Geography is a funny thing. It really doesn’t matter what the focus of an investigation or survey is, the geographic focus of that survey will always play a distinctive role. Take for example a study into the “Most Popular” or “Best Selling” vehicles, or even a list of the vehicles most commonly stolen. Any of these results would be highly defined by the geography selected, influenced by its climate, terrain and favored past-times. And it’s possible that factors of “popularity” or “risk of theft” might even influence your car-buying choices.
Consider for a moment that you live in Orlando, Florida. While the rest of the country might make the mistake of considering Orlando indistinguishable from a certain “happiest place on earth, residents understand the geographic difference (of around 20 miles). And while there are inevitably some Orlando residents who wish they could drive around in ‘Lightning McQeen,’ let’s not forget that the vast majority are just looking for an affordable and reliable vehicle. And whether they’re looking to buy new or used, their decision will inevitably be influenced by the factors mentioned above.
So, before you go about exploring dealerships in Orlando, let’s take a look at some of the most popular vehicles in the area. But by ‘popular’ we mean popular to people who might want to steal it (maybe to head over to the Magic Kingdom, or something).
Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in the Orlando Area
According to that National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) and the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), the following list provides a better understanding of the vehicles most commonly stolen in the Orlando area. The list is a composite of new and older model years, painting a fairly accurate picture of the vehicles that present the greatest risk of theft.
- Nissan Maxima
- Dodge Pick-Up
- Chevrolet Impala
- Chevrolet Cruz
- Chevrolet Impala
- Chevrolet Malibu
- Hyundai Sonata
- Dodge Charger
- GMC Sierra
- Chevrolet Pick-Up
- Toyota Corolla
- Honda Accord
- Chrysler 200
- Toyota Camry
- Nissan Altima
- Honda Civic
- Ford Pick-Up
Regardless of make and model, is relatively plain to see that each of the vehicles listed have one thing in common: commonality. A simple drive down any street or highway is bound to present you with countless drivers behind the wheel of any these popular vehicles.
As such it stands to reason that there is a significant industry built around the resale of stolen vehicles, and the availability of replacement parts and body pieces. It’s really no surprise that any of these makes and models exist as prime targets for theft. In fact, a vehicle’s risk of theft feels almost proportional to its popularity.
Take pick-up trucks, for example. In recent years, we’ve seen an influx of upstart offerings from the likes of Nissan and Honda, joining Toyota in an attempt to redistribute the pie from industry leaders such as Ford, General Motors, and Dodge. That said, the trucks most likely to be stolen are older model Ford and Chevy’s because of their enduring popularity.
Equally proportional in their susceptibility to theft are iconic sedans such as the Camry and Accord. Accessibly priced and accommodating, they have remained top-sellers for the better part of four decades. With so many of these vehicles on the road today, and an ever-growing influx, they remain a hot commodity.
And while it inevitably has something to do with geography, it is worth noting the near absence of crossovers and SUVs on this list of Orlando’s “most coveted” vehicles. Considering the prevalence of such vehicles on our roads, it’s a surprise that they prove less enticing to thieves.
Are New or Older Vehicles at Greater Risk?
It depends. Ultimately, there are two primary motivators to vehicle theft. First, the demand for parts, usually among older vehicles. Secondly, the opportunity for resale of a higher-valued late model vehicle.
The luxury of the former is that older vehicles are less likely to be equipped with the newest security systems (which we’ll get to in just a minute). This provides the thief with more time to get the vehicle to a chop shop, or wherever it will be modified/repurposed to prevent discovery. That said, the latter can create exponentially higher profit for the thief if the vehicle is well-maintained.
Ways to Avoid Theft
Utilize Common Sense. It’s pretty simple: roll up your windows, lock your vehicle, and take your keys with you. While that may seem like a redundant understatement, all-too-many drivers make it relatively easy for thieves to steal their vehicle, by not taking these basic steps.
Install an Audible Anti-Theft Alarm. Most security systems include an audible alarm that can serve as a powerful theft-deterrent. And with advances in technology, most of these systems have moved beyond simple noises or flashing lights. Many are subscription-based services with a third-party provider contacting the authorities, and many are app-based that can send a notification directly to your phone.
And speaking of service an app-based security:
More and more systems are equipped with specialized anti-theft features. For example, GPS and telematics-based tracking devices can help in tracking a vehicle, in the event that it is stolen. This greatly improves the chances of recovery. Another example of such specialized features comes in the form of immobilization, enabling activation of a “kill-switch” to disable the vehicle. Both of these can be extremely effective additions to any anti-theft device.
While we’re not trying to discourage you from buying any of the great vehicles listed above, it’s important to know whether or not you’re putting yourself at-risk, so that you can be proactive in protecting your purchase. No matter what you decide upon in terms of that vehicle purchase, we hope that you enjoy a long relationship with it.
And if you do, why not celebrate with a trip up the road to Disney?