rap, is the most stolen vehicle. I would hardly call the Escalade a luxury car though. It's loud, brash, guzzles gas, and has a gaudy interior only someone w/o taste would like. The Escalade is the car for wannabes who want people to think they got money when they don't, which is why it's stolen so often, anyone who has real taste would have went for an Audi, Merdcedes-Benz, or BMW instead (coincidently these are also some of the least stolen vehicles). Also, you are a lot more likely to find an Escalade in a bad neighborhood than say, an Audi or a BMW, which is another reason why they get stolen so often.
Aug 25, 2011 2:17PM
What do the top ten vehicles have in common?

They are all nigga drug dealer vehicles. They all have the big rims, DUB style, etc.

The other trucks likely are from Mexican illegals and construction.

The least common stolen are the definition of suburban white people too lol.

No surprise here.

Aug 25, 2011 4:00PM
If I was a car thief, the Escalade would be my vehicle of choice.
Aug 25, 2011 4:17PM
The reason the large SUVs and Trucks dominate the list has more to do with border problems are nationing is facing.  These vehichles are being stolen to become vehicles for mules to carry illegals and drugs.  Why steal the vehicles...easy money...if your caught BPC confiscates the vehicle for auction.  That is unless its a stolen vehicle, which they have to return to the owner...which means very little cost  to the person bankrolling the mule operation.  It also means many of these types of vehicles need to be stolen to keep the fleet going.  Otherwise import luxury cars would be topping the list due to the money to be made in chopping them up for parts.
Aug 26, 2011 10:40AM
Seems like a 60 k car should have better security features.
Aug 26, 2011 1:56PM
yep i live in NM, man it's tahoes, suburban, escalades, Yukons on weekends with about 20 mexicans coming out of each car at the resort i work at hehe. so that's where they're going. they just send em' back across to steal another day after feeding and sheltering them with tax payer money
Aug 26, 2011 1:31PM
Aug 25, 2011 5:12PM

I'm glad thieves don't like Porsche Targas.


Somebody should smoke me for reading this crap.

Aug 25, 2011 6:10PM
Gee, and I thought that the Smart Car was the most borrowed.
Aug 26, 2011 1:20AM

With the exception of stealing food, just line up all the shoplifters/thieves and plug em in the back of the head. Too extreme? Or we could just start creating jobs agian.

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