Photo: Flickr via saxonmoseley
The average theft rate for cars in America is one out of every 78 models. For the Toyota Prius, that number is just one in 606, according to a new report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB).Of the 1.2 million Prii (the official pluralization) sold since 2000, only 2,439 have been reported stolen as of June 30.
The most stolen car in the country last year was the 1994 Honda Accord, a regular on the NICB’s annual “Hot Wheels” list of car thefts by model and state.
So what makes an 18-year-old Honda so much more appealing than a new, gas-sipping Prius? NICB Public Affairs Director Frank Scafidi offers a simple theory: Car thieves are often more interested in selling stolen cars for parts than the entire vehicle, and old Accord parts are more useful than Prius parts.
“What drives a lot of the thefts for the older vehicles, at least, is the illicit parts market” for repair jobs, he said in a phone interview. As there are not many Prii on the road yet, “the need isn’t there yet.”
John Abounader, executive director of the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators, adds that few Prius parts can be used on other cars. He told Bloomberg:
It’s a one-model car; the parts on it won’t fit anything else but a Prius. If you use a Camry, for instance, the engine might fit in another car. On a Prius, the engine is so different because they’re hybrid.
Of course, as Prius sales continue to rise, the “black market” for its parts could motivate car thieves to start targeting the hybrids.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.