Popular U.S. Stolen Cars Imported into Europe

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It may seem hard to believe, but there are thousands of stolen cars from the U.S. which are being driven on European roads. CARFAX Europe has put together an infographic to explain which are the most popular brands of U.S. stolen cars being imported, as well as the top countries where these cars are ending up. All data refers to U.S. import cars which have arrived in Europe over the last ten years.

infographic most stolen cars

Most Popular Stolen Cars by Brand

While vast numbers of vehicles of various makes and models have ended up being reported as stolen cars, there are five brands which tend to be the most popular among thieves. Interestingly, the brands include three of the most popular automotive manufacturing nations: Germany, Japan, and the United States of America.

Toyota

Coming in at number one, Toyotas are the number one most popular stolen cars being imported from the U.S. into Europe. In fact, the Toyota Camry is the number one ranking vehicle when running the CARFAX stolen car check. Other popular stolen cars from Toyota’s line up include: RAV4, Corolla, 4-Runner, and Highlander.

Mercedes-Benz

The second place for stolen cars from the U.S. arriving in Europe goes to a European powerhouse auto manufacturer: Mercedes-Benz. The third most popular vehicle to be stolen and imported is the ML 320. Other popular models are the E 320, ML 350, C 240 and C 230.

Dodge

Beginning on the 1st of June 2011, Dodge stopped selling its cars in Europe. This hasn’t stopped stolen cars of the brand finding their way from America across the ocean. Perhaps it’s only increased the demand for the brand. The Dodge Ram is one of the more popular vehicles found in the CARFAX stolen car check.

BMW

Yet another German manufacturer finds itself on the popular stolen cars list: BMW. The X5 is the second most often stolen and imported car from the U.S. Other common models include the 325 and 530.

Honda

Bringing up the rear of the pack is Honda. While Honda has little less than 50% of the stolen cars coming to Europe as its fellow Japanese automaker, it’s still more popular than many other brands around the world. The most commonly stolen and imported vehicle found in the CARFAX stolen car check is the CR-V.

Top Countries Importing Stolen Cars from the U.S.

The top five countries which bring stolen U.S. import cars into Europe add up to more than double the next 30 countries combined. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the vehicles stay where they are imported. There is also a likelihood that vehicles are imported into one country and sold in another. Nevertheless, here are the top 5 countries in order from most to least imported stolen cars from the United States:

  • Lithuania
  • Germany
  • Georgia
  • Poland
  • Armenia

How to Avoid Buying Stolen Cars from the U.S.

While there has been a bit of fluctuation over the last ten years, the data shows that the trend of stolen cars from the U.S. being imported is going up. The risk certainly exists when buying U.S. import cars that the vehicle has been reported stolen in the past.

The number one way to uncover a vehicle’s history before you buy is to check the CARFAX Vehicle History Report. The CARFAX stolen vehicle check will let you know if the vehicle has been reported stolen at any point in its history, as well as when and where. Additionally, the CARFAX Report will let used car buyers know if stolen cars have been recovered and therefor are no longer registered as stolen.

Finding out a vehicle’s history, especially when it comes to stolen cars, can help save you trouble down the road when shopping for used cars. Avoid buying stolen U.S. import cars by checking the CARFAX before you buy!