According to insurance companies and law enforcement agencies, catalytic converter theft is at an all-time high. In this article, we set out to share the cars and trucks least likely to have their catalytic converters stolen. While any vehicle can be a target, there are vehicles where catalytic converter theft is less likely because their catalytic converters have fewer precious metals inside than the more popular makes and models.
Cars manufactured before 1974 and electric cars have zero risk for catalytic converter theft since they do not have catalytic converters. Cars with low ground clearance, as well as non-hybrid vehicles from Ford (except Trucks), Chevrolet, Chrysler, and Dodge, are also at lower risk than their imported counterparts or SUVs.
However, all cars with a catalytic converter can be targeted by thieves because all catalytic converters have some resale value at the scrapyard. It is a quick way for thieves to get quick cash, especially if the car is located in an area that makes it an easy target.
Cars least likely to have their catalytic converters stolen
- Cars manufactured before 1974 since they do not contain catalytic converters
- Diesel catalytic converters
- Electric cars (impossible since they don’t have catalytic converters)
- Ford, Subaru, Hyundai, Chrysler, Chevrolet, Dodge, Mazda, Nissan sedans (non-hybrids)
Note: This does not mean your catalytic converter won’t be stolen, it just means you are less likely to be specifically targeted since your catalytic converter is less valuable at the scrap yard or metal recycling plant. Catalytic converters on these cars contain less palladium and other precious metals.
Vehicles that sit high off the ground, like SUVs and some trucks are often targeted because it is easier to access the catalytic converter without having to jack up the vehicle.
What makes these cars’ catalytic converters less likely to be stolen?
People steal catalytic converters because they contain valuable precious metals. The more palladium, platinum, and rhodium a catalytic converter has, the more money thieves can get for them when resold to scrapyards and metal recycling plants.
A stolen catalytic converter can fetch anywhere from $25 to $300 for a standard catalytic converter. Catalytic converter thieves can get upwards of $1400 for those found on hybrid vehicles like the Toyota Prius.
The more emissions-friendly a vehicle is, the more likely it will be targeted. Many vehicles on this list are not hybrid or SUVs that sit high off the ground. Many are standard sedans that (a) sit close to the ground and (b) don’t have high-end catalytic converters. By using cheaper catalytic converters, car manufacturers can build cheaper cars.
For thieves, there are better target vehicles with more expensive catalytic converters readily available.