Be Aware: Car Theft is on the Rise

At CDSPI we understand the importance of protecting your assets, including your vehicle. Unfortunately, car theft is on the rise, and it's important to take the necessary precautions to avoid becoming a victim. The Insurance Bureau of Canada reports that a car is stolen approximately every 6 minutes, costing Canadians over a billion dollars a year.1

Although all high-end cars, regardless of manufacturer, are targets for thieves—the top 10 most stolen vehicles in Canada for 20222 were:

Rank Car Make, Model & Year
1. 2016-2021 Honda CR-V
2. 2016-2021 Lexus RX Series
3. 2015-2020 Ford F-150 Series
4. 2016-2021 Honda Civic
5. 2013-2019 Toyota Highlander
6. 2011-2018 RAM 1500 Series
7. 1999-2006 Chevrolet/GMC Silverado/Sierra 1500
8. 2018-2021 Honda Accord
9. 2011-2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee
10. 2013-2018 Toyota RAV4

As auto theft rates continue to increase and ultimately affect everyone’s insurance premium, our partners at The Personal compiled a list of tips to prevent your car from being stolen!

1. Lock your doors and roll up your windows

Don’t make your vehicle an easy target! No matter how safe your neighbourhood may be, the risk is still there. Ensure you always lock your doors and keep your windows (including sunroof) closed when you are not in the vehicle.

2. Don’t leave your keys or car running unattended

You may think that you are only leaving your car for a quick moment, but thieves are quick. Leaving your keys in the ignition makes you an easy target. Avoid leaving spare car keys in the glovebox as thieves often check it for valuables.

3. Take advantage of additional security features

Car alarms are good, but thieves know how to work their way around them. Additional security features lower your risk of having your car stolen. Consider using a steering wheel lock, as it makes it impossible to drive a car away. Lug nuts are inexpensive and make it challenging to remove and steal tires and rims.

4. Hide your valuables

Not every thief is looking to steal your car; rather, they want what’s inside it. If you have any valuables in your car, make sure you place them in the trunk. You may even want to invest in a trunk cover if your window exposes your items. If you have a dash cam, you should always remove it before you exit the vehicle. Avoid leaving loose change in visible areas. Things you may not consider valuable, such as sunglasses or gloves, may be to a thief interested in them.

5. Park in a safe area

Whenever possible, park your vehicle in a garage. If you must park on the street, try to park in a well-lit area with foot traffic. When parking in an unfamiliar neighbourhood, it may be best to park in a populated parking lot where there is an attendant or security cameras.

6. Invest in home security cameras

If you park in your driveway, you may want to consider purchasing exterior home security cameras. Cameras are a great way to make your vehicle a less appealing target for thieves.  Ensure the camera has a clear view of the car and that it can be easily seen from the street. Although many inexpensive models on the market are great, it may be worthwhile to purchase one that has motion-activated floodlights.

7. Keep your keys away from doors and windows

Pay special attention to where you keep your car’s key fob. Keeping your car keys near your front door may be convenient, but it may help thieves steal your car. Vehicles that use a key fob activated starter are vulnerable to having the signal from their key fob emulated by sophisticated car thieves using a wireless transmitter in what is known as a “relay attack.” You can even take it a step further for safety and put your key fob in a Faraday bag which blocks signals from relays.

8. Get the right insurance coverage

Review your auto insurance policy to ensure you have the right coverage. For example, a reimbursement of the replacement vehicle costs can help you get through the time it takes to process your claim.

Remember that your automobile insurance policy doesn’t cover items that you are carrying, such as computers and electronics, phones, sports equipment, or any other items you are transporting in your car. To protect these items, be sure to have a comprehensive home insurance policy that would cover the loss.

Car Parts are also being stolen

Canada has also seen an alarming rise in the theft of catalytic converters. This valuable part is being targeted by thieves for the precious metals inside including platinum, rhodium, and palladium. Depending on the model of your vehicle and the replacement selected, you could be looking at a bill between $1,500 to $2,500 depending on your deductible.

Hybrid vehicles are the most vulnerable and easy to identify. Occasionally, thieves may also target trucks and SUVs because of the higher ground clearance. These thefts are fast and simple – the thief slides under the car and removes two or three bolts or may even opt to cut the converter out with a reciprocating saw. The sawing can be noisy, but in less than a minute, it’s over and the part falls into their hands.

But there are steps in addition to those mentioned earlier that you can take to prevent the theft of this high-value car part:

  1. Consider installing a metal cage to cover the catalytic converter.
  2. Set your vehicle's alarm to go off when vibration is detected.
  3. Consider having your VIN engraved onto your catalytic converter by a specialist. This may make the resale of the stolen part more difficult and can help identify the correct owner of the vehicle. Some police departments hold free engraving events in the community so keep an eye out for a session near you.


By following these tips, you can help protect your vehicle and avoid becoming a victim of car theft.

* The CDSPI Home & Auto Insurance Program is underwritten by The Personal Insurance Company and distributed by CDSPI Advisory Services Inc.

The CDSPI Home & Auto Insurance Program is subject to certain conditions, limitations and exclusions. Products, services, savings and discounts are subject to eligibility conditions and may vary by jurisdiction. Rates and discounts are subject to change without notice. The CDSPI Home & Auto Insurance Program is not available to residents of Quebec. Auto insurance is not available to residents of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia due to government-run plans. The terms and conditions of the coverages described are set out in the insurance policy, which always prevails.