It’s recently been estimated that 2,650 cars are stolen daily in the U.S. That equals about one every 33 seconds, which means in the time it takes you to read this post, 2 cars could have been stolen (or 3, depending on your read/scan ratio). And it’s not just fancy cars being nabbed either. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), the following were the most stolen cars in 2008:

  1. 1994 Honda Accord
  2. 1995 Honda Civic
  3. 1991 Toyota Camry
  4. 1997 Ford F-150 Pickup
  5. 2004 Dodge Ram Pickup
  6. 2000 Dodge Caravan
  7. 1996 Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee
  8. 1994 Acura Integra
  9. 1999 Ford Taurus
  10. 2002 Ford Explorer

If you happen to have one of the cars listed above, however, that doesn’t mean you’re powerless against thieving scoundrels.

Here are 3 surefire tips for avoiding auto theft no matter what kind of car you drive.

  1. Don’t be a dummy — simple common sense will go a long way towards protecting you against theft. Always lock your doors (even in your own driveway), try to avoid parking in risky areas (if you’re not sure, it’s probably risky), and never leave tempting valuables in your car (if you must, at least hide them).
  2. Say yes to an aftermarket anti-theft device. From the Club to VIN etching, there are a lot of products on the market today designed specifically to prevent auto theft. Investing in just one can help make your vehicle less of a target to would-be thieves, and might also qualify you for a discount on your auto insurance.
  3. If you can’t beat ’em, track ’em. If you live in an area with high theft rates or drive a particularly theft-prone car, there are numerous tracking devices on the market that significantly increase the odds of recovering a vehicle that’s been stolen.

And of course, no matter what type of theft-prevention tactic you decide to go with, always be sure to have your vehicle fully insured to guarantee that you’re covered in case of the worst. (You must have seen that coming.)

Helpful related articles:

Auto theft, vandalism, and your auto insurance
Avoiding auto theft and insurance problems
How to prevent your car from getting stolen

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about Heidi

Heidi brings 11 years’ experience to her role as Esurance’s copywriting manager. Writer, editor, and all around wordsy, she was content when content wasn’t cool. Also, she likes old-school country.