The Catalytic Converter Thieves Target Cars the Most and Least

Although you might not consider the possibility that your catalytic convert could be stolen, it is something you should.

It turns out that some models of cars are more vulnerable to theft than others and are therefore often difficult to replace.

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at which cars are most and least likely to have their catalytic converters stolen. So if you’re concerned about this potential threat, read on!

Índice de Contenido
  1. Why are thieves stealing catalytic converters
  2. Most cars are less likely to have their catalytic converter stolen
    1. 1. Cars from Certain Brands
    2. 2. Automobiles that have converters in their engine compartment
    3. 3. Automobiles built before 1974
    4. 4. Electric Cars
    5. 5. Diesel Vehicles
    6. 6. Automobiles equipped with beads converters
  3. The most likely cars to have their catalytic converters stolen are the following:
    1. 1. Hybrid Cars
    2. 2. Trucks & SUVs
    3. 3. Luxury Cars
    4. 4. For older vehicles
  4. There are ways to stop catalytic converter theft
    1. 1. Make a wise choice about your vehicle
    2. 2. Set up Anti-Theft Equipment
    3. 3. Park Wisely
    4. 4. The Converter can be painted
    5. 5. Install a car alarm
  5. Insurance

Why are thieves stealing catalytic converters

In many cars, it’s easy to access the catalytic converter. The catalytic converter can be removed quickly using an angle grinder. This takes only minutes. There are rare and precious minerals inside the catalytic convert that could be very expensive.

Today palladium costs $2,500 per an ounce and is only one of several minerals that are found in catalytic convertors. The palladium price has risen to a level that is higher than gold. 

Most cars are less likely to have their catalytic converter stolen

It is much more difficult to steal a car with a catalytic converter in its engine compartment. There are many less valuable catalysts in American and Asian cars. An older, electric or diesel car can be purchased without having a catalytic convertor installed.

1. Cars from Certain Brands

American brands like Ford, Chevy and Dodge are more likely to be stolen than American brands such as Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep. This category also includes models from Nissan, Hyundai and Mazda.

Brands used cat designs which limited the precious metals that could be contained. These brands have been a target of thieves, so they are best avoided.

2. Automobiles that have converters in their engine compartment

Several cars have installed the catalytic converter in the engine compartment instead of further back on the car’s exhaust system. It is much harder for thieves to steal this design.

Thieves don't like to spend extra time to find these cats. They will simply move on to something else. These include many models of Audi, BMW, Honda and Volkswagen cars.

3. Automobiles built before 1974

If you are driving a car that was manufactured before 1974, you don’t need to worry about catalytic converter theft. All of these cars do not come with a catalytic conversion. 

Following that, the government began to take steps to eliminate the emission. Vehicles now must have a catalyst converter. 

4. Electric Cars

The catalytic converters remove the emissions of diesel or gas. Therefore, there’s no catalytic converter on cars that rely on electric power instead.

Because the car isn’t emitting gaseous waste, there’s nothing to clean. Plugging into a power source to charge the battery isn’t going to use any gas or diesel power. Popular choices include the Volkswagen e-gold and Audi E-Tron models, as well as Tesla models.

5. Diesel Vehicles

A diesel car uses a different kind of catalytic convertor than a gasoline vehicle. Most converter thieves know that these aren’t worth as much as gas catalytic converters.

Diesel converters or so-called particle filters aren’t normally constructed with rhodium, palladium, or platinum. These precious metals are what thieves want, so they often leave behind the diesel engine.

RELATED: Do Diesel Engines Have Catalytic Converters?

6. Automobiles equipped with beads converters

The beads are used to fill bead cats. Most expert thieves know which cars contain these catalytic converters because they aren’t worth anything, even though they are larger in size.

Chevy was well known for having a bead conversion. This type is also available on other GM vehicles.

RELATED: What Does it Cost to Replace a Catalytic Convertor?

The most likely cars to have their catalytic converters stolen are the following:

Hybrid cars such as the Toyota Prius are more likely to lose their catalytic converter. Large engines, valuable catalysts, and high ground clearance make trucks and SUVs very attractive targets. This allows for easy access to the catalytic convert.

1. Hybrid Cars

A converter that is focused on clean emission will be more expensive. The automaker will use cats with higher levels of palladium to keep the environment clean. 

Additionally, because the car already runs cleaner with the help of an electric motor, the cats aren’t used heavily. This design comes with a steeper price tag. The Toyota Prius is an example of a car that has been targeted for catalytic converter thefts.

2. Trucks & SUVs

Targeting larger SUVs or trucks for two reasons is common. A larger engine will require a better cat to meet emission standards. 

The vehicle's height makes it easy for thieves to access the catalytic converter. These vehicles are highly targeted because they require less work and can earn a lot of money. Two great examples are the Ford F-250 or Toyota Tacoma.

3. Luxury Cars

A lot of luxury vehicles have highly valuable catalysts. Sometimes, there are more than one for each engine thanks to V-10 or V12 motors. The Ferrari F430 converter is one of the most costly catalytic converters available today. It can be found at a cost exceeding $3,500. This car also contains two converters making it an excellent investment for anyone who is not ethical.

Lamborghinis also have expensive catalytic converters. Some of the lineup’s cats can sell for more than $3,000. However, these cars usually have a very low ground clearance and are often parked in a garage, so it’s more difficult for thieves to steal those.

4. For older vehicles

If you get a car that’s a couple of decades old but still after -74, you are going to see more costly catalytic converters installed. That’s because the overall eco-friendliness of this vehicle wasn’t a top concern. 

Due to the car's poor emission, they have bigger catalytic converters. These cars will have a higher value than any newer or more efficient ones. 

There are ways to stop catalytic converter theft

1. Make a wise choice about your vehicle

Do your research before you buy a car. This can be a deciding factor if you're considering different models. 

It is a crucial step, particularly if your budget is tight. If you put out the last of your money to purchase a car, you won’t have the funds to replace the catalytic converter if it gets stolen. 

2. Set up Anti-Theft Equipment

To prevent cats being taken, you have several anti-theft solutions. Some prefer the steel shield, which is more difficult to remove. 

Steel cables or steel cages can also be used. These devices can be installed for as little as $200 up to $750. 

READ MORE: How to Protect Your Car From Catalytic Converter Theft

3. Park Wisely

Obviously, the best place to park your vehicle is in the garage, where thieves can’t get to it. However, covered parking isn’t always feasible, especially when you are out and about. 

Make sure you have enough lighting and traffic lights when parking your car in a busy area. You car and your catalytic convert will be protected from theft or vandalism by doing this. 

4. The Converter can be painted

Consider painting your catalytic converter a unique color. It is possible to use fluorescent paint, which will make it easier for people to find the catalytic conversion.

The VIN can be removed or painted to make the converter look more attractive. They are less likely to be sold than one that is painted or removed. 

5. Install a car alarm

The best defense against car alarms is to be able to adjust their sensitivity. Some car alarms can be set to go off when you get too close.

The key here is to ensure you don’t become complacent with how much more the alarm goes off. You will need to continue taking every alarm seriously and check out what’s going on.


When it comes to catalytic steal, having the correct car insurance is crucial. If you have comprehensive coverage it will cover catalytic theft, as well the cost of replacing the catalyst. If you're concerned about theft of your catalytic converters, it is important that you check all these details before getting insurance on your car.

READ MORE: Ten Tips to Reduce Car Insurance Prices

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