1990s Hondas Are Still Number One (with Car Thieves)

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
1990s hondas are still number one with car thieves

It’s hard to keep a good car down…or in your driveway.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau released its annual “Hot Wheels” report this week, identifying the most stolen vehicles in the U.S. It seems that thieves just can’t shake their appreciation of Clinton-era Civics and Accords.

The most stolen vehicle in the country last year was the 1996 Honda Accord, a 19-year-old model that saw a total of 52,244 thefts. Honda should be proud — not only are its old models still popular, but there’s still 42,244 of them on the road worth stealing.

In the number two spot is the 1998 Honda Civic, of which 49,430 were stolen. Far less popular, but still in high demand, were 2006 Ford full-size pickups. Decade-old versions of the world’s best-selling vehicle took the number three spot with 29,396 thefts.

Rounding out the rest of the top 10 list, in declining order, are: 2004 Chevrolet full-size pickup, 2014 Toyota Camry, 2001 Dodge full-size pickup, 2014 Toyota Corolla, 2015 Nissan Altima, 2002 Dodge Caravan, and the 2008 Chevrolet Impala.

The top two picks generally favored coastal states, and were most popular in California, where both the ’96 Accord and ’98 Civic saw just over 28,000 thefts each. Thieves in the Southern and Midwestern states seemed to prefer Chevy pickups, but so did their comrades in Vermont. In Ohio, Maryland, Illinois and the District of Columbia, the Dodge Caravan was the go-to ride for the illegally self-employed.

Among new vehicles (model year 2015), the Nissan Altima topped the list with 1,104 thefts, followed closely by the Chrysler 200 with 1,069. Maybe this is why Fiat Chrysler Automobiles can’t sell a 200 to save its life — people are getting them for free.

The rest of the new vehicle list is a who’s who of popular sedans. The only truck or SUV in the top 10 is the GMC Sierra.

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  • SavageATL SavageATL on Aug 04, 2016

    The fact that there are still 14 year old Caravans around to steal says a lot, despite the reputation broadcast on this website, for their durability/reliability. When I bought my '06 I laughed because the dealer pointed out that it had an engine immobiliser. "Who wants to steal a four cylinder Caravan?" I asked. And then someone tried to steal it on two separate occasions and did a LOT of damage but, because of the immobiliser, couldn't actually move it. Apparently they are common targets for burglars because they are invisible and then you can break into a house and steal everything in the house and fit it in the Caravan.

    • Ryoku75 Ryoku75 on Aug 04, 2016

      Its my experience that anything domestic is considered unreliable, awful, unlawful, and badly assembled while anything Japanese is pure gold, since we're weeabos apparently.

  • Ryoku75 Ryoku75 on Aug 04, 2016

    This paticular Accord generation used Integra brakes and a few Prelude bits in the suspension, you could swipe those bits and sell them for a pretty penny to anyone looking to keep their ricey coupe in da hood. Of course then you have modded cars (91% of all remaining Hondas), which are serious thief magnets just for their currently rented rims or whatever junk the owner chucked on. Weirdly, I know two garages with early 90s Accords that have been "dumped" on them (owner wint pay for the repairs), In surprised thiefs havent gotten to them yet. Must be because they're some of the only stock Accords left.

  • Ravenuer Because we all need 1000+ hp.
  • MrIcky I would like to compare the answers here against the answers in the recent civil forfeiture article- but I won't because research is hard. It's true though that currently a ticket has no punitive value on those with means and maybe an outsized punitive value on those without. That's not communism, that's just the way it is. Speeding tickets are too arbitrary anyway though: officer discretion, speed trap towns, excessively low speed zones in areas to increase ticket revenue instead of safety, etc. I could clearly see a case where expensive cars are selectively enforced over cheap cars because you only have so much time in a day to up the revenue. It's a gray rainy crap morning and I'm sure the government will do it wrong.
  • 28-Cars-Later Feels a bit high but then again... forget it Jake, its Clown World.In 2021 someone in Sewickley had an MY01 soft top in a manual with 54K otc which I am fairly certain was a 996 and not a Boxster - $20K. I already had my C70 at the shop being reborn and could have done the $20K but it would have been tight and just didn't make sense. Still...
  • SCE to AUX Q: Should Speeding Fines Be Based on Income?A: Yes. Rich people (the guy with $1 more than you) should pay less, because giving his income to the government means he has to lay off a worker at his business.Laws are for poor people./s
  • SCE to AUX "Volvo has suggested it’s capable of yielding 275 miles of range"Every non-US car's range estimate is based on WLTP - worth mentioning.EPA range never 'backs up' WLTP; it's always about 15% lower - so figure maybe 234 miles. Not great, except as a commuter.As for the interior - it's obviously a Model 3 clone, but the screen is substantially smaller. Incidentally, I suspect Tesla made the Model 3/Y interior so minimalist to save money - not just to be different. When you're trying to become profitable on EVs, every dollar counts.