Car theft in Canada - A common and costly crime

Car theft is a global problem; however the rate of cars stolen in Canada is among the highest in the world. According to Statistics Canada, in 2010 about 254 cars a day were stolen.

Whether you drive an economy or a luxury car, it can be a target. The Insurance Bureau of Canada's (IBC) top five most stolen cars in Canada were:

  1. Toyota Venza
  2. Honda Civic
  3. Ford F350
  4. Cadillac Escalade
  5. Chevrolet TrailBlazer

Who is this costing?

Car theft costs Canadians about $1 billion a year, according to the IBC, including the costs to fix or replace stolen cars, and police, health-care and court-system costs. Some of these loses are made up through insurance premiums, costing each Canadian policyholder about $35 on his or her insurance premium.

Where is your vehicle most likely to be stolen in Canada?

The following is a list of cities in Canada with the highest rates of car theft per 100,000 population (Statistics Canada, 2010):

  1. Regina, SK
  2. Abbotsford-Mission, BC
  3. Winnipeg, MB
  4. Kelowna, BC
  5. Brantford, ON
  6. Saskatoon, SK
  7. Edmonton, AB
  8. Vancouver, BC
  9. Calgary, AB
  10. Montréal, QC

Do you live in a city prone to car theft? Don't overpay for your car insurance. Compare auto insurance rates now.

Prevent your car from being targeted

There are some things that you can do to try to prevent car theft. The following are a few IBC suggestions:

  • Always roll up your windows, close your sunroof, and lock up when leaving your vehicle.

  • Put the key in your pocket or purse as soon as you lock the vehicle and never leave keys in your vehicle or in the ignition. It only takes a moment for someone to jump in and drive away (20% of stolen cars have keys in them.)

  • Keep your vehicle registration and proof of insurance on you, in a wallet or purse at all times - don't leave these documents in the glove box.

  • Do not leave valuable items such as laptops, sports equipment or packages in clear view. Keep them in your trunk or out of sight.

  • Make sure to park in a well lit, busy area.

  • Get your car parts marked (etched). This could deter thieves, as they resell car parts and this would make your car a less attractive target.

  • If you park in your own private garage, lock both the garage and your car.

As of 2007, the Canadian federal government made it mandatory for all Canadian manufacturers to install electronic immobilizers in new cars, vans, lights trucks and SUVs. If your car doesn't have one already, the smartest thing you can do to prevent auto theft is to install an electronic immobilizer in your car. The IBC highly recommends that you make sure it meets the National Standard of Canada (ULC-S338/98); meaning it cuts all three vital circuits - the starter, the ignition, and the fuel.

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The harder you make it for someone to steal your car, the more you lower your chances of having it go missing. It never hurts to take precautions to prevent car theft.

Read more about auto theft in Canada


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