Catalytic converter theft is a huge problem and it has been on the rise and it is happening in broad daylight sometimes. So what can you do in order to protect yourself? There are car makes that are less likely to be targeted by catalyst thieves compared to others, let us find out if your car is one of them.

What are thefts after?

What motivates individuals to pilfer catalytic converters? These thefts are driven by the allure of a hidden treasure. Your catalytic converter, nestled within your car's exhaust system, serves as a crucial guardian, filtering out the noxious emissions produced by your vehicle. This guardian's mechanism involves the utilization of valuable metals like Rhodium, Platinum, and Palladium, which are instrumental in its function. Thieves, cognizant of the considerable value of these metals, embark on the illicit journey of snatching catalytic converters and subsequently peddling them to scrap yards. The potential financial gains from such endeavors can range from a modest sum to a substantial $1,500.

Risk factors for thefts

Cars Least Likely to Have Catalytic Converter Stolen | AutoCatalystMarket Canada — Photo № 1 | AutoCatalyst Market

Safety from catalytic converter theft is virtually guaranteed for owners of vehicles manufactured prior to 1974, as these vintage models are devoid of catalytic converters. This level of security is akin to that enjoyed by owners of diesel or electric vehicles, which employ distinct emission control systems, rendering them unattractive targets for converter thieves.


Having a low ground clearance is a major factor for thieves to avoid. Thieves are lazy, if they see no access to a cat converter underneath they would rather target another car. This is why some go after vans and SUVs with enough room to cut out the converter with a saw in less than a minute. But that is not a hundred percent assurance as someone tall enough could reach both pipe ends with just long enough hands and experience.

Cars Least Likely to Have Catalytic Converter Stolen | AutoCatalystMarket Canada — Photo № 2 | AutoCatalyst Market

Local laws for scrapyards

In some states of America, scrap yards state law makes it difficult for thieves to sell them locally. Scrappers are required to leave a thumbprint and show a photo ID whenever they trade metals for money. This is why etching your car's vehicle identification number (VIN) into the catalytic converter may help local scrapyards detect stolen devices.

Cars Least Likely to Have Catalytic Converter Stolen | AutoCatalystMarket Canada — Photo № 3 | AutoCatalyst Market

Well-lit area and bad accessibility

Parking in a well-lit or high-traffic area with your exhaust pipe close to a wall can be an obstacle for theft to mark your car. Thefts usually do not go for that without preparation, if they see you have your car parked in beneficial conditions that are consistent, they are more likely to target that car as it is just more accessible among the others.

Cars Least Likely to Have Catalytic Converter Stolen | AutoCatalystMarket Canada — Photo № 4 | AutoCatalyst Market

How to minimize the risk

Protecting your vehicle from catalytic converter theft is possible, regardless of the car you drive. Various preventive measures can be employed.

Anti-Theft systems

By installing an anti-theft device you highly decrease the chances of being robed. This is usually a cable system strung across your whole converter pipe assembly which prevents accessibility and not any saw can cut through. Despite the kit’s price of about $200 you would rather spend on that instead of an inevitable replacement cost.

Car Insurance

Cars Least Likely to Have Catalytic Converter Stolen | AutoCatalystMarket Canada — Photo № 5 | AutoCatalyst Market

And no matter what, having comprehensive insurance is a clear solution to that problem. This is a type of coverage that protects your car against incidents like vandalism and theft among other things. If your catalytic converter is stolen you will be on a hook between $950 and $2500 to replace this part yourself without this coverage.

Car brands that are harder to steal cat converters from

Catalytic converter thieves tend to steer clear of these brands:

  • Subaru
  • Chrysler
  • GMC
  • Nissan
  • Hyundai
  • Jeep
  • Mazda
  • Dodge
  • Chevrolet
  • Honda

If you own a vehicle from one of these manufacturers you have a greater chance of keeping your catalytic converter safe.

Vehicles employing integrated catalytic converters, positioned closer to the engine, face reduced susceptibility to catalytic converter theft compared to those with converters situated farther along the exhaust system. Recent models, exemplified by Honda's 2015 Accord and Jazz, have adopted an arrangement wherein the catalytic converter resides within the engine compartment, rendering it less accessible to potential thieves, many of whom are inclined towards quick thefts. In contemporary automotive trends, numerous car manufacturers have embraced this configuration to counteract the ongoing issue of converter theft.

Cars Least Likely to Have Catalytic Converter Stolen | AutoCatalystMarket Canada — Photo № 6 | AutoCatalyst Market

Catalytic converters from brands such as Chevrolet, Jeep, Ford, Mazda, Nissan, Dodge, Subaru, Chrysler, and Hyundai present a diminished theft risk due to the relatively lower intrinsic value of the precious metals they contain.