The Most Stolen Car In America: Muscle Car Or Truck?

2013 Dodge Charger SXT

The most stolen car in America is either a muscle car or a truck, all depending on who you ask.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the most stolen car of 2011 was the Dodge Charger. Their figures say that there were 4.8 thefts for every 1000 cars produced. It makes me think that somewhere there are some really incompetent thieves with just .8 of their stolen Chargers.

Rounding out the top of this list is the Mitsubishi Galant, Hyundai Accent, Chevrolet Impala and Chevrolet HHR counting only vehicles with at least 5,000 units produced for the year. Not a truck in sight at the top of this list.

If you own one of those cars and are now feeling compelled to double-check that you locked the doors, you might want to put your faith in the rankings released by the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) instead. According to them, the top stolen car in America isn’t even a car, but the Ford F-250 crew-cab with four-wheel drive.

Their rankings go on to include more trucks. They’ve got the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Chevrolet Avalanche 1500, GMC Sierra 1500 crew, and Ford F-350 crew with four-wheel drive in their top five.

Why such a difference?

It all comes down to methodology. The NHTSA bases its numbers on stolen car reports made to the police. The insurance industry funded HLDI uses reports based on insurance claims.

The reason the two reports are wildly different has a lot to do with the fact that a stolen truck can mean the lost of far more than just the truck. Depending on what was in the flatbed, the owner might be looking at a significant loss that will make it more likely he’ll file a claim.

One thing both parties agree on is that thefts overall have been on the decline. On average, thefts have gone down about 13% each year since 2006 which was the last year that saw an increase.

Nicole Wakelin fell in love with cars as a teenager when she got to go for a ride in a Ferrari. It was red and it was fast and that was all that mattered. Game over. She considers things a bit more carefully now, but still has a weakness for fast, beautiful cars. Nicole also writes for NerdApproved and GeekMom.