Lock Down Your Perfect Used Car (Then Lock It Up!)

Are you looking for used cars?

When shopping used cars, it’s equally important to know what you want, and what you don’t want. While it could be viewed as a positive that used inventories offer far greater diversity than the new model years of all manufacturers combined, that diversity can also be overwhelming.

What vehicle fits your geography and lifestyle? What features are important to you? What are you willing to sacrifice in order to stay within your budget? How likely is your car to be stolen?



That’s right. How likely is your car to be stolen? While that’s probably not a question that sits at the top of every car buyer’s checklist, it should be (especially if you’re buying used). Why? Because while some vandals are happy smashing a window to steal a stereo, the plans of others may be grander in scope.  And if someone has their eyes on stealing a car, used cars find themselves targets of theft more often than new cars.

After all, most stolen cars are stripped down for parts; and those that aren’t are valued in the same manner that a dealership or insurance company might. Not only do used vehicles sidestep debate over devaluation, they are simply easier to steal as they are often devoid of newer security features that can complicate theft.

So, don’t assume that your 10-year old beater is safe from threat of theft. While there may be a brand new BMW 7 Series beside it, your 2007 Hyundai Elantra might be the one someone has their eyes on.


Location, Location, Location

And for every geography, there are different trends in car theft. It makes sense when you look at the range of weather conditions you can expect to find in different regions. Whether influenced by weather or occupation, most people buy cars with some consideration of practicality. In turn, used vehicles and parts are valued proportionately, based on demand.

So, here you are, shopping for used cars. While we doubt you’ve given any kind of consideration to the most frequently stolen cars in your area, isn’t it worth knowing? Perhaps you don’t have a specific make or model in mind. Well, before you go trying to figure it out, here’s a list (courtesy of the National Insurance Crime Bureau) of…


The Ten Most Popular Stolen Vehicles in Missouri

Listed in ascending order of popularity, these are the vehicles most commonly stolen in your area. While the statistics indicate preference of certain model years over others, it certainly doesn’t mean that other model years pose no risk. Just be especially careful if you’re considering any of the following that are more than six model years old.

Kicking things off at ‘number ten’ is the Ford Taurus. Depending on the model year, this 30-year staple of Ford’s lineup has fluctuated from a mid to full-size sedan, with its appeal and public perception proving just as flexible. Now sitting atop Ford’s sedan offerings, there appears to be a strong interest in older Taurus models.

Next up? The Toyota Camry. Another veteran that may have fluctuated in terms of public esteem, the Camry has been a consistent performer in terms of sales and has been widely recognized for retaining resale value. Known for its long life, many Camrys are driven into the ground making replacement parts more valuable. The same could be said for the Honda Accord which takes the Number 8 spot.

The Chevrolet Malibu is a natural inclusion due simply to its longevity. A 50-year veteran of American car buying, the Malibu is arguably among the most successfully redesigned vehicles across its entire lifespan.

And what list would be complete with the power duo that is the Jeep Cherokee / Grand Cherokee? The popularity of both models is well-established, based on a combination of versatility and luxury. Always a strong seller, both variations of the Cherokee continue to be in hot demand.

Chevy makes another appearance at the #5 spot with the Chevrolet Impala, which carries much of the same appeal as the Malibu and for many of the same reasons.

And while the popularity of the minivan may have dropped off a cliff in recent years, there appears to be no shortage of interest in the Dodge Caravan. Whether for parts or not, here’s one that’s bound to fall off the list at sometime in the near future.

As the list winds down, we find ourselves (unsurprisingly) in truck territory, beginning with full-size Dodge / RAM Trucks. The reason this is sort-of-a-given, is because trucks sit at the top of the ‘stolen’ list for most of the 50 states. It speaks to reason that Chevrolet pickups take the Number 2 spot, especially the Chevy Silverado.

And wrapping things up at ‘Number One’ there should be little surprise that the Most Stolen Vehicle in Missouri is (drumroll please) Ford F-Series Pickups. Why is this no surprise? Because not only does the F-Series rank as the Best-Selling Truck in America for the last 35 years; it ranks as the Best-Selling Vehicle in America for the last 40 years. That’s right. Step aside coupes and sedans, crossover SUVs, Jeeps, and sports cars. No matter how popular you are, you have nothing on an F-Series truck.


Now That You’re ‘In The Know’

Be on the lookout. With a better understanding of vehicles that are more likely to put you at risk of theft, you can make the decision that best suits you.

Obviously, those in need of a full size pickup won’t be second-guessing their purchase based solely on theft statistics. But even if this information isn’t a game-changer in terms of your car buying habits, it may influence your choices related to insurance, or installation of security devices.

We hope this helps, and wish you all the best in your search for used cars, whether in Missouri or any of our other fine 49 states.