If you live in one of a handful of states, you might want to keep a close eye on your car. Vehicle thefts in these places are especially high, according to an analysis of 2020 data by Car Insurance Comparison.
Not only does that put your car at risk, but it likely can make it more difficult to find cheaper car insurance rates.
The number of motor vehicle thefts generally has remained steady throughout the U.S. over the past several years, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Here are 15 states with the highest theft rates (expressed as thefts per 100,000 registered vehicles).
15. North Dakota
Theft rate: 271
North Dakota’s theft rate in 2020 was the first increase in at least five years and went above its previous recent high in 2016 of 259.1.
14. South Carolina
Theft rate: 282.1
South Carolina’s theft rate is relatively high but actually declined from 2019, when it was 290.8.
Theft rate: 287
Car thefts in Texas saw a jump in both 2019 and 2020 compared to 2018 when the rate was just 243.2. The 2020 reading was a five-year high.
Theft rate: 306.4
After dipping in 2019, the car theft rate rose again in Tennessee in 2020.
Tennessee broke the 300-mark one other time in the past five years: In 2018, the rate was 301.9 per 100,000 vehicles.
Theft rate: 316.6
In 2019, Utah saw a dramatic decrease in the theft rate, when it dropped to 210.2 after being as high as 307.7 in 2016.
But in 2020, the rate suddenly jumped to a five-year high.
Theft rate: 336.4
Despite its spot on this list, Nevada continues to see a decline in its car-theft rate.
The state’s 2020 rate was a five-year low and a big decline from the recent high of 448.3 in 2016.
Theft rate: 356.1
Washington’s theft rate ticked up in 2020, but its current level is still far below its 443 rate in 2016, which was the highest number in recent years.
Theft rate: 378
Oklahoma’s car theft rate increased each year from 2016 to 2020.
It reached a peak in 2020 when it was up from 338.1 thefts per 100,000 vehicles in 2019.
Theft rate: 379.8
Hawaii’s 2020 rate is slightly higher than its thefts per 100,000 vehicles rate of 371.1 in 2019.
Theft rate: 391
Oregon saw a rise in car thefts, but the rate is still below a recent high of 413.7 set back in 2017.
Theft rate: 393.2
Missouri’s theft rate had been on a steady incline until 2020 when it jumped from the previous year's mark of 343.3.
Theft rate: 427.6 (tie)
California is tied for third on the list. The state saw a decline in its car theft rate each year from 2016 to 2019, but its 2020 number is closer to its 2016 rate of 450.3 thefts per 100,000 vehicles.
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3. New Mexico
Theft rate: 427.6 (tie)
New Mexico’s rate ticked up only a little bit from the 2019 rate of 427.2.
The state saw declines in its car-theft rate each year from 2016 to 2019 before a small increase in 2020.
2. Washington, D.C.
Theft rate: 476.8
Washington, D.C. saw a five-year high for thefts in 2020, beating its previous top mark of 436.5 in 2016.
Theft rate: 524.3
Colorado saw a dramatic jump in its car theft rate in 2020. By comparison, in 2019, the state saw 384 thefts per 100,000 vehicles.
If you live in one of the above states, take extra care to keep your car safe from thieves.
As you protect your vehicle, take steps to save money on car insurance, fill up where gas is cheapest, and pay down your auto loan faster if you can.