Gone in Seconds: Top 6 Most Stolen Cars of 2024

Last Updated on March 22, 2024 by inaz Ameera

Car theft is an unfortunate reality that continues to impact individuals and communities worldwide. Despite advancements in automotive security technology, determined thieves find ways to bypass these measures and make off with valuable vehicles. Last year, certain car models stood out as prime targets for theft, with their desirability, vulnerabilities, and other factors making them attractive to criminals. Let’s explore the top 6 most stolen cars of 2024, shedding light on the reasons behind their popularity among car thieves and the impact of these thefts on owners and law enforcement. Understanding the most stolen cars can help car owners take preventive measures and make informed decisions to protect their vehicles.

To compile this list of the top 6 most stolen cars of 2024, we analyzed data from various sources, including law enforcement agencies, insurance companies, and industry reports. The reported number of stolen vehicles, the frequency of thefts, and other relevant factors were considered while determining the rankings. It is important to note that the list represents a snapshot of the most stolen cars in 2024 and may vary based on regional trends and other factors.

1. Hyundai Elantra

Many major cities such as New York, Chicago, and Seattle have filed lawsuits against Kia and Hyundai, which are both under the same parent company. These legal actions stem from the issue that they are selling cars without engine immobilizers, a technology credited with significantly reducing the incidence of vehicle theft in the United States. While the rest of the automotive industry embraced immobilizers, Kia and Hyundai lagged behind, with only 26 percent of their vehicles equipped with them in 2015, in stark contrast to the 96 percent adoption rate among other manufacturers.

This design that became a flaw was implemented as a cost-saving measure in response to the absence of regulations, and bypassing the car’s “safety” features is unexpectedly straightforward, even teenagers could do it.

The sharp rise in thefts of Kia and Hyundai vehicles across cities nationwide has been alarming and shows no signs of slowing down. According to one of the lawsuits filed, the City of Chicago reported that in 2022, over 8,800 Kia and Hyundai vehicles were stolen in the city, representing 41 percent of all car thefts, despite these brands accounting for just seven percent of the city’s vehicles. In a press release announcing the lawsuit, the city stated that the situation worsened in 2023, with Kias and Hyundais comprising more than half of all stolen cars in the city that year.

Hyundai Elantra, known for its sleek design and high-performance features, unfortunately topped the list of the most stolen cars in 2024. Its desirability among car enthusiasts and the general population made it a prime target for thieves.

2. Kia Sportage

Coming in at the second spot on the list of the most stolen cars of 2024 is Kia Sportage. Or, more surprisingly (or not) to say, any Kia. This popular vehicle offers a combination of style and affordability, making it a sought-after choice for car thieves. Its relatively low-cost components and lack of advanced security features contributed to its vulnerability. Law enforcement agencies and car manufacturers have recognized this problem and the need to improve the security of Kia cars. Some insurance companies refuse to insure any Kia models and also Hyundai due to this manufacturing flaw.

In a YouTube video from Donut Media, called “I Stole a Kia With a TikTok Hack,” Jeremiah Burton shows how to start a Hyundai using a USB drive. He carefully removes the ignition cylinder assembly by unscrewing the steering column. Meanwhile, the Kia Boys in the video opt for a rougher approach, using a screwdriver to strip it and then forcefully jamming the tool in. After starting the car successfully, Burton jokingly declares himself a Kia Boy.

This faulty design was a cost-cutting measure due to lack of regulations, and overriding the car’s “safety” features are surprisingly simple. Breaking in is so effortless that even the city of Milwaukee has lost it. They are filing lawsuits against Kia and Hyundai allege their failure to implement fundamental anti-theft measures, leading to a significant increase in stolen cars and straining law enforcement resources.

3. Honda Civic

The Honda Civic has long been recognized as one of the most stolen cars, and there are several reasons behind its unfortunate notoriety. Firstly, the Honda Civic is incredibly popular, which means there are simply more of them on the road. With such a large number of Civics out there, it’s no surprise that thieves see them as easy targets.

Honda vehicles are frequently targeted due to their high resale value, making them attractive to thieves. Thieves can make a profit by dismantling these vehicles and selling the parts to repair shops and junkyards.

These cars, especially older models usually lack advanced anti-theft systems, rendering them more susceptible to theft when compared to newer models. Ultimately, the widespread popularity of the Honda Civic and the high demand for its parts make it a prime target for thieves. If you own a Honda Civic, be sure to take extra measures to safeguard your vehicle against potential theft.

Another model that has been a primary target for car thieves is the Honda Accord.

5. Chevrolet Pickup

Securing the fifth spot on the list of the most stolen cars of 2024 is Chevrolet full size pickup trucks. Its value in the market, demand, and relatively limited security measures made it an appealing choice for car thieves.

Pickup trucks are versatile vehicles that can be used for a wide range of purposes, from hauling cargo to off-road adventures. This versatility means that stolen trucks can be repurposed for various illicit activities, such as transporting stolen goods or evading law enforcement.

The demand for Chevrolet trucks may vary depending on the region, but in areas where these vehicles are particularly popular among consumers and businesses, they may also be more likely to be targeted by thieves seeking to capitalize on local demand for parts and vehicles.

The combination of popularity, resale value, ease of theft, versatility, and regional demand makes Chevrolet full-size pickup trucks a prime target for theft in many areas.

6. Ford Pickup

Rounding out the list of the most stolen cars of 2024 is Ford Pickup trucks . Its desirability, market value, and vulnerabilities in its security systems contributed to its inclusion on this list.

Ford trucks made between 1999 and 2007, features four doors and four-wheel-drive exhibiting a flaw in their exterior door handle design. This makes it relatively simple for potential intruders to force the doors open using tools like a crowbar or screwdriver, enabling them to access the vehicle’s interior. Once inside, they exploit another vulnerability by inserting a screwdriver into the ignition to facilitate the theft of the truck.

Certain thieves, especially those affiliated with organized crime networks, choose to transport stolen Ford pickups abroad to unsuspecting buyers in other countries. Due to the absence of Ford trucks in numerous international markets, there is a significant demand for them, making them lucrative commodities for illicit trade.

As technology continues to advance, car manufacturers are implementing innovative security features to combat car theft. Advanced keyless entry systems, biometric authentication, and remote tracking capabilities are among the developments aimed at enhancing vehicle security. Car owners should stay informed about these advancements and consider upgrading their vehicles to models equipped with the latest security features.

Regardless of what car you drive, there is always a possibility of it being stolen. As car owners, it is essential to take extra precautionary steps to ensure the safety of our vehicles. Here’s what you can do to reduce the risk of your car being stolen:

  1. Ensure all windows and doors are securely closed and locked whenever you park your vehicle.
  2. Avoid leaving valuable items in your car such as phones, bags, or laptops in plain sight.
  3. Utilize visible deterrents such as a steering-wheel lock or security decal; some insurance providers may even offer discounts for using anti-theft devices.
  4. If your car features keyless entry, store the fob in a Faraday pouch or metal container to block signals and prevent potential hacking or relay attacks.
  5. Park in well-lit, highly visible areas whenever possible.

In the unfortunate event that your vehicle gets stolen, immediately report it to the authorities. Statistics from the NICB indicate that reporting theft within 24 hours increases the likelihood of same-day recovery by 34%.

Remember, the best defense against car theft is proactive prevention! Take the necessary steps to secure your vehicle and protect it from falling into the wrong hands. Stay informed, stay vigilant, and keep your car safe!