More than 85,000 motor vehicles were stolen in Canada in 2017, according to Statistics Canada, which represents a six per cent increase over the previous year. While New Brunswick and Ontario experienced the greatest increase in car thefts in 2017 (28 per cent and 15 per cent, respectively), no province is immune to this type of theft.
Given how often vehicles are stolen in Canada and the affect auto theft can have on auto insurance premiums, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) tracks which vehicles are favoured by thieves and produces an annual list of Canada’s most stolen.
Top stolen cars in Canada
Although any vehicle can be the target of car theft, the vehicles most frequently stolen in Canada are older Ford F-series of trucks. In fact, nationally these vehicles are a popular target for theft in virtually all the provinces, but nowhere more so than in Alberta.
Last year, the Ford F-series of trucks also topped Canada’s most stolen list.
There are, however, regional differences. In Ontario, for example, the Chevrolet Tahoe, Silverado and Suburban dominate the list, while in Atlantic Canada, the Nissan Maxima is a frequent target, followed by the Chevrolet Silverado and Jeep Liberty. In Quebec, the Acura MDX, Toyota 4Runner and Honda CR-V round out the top three.
Why are cars stolen?
Thieves steal cars for a number of reasons, according to the IBC, including helping to launder money for organized crime syndicates, to resell the entire vehicle to unsuspecting consumers, to steal packages or other valuable items inside the vehicle, and to disassemble the car to sell the parts.
All in, the IBC estimates that automobile theft in Canada costs close to $1 billion a year.
For most families, the car is the second most expensive purchase after their home. And while home insurance is not mandatory (although it is highly recommended), auto insurance is required by law. However, no one wants to pay more than necessary for insurance. It’s just smart business to research cheap car insurance quotes.
What you can do to protect your vehicle from being stolen
Fortunately, there are a number of things the IBC suggests you do to help prevent your car from being targeted by car thieves.
1. Never leave your car running when you’re not in it.
It may be tempting to leave the car running while you run back into the house for something you forgot or pop into the corner store to buy a lottery ticket, but leaving your car running with the keys in it is an open invitation to car thieves.
2. Park in well-lit areas.
Thieves are more likely to go undetected when a car is parked in the shadows.
3. Close the windows and lock the doors when you park your car.
As the police often say, lock it or lose it. All it takes is 60 seconds for a thief to steal your car, why make it easy for them? Also, place all valuables and packages in the trunk, so that they’re hidden out of sight.
4. Take your insurance and ownership documents with you.
Don’t leave personal information in the car. Your insurance and ownership documents, for example, have your name and address on them and make it easier for a thief to add identity theft to the crime.