Are stolen cars dismantled or resold?

Vehicles are an expensive, albeit often necessary, investment. There is a huge market for automobiles and their components, and for this reason car theft is still very prominent. What happens to your car after it’s stolen, and how can you prevent vehicle theft?

Unfortunately the answer is: both. The fate of your stolen vehicle depends on the thief, the make and model of your car, and a variety of other criteria. Some carjackers are looking for newer, cutting-edge vehicles to be sold abroad for a profit, while others are simply looking to dismantle your car into individual and untraceable car parts to be resold on the second-hand market. Some criminals simply need transportation, while others may be mischievous youngsters out for a joyride. The scope of car theft is varied and unpredictable, but the bottom line is quite clear: only a small percentage of stolen cars are recovered, and the costs of losing a vehicle are high indeed for the owner. Read on to learn how to protect yourself from this potential financial catastrophe.

What kinds of cars are most frequently stolen?

The answer might surprise you. The vast majority of stolen cars are mid-ranged, family-model vehicles; for example, in 2013, the Honda Accord and Honda Civic were among the most frequently stolen car models, while the Nissan Altima and Ford Fusion topped the charts of the most popular new cars to steal. After a moment’s consideration, it makes sense that high-selling, popular cars would be ripe targets for thieves, as replacement car parts for those vehicles are in extremely high demand, and the cars themselves can be put right back on the market, with a little modification. Luxury-car owners should not let their guard down, however. Just because it’s easier for a thief to find and steal a popular mid-range car doesn’t mean your Ferrari is safe left unlocked in your driveway.

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Common-sense vehicle protection

There are a number of easy, low-cost theft prevention measures you can take to minimise the risk of a carjacking happening to you. Firstly, do not keep any valuables in your car, especially not in open view. You do not want to give a car thief any additional reason to target your vehicle.

When not in use, keep your car locked with the windows closed, and when possible, park your car in well-travelled, well-lit areas. Some low-cost, effective theft-prevention devices include a steering-wheel or brake-pedal lock, an ignition kill-switch, and/or a silent alarm connected to your cellular phone or other electronic device. For those seeking additional protection, some more sophisticated, and more expensive, theft deterrents are available.

Additional theft prevention

If you are really worried about your car being stolen, consider installing a GPS anti-theft tracking system, such as the LoJack Stolen Vehicle Recovery System or OnStar. These devices allow a third party to track the location of your vehicle in the event of theft, and greatly increase the chances that your car will be located and returned to you before it is shipped abroad or dismantled into parts. Some experts also recommend etching your vehicle’s VIN number into critical components of the vehicle to make its parts more difficult to sell, thus making your car a less desirable target.

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