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What Car Parts Are Most Valuable And Most Frequently Stolen?

CarPart  ·  December 3, 2020

What Car Parts Are Most Valuable And Most Frequently Stolen?

Car theft is a serious problem, no matter where you are in the world. It doesn’t matter if you’re driving an everyday sedan or a high-end supercar. It’s fair to say that any vehicle with an engine in it is a tempting target for thieves.

If you think that car owners only need to worry about someone driving their car away, think again. Sometimes, thieves only want to run away with specific car parts or car accessories, and not the whole vehicle. The reason could be that it's a much easier way to make money without the risk of getting caught in a stolen vehicle.

Before you get anxious all over, you may want to know that some car parts are more tantalising than others in the eyes of a thief. Make sure you park beside a car equipped with these parts – that will surely make your car less appealing – just kidding, of course. 

Car Parts That Are Frequently Stolen 

In this list, we’re going to look at some of the most valuable car spare parts and most frequently stolen.

Rims & Tyres

One of the most popular car accessories to steal is rims and tyres. That’s especially true when it comes to sports rims, which are worth much more in terms of dollars and cents. Even if thieves can’t sell them directly, they could always scrap them and make easy money that way.

What makes these parts so valuable to thieves? For starters, they’re easy to steal. All they have to do is prop up your car somehow and remove your wheels and its parts without any problems.

Many aftermarket car alarm systems will go off when it detects that the car is being tilted (like when someone jacks the car up to steal the tyres). However, that’s usually not the case when it comes to stock car alarm systems.

On top of that, rims and tyres are very easy to sell. These crooks could pass it on to a seller, or they could post it online themselves.

Car Batteries

Another car spare part that’s popular with thieves is car batteries. The reason for this is pretty straightforward: thieves can remove them pretty quickly.

Sure, the car alarm may go off when they rip the hood open. Once they disconnect the battery, however, the car alarm goes quiet instantly.

Thieves selling car batteries may only get a handful of dollars. But for a thief who’s desperate for the money, stealing a car battery is an effortless way to find easy cash.

In some countries like the United States and the United Kingdom, police have suspected that thieves steal car batteries to help in the production of drugs.

Is that true in Australia? That’s not clear as of yet. But if it were true, it wouldn’t be that surprising.

Catalytic Converters

Catalytic converters have precious metals inside of them, which is why they can fetch a lot of money if you send them to a recycling facility. These precious metals include palladium, rhodium, and platinum, all of which help to convert harmful exhaust gases to something less dangerous.

Because of these metals, catalytic converters have become one of the most valuable spare parts your car has to offer to thieves.

Plus, these parts are even more accessible, being a part of the exhaust system. With a power saw and a few seconds, a thief can get under your vehicle and quickly cut the part off before running away with it.

Car Headlights

When thieves get desperate, they'll spare no part of your car. They'll steal the components you least expect, like your car headlights. That's right! Even your car headlights can sell for a little bit of spare change, giving a thief enough of a reason to remove them from your car.

As you might have already guessed, car headlights are an opportunistic target. For someone who knows what they’re doing, they could remove those headlights and run off with them within seconds.

Other Car Accessories

Thieves may also break into your car to get their filthy hands on interior car accessories and spare parts. Here are a few quick examples:

Personal Information

Okay, so this item isn’t a ‘car part’ per se, but it’s still worth noting. These days, cars are becoming increasingly hi-tech and connected, especially with the progress of the Internet of Things (IoT). But as we already know, with the convenience of new tech comes significant risk.

When thieves break into your vehicle, they might not want any of the parts at all. Instead, they want to steal your information!

Think about it. Your car might hold critical information like your full name, home and office addresses, payment information, and even debit or credit cards as well. Instead of being the final target of thieves, your car could just be the starting point.

With the information they steal from your car, they could steal your identity or perhaps target your home and business for later. That’s a very scary thought, and you don’t need me to tell you that.

How To Prevent Theft Of Car Parts

When it comes to theft, you have to remember that you can never remove the risk of theft entirely. What you can do, however, is reduce the chances of that happening. The harder it is for a thief to steal from your car, the less of a chance they’ll even bother trying.

So, stick to the tried and tested basics of car safety. Lock your car at all times, park in crowded and brightly-lit parking spots, and don’t EVER leave valuables (personal information and your wallet) inside the vehicle.

With those simple steps, you’ll lower the odds of someone breaking into your car significantly.

For more useful tips on getting the most of your car, check out the blog at There, you’ll learn everything you need to know about cars and the different parts that make them work. Plus, if you’re in the market for car spare parts, you can also browse the many car parts that are on sale from all over Australia or use the Car Part Finder – it’s a nifty search assistant you don’t want to miss. Try it now!

By Ray Hasbollah

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