Do you drive an SUV with a keyless remote entry fob or a Ford F-Series or Dodge Ram pickup truck? If so, you might want to a little more cautious where you park it.
According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada’s (IBC) list of the most stolen vehicles in the country in 2020, high-end SUVs with keyless entry remotes and some pickup trucks are the targets of choice for thieves. Car thieves' tactics have become more sophisticated, making electronic vehicle theft a rising problem nationwide. Auto theft costs Canadians up to $1 billion annually, IBC says. Moreover, owning a vehicle with a high rate of theft may result in a higher car insurance premium.
Based on insurance claims, IBC’s 2020 list finds eight of the top 10 most stolen vehicles in Canada are SUVs, a departure from previous years when pickup trucks dominated the list:
- 2018 Honda CR-V 4DR AWD SUV
- 2017 Lexus RX350/RX450h 4DR AWD SUV
- 2017 Honda CR-V 4DR AWD SUV
- 2018 Lexus RX350/RX350L/RX450h/RX450hL 4DR AWD SUV
- 2018 Ford F150 4WD PU
- 2019 Honda CR-V 4DR AWD SUV
- 2018 Toyota Highlander 4DR 4WD SUV
- 2017 Toyota Highlander 4DR 4WD SUV
- 2019 Lexus RX350/RX350L/RX450h/RX450hL 4DR AWD SUV
- 2017 Dodge Ram 1500 4WD PU
In 2019, Ford F-Series pickup trucks were the most stolen vehicles on IBC’s list. Older model pickups tended to rank high on the list because they don't have the same kind of theft-deterrent technologies that more recent models have.
IBC’s 2020 list shows criminals’ taste for high-end SUVs with keyless remote fobs are all the rage as they can capture key fob signals through the door of a house with the use of a wireless transmitter in what is known as a ‘relay attack’. But that doesn’t mean pickup trucks aren’t highly sought-after vehicles among thieves.
Why these models are at risk for theft
One reason the vehicles listed are vulnerable to theft may be because they don't have an ignition immobilizer. An ignition immobilizer is an advanced anti-theft device that can prevent thieves from hot-wiring a vehicle, and without it, it's easier for a thief to gain access to, and control of, your car.
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Motor vehicle thefts in Ontario and Alberta
IBC's list uses nationwide theft data to compile its annual list. However, in Ontario and Alberta, the picture is slightly different from what we see nationally.
Most stolen vehicles in Ontario in 2020
High-end SUVs are the vehicle of choice among criminals. IBC’s list for Ontario highlights which models are lifted most often:
- 2017 Lexus RX350/RX450h 4DR AWD
- 2018 Lexus RX350/RX350L/RX450h/RX450hL 4DR AWD
- 2018 Honda CR-V 4DR AWD
- 2018 Toyota Highlander 4DR 4WD
- 2019 Lexus RX350/RX350L/RX450h/RX450hL 4DR AWD
- 2016 Lexus RX350/RX450h 4DR AWD
- 2017 Toyota Highlander 4DR 4WD
- 2017 Honda CR-V 4DR AWD
- 2019 Honda CR-V 4DR AWD
- 2018 Honda Accord 4DR
Most stolen vehicles in Alberta in 2020
In Alberta, where pickup trucks are commonplace, Ford F-Series and Dodge Ram pickup trucks remain the most popular targets for theft in 2020:
- 2006 Ford F350 SD 4WD
- 2007 Ford F350 SD 4WD
- 2004 Ford F350 SD 4WD
- 2005 Ford F350 SD 4WD
- 2017 Dodge/Ram Ram 1500 4WD
- 2014 Dodge Ram 1500 4WD
- 2003 Ford F350 SD 4WD
- 2018 Ford F150 4WD
- 2013 Ford F150 4WD
- 2013 Dodge Ram 1500 4WD
How to protect your vehicle from theft
No matter what vehicle you own, you can make it harder for thieves to target it. IBC encourages you to pay special attention to where you keep your car’s key fob. Don’t leave your key fob in the car or near the entrance of your home. Placing your key fob in a Faraday key fob protector box or bag can block the key fob’s signal from being hacked by a thief.
Other ways to deter theft of your vehicle include:
- Don’t keep valuables stored in your vehicle
- Park your vehicle in a garage or well-lit areas
- Install an ignition immobilizer to prevent crooks from hot-wiring your vehicle
- Get a mechanical anti-theft device such as a steering wheel or brake pedal lock
- Close and lock windows, doors, and sunroofs anytime you leave the car
- Don't keep the engine running when the vehicle is unattended
It’s also worthwhile to find out how much insurance costs for the vehicle you own, or if you plan on purchasing a new set of wheels, by comparing policies and premiums for free.