Which Cars Are Least Likely To Have Catalytic Converter Stolen

Which Cars Are Least Likely To Have Catalytic Converter Stolen

Most people forget to factor in the possibility of getting a catalytic converter stolen when they purchase a new car. The importance of this device tends to get lost, among other things. But you will be surprised to know that the cases of catalytic converters theft are high.

Statistics released by the National Insurance Crime Bureau show that the cases of catalytic converter theft have increased significantly from 2018 to 2020. The theft increased to 14,443 in 2020 from 3,389 in 2018.

Because of the rare materials used in the catalytic converters, this device is one of the easiest targets for thieves. The rare metals like rhodium and platinum used as catalysts in the catalytic converter can earn around $3000 for an ounce. Thieves tend to target those cars from which catalytic converters can be easily removed, and the car model is common.

 To encounter this problem, some cars are least likely to have a catalytic converter stolen. Some use less expensive material as a catalyst, while others don’t require a catalytic converter. However, such things cannot eliminate the risk altogether. Big or small, every catalytic converter has some value attached to it.

This article covers topics ranging from cars at low risk of having catalytic converters stolen to what you can do to prevent them from getting stolen. If you have heard of or encountered this problem, read it.

Which Cars Are Least Likely To Have Catalytic Converter Stolen

There are certain cars that have fewer chances of getting their catalytic converter stolen. Since the catalytic converter theft cases have increased, the demand for such cars has also increased. Below are some of the cars and brands whose catalytic converters are less likely to get stolen.

Diesel Cars

The catalytic converters used in diesel and gasoline cars are very different. The main reason for the thieves to attack the catalytic converter is that they contain metals like platinum, rhodium, etc. The catalytic converter in the diesel car does not have such metals, making them less expensive.

Some Specific Brands

Some car companies have innovative design that doesn’t need expensive metals in their catalytic converters. This information is easy to find, so thieves don’t bother stealing catalytic converters from those brands.

Some car brands in this category include Chevy, Dodge, Ford, Jeep, Nissan, Chrysler, Subaru, Mazda, and Hyundai.

Electric Cars

The catalytic converters are installed in the car to purify the toxic gases released during combustion. However, this process is eliminated in electric cars. Since electric cars charge their batteries through an installed power charging source, no fuel usage is involved.

Hence, electric cars do not have a catalytic converter installed in them. Some electric cars are Audi E-Tron, Honda Clarity Electric, BMW i3, Jaguar I-Pace, Fiat 500E, Nissan Leaf, and Chevrolet Bolt EV.

Cars Containing Bead Converter

A catalytic converter that contains bead converters is big in size as compared to other catalytic converters. However, such catalytic converters do not have much value.

Chevy and some GM car models use bead converters in their catalytic converters. Even though the size of the converter is huge, its value is almost nothing. This is why it’s less likely to get stolen.

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Cars Having Catalytic Converter in the Engine Compartment

To reduce the chance of getting the catalytic converter stolen from the car, some brands have it installed in the engine compartment. The catalytic converters are generally placed in the back of the car’s exhaust system. Some Jazz cars and Honda’s 2015 Accord use this system.

After installing them in the engine compartment, taking them out becomes tedious because of the design. Brands like BMW, Audi, Volkswagen, and Honda use this placement so thieves won’t steal them easily.

Cars Made Before 1974

Earlier, when cars used to be made, the effect of the toxins released from the cars was not considered. Hence, all the cars that were built before 1974 did not have catalytic converters installed in them.

The more technology has advanced, the pollution level has also increased. Hence, after 1974, specific rules mandated car manufacturers to install catalytic converters in them.

Catalytic Converter – What Is It?

A catalytic converter is a part of a car’s emission system. Its main job is to change harmful gases into less dangerous ones before they’re released into the air. When we burn fuel in our cars, it creates toxic stuff like carbon monoxide and nitrous oxide. The catalytic converter helps clean up those pollutants by making an unusual reaction happen.

You can usually find the catalytic converter near the engine or the exhaust manifold. It must be at a specific temperature, around 752 degrees Fahrenheit, to work properly. Some cars have one converter, while others might have more.

Catalytic converters are commonly used in engines that run on gasoline, diesel, or lean-burn technology. They can even show up in stoves and kerosene heaters sometimes.

Why Do Catalytic Converters Get Stolen?

Catalysts help speed up chemical reactions. The catalysts used in catalytic converters are precious. Metals like palladium, rhodium, and platinum are used as catalysts. These metals can be sold reasonably at recycling plants or scrapyards.

That’s why people steal catalytic converters from cars. Another reason why people steal catalytic converters is that they’re easy to remove.

The position of the catalytic converter underneath the vehicle makes it easy for thieves to take it off. It’s like an easy target for them. The price of a catalytic converter depends on the type of vehicle.

Thieves can make up to $1400 by stealing catalytic converters from hybrid vehicles. Regular catalytic converters can be sold for anywhere between $25 and $300.

How To Prevent A Catalytic Converter From Getting Stolen?

The cases of catalytic converters getting stolen have increased significantly. There are specific measures you can take to reduce theft chances. Here are 5 ways to help you eliminate the risk of stealing a catalytic converter.

Installing Catalytic Converter Anti-Theft Device

Adding a protective device to your catalytic converter is cheaper than buying a new one. There are different options for locking devices, like solid steel cables, sturdy cages, or tough shields that cover the converter.

All of these methods make it harder for thieves to snatch the converter. They’ll have to spend more time and work to remove it, which lowers the chances of them stealing it.

Installing an Alarm or Camera

Alarms are designed to blare up when the car is moved. The alarms will go off when the thieves try to steal anything. Other than the alarms, installing motion-sensitive lights and a dashboard camera would also be beneficial.

When a theft occurs, the camera can record the incident, which can help find the culprits.

Car Insurance

Certain vehicles are at high risk of getting their catalytic converter stolen. Full coverage insurance will help you minimize or eliminate the cost of installing a new converter if it gets stolen.

The insurance company does not cover the theft if the insurance holder only carries the liability coverage. If your full coverage insurance covers all the repairs and replacements in the car, then you don’t have much to worry about.


To protect your car’s catalytic converter from theft, you can take another smart step—pick a safe parking spot. It’s recommended to park your car near a wall so the wall acts as a shield for the exhaust pipe.

Look for a well-lit parking space because thieves go after cars parked in dark areas.

Painting the Catalytic Converter

Painting the catalytic converter would not directly prevent the thieves from stealing it. However, it would make it easier to track the catalytic converter.

The best color to paint the catalytic converter is a high-temperature fluorescent bright paint like orange. When the paint dries, write the vehicle’s identification number on it. This will make tracking easier. 

Which Cars Are More Likely To Have Catalytic Converters Stolen?

Car Models
Likelihood of Catalytic Converter Theft
Ferrari F430 High
Lamborghini High
SUVs Medium
Hybrids Medium
Trucks Medium
Older Vehicles Medium

After looking at a bunch of stolen catalytic converter cases, a few things have become pretty clear. There are some factors that make certain cars more likely to get their converters swiped. Thieves tend to target cars based on a few things: how much the converter is worth, how easy it is to snatch, and how common the car model is.

Fancy rides like Ferrari F430s and Lamborghinis have super valuable converters that make them attractive to thieves. And it’s not just luxury cars—they also go after SUVs, hybrids, trucks, and older vehicles.

Engaging Read – Finding Catalytic Converter Scrap Value By Serial Number | Easy Steps


Below are the frequently asked questions on the hardest cars to steal catalytic converters. Let’s dig deep to know more.

How do I know if my car is at less risk of getting its catalytic converter stolen?

You can search the internet to find out if your car is less likely to have its catalytic converter stolen. Or you can ask a car mechanic or someone with good car knowledge.

Some vehicles at high risk for this issue are Honda Accord, Chevrolet Equinox, Ford F-Series pickup trucks, Honda CR-V, Toyota Prius, Jeep Patriot, Chrysler 200, Ford Econoline vans, and Toyota Camry.

What are the signs if the catalytic converter is stolen?

The cars show some visible signs if it does not have a catalytic converter installed. For instance, the car will become less responsive and loud and will not accelerate properly. You will also notice a foul smell coming out of the exhaust.

If you see such symptoms, you can reach under the car and look near the muffler. If the space near the muffler is empty, your catalytic converter has been stolen.

Is it necessary to have a catalytic converter in a car?

Yes. The US government has ruled that every car must install a working catalytic converter. This is important because it helps to reduce the emission of toxic gases into the environment. A significant percentage of toxic gas is purified before it’s released using a catalytic converter.

Other than that, if the catalytic converter is removed/stolen from the car, it is possible to drive the car. But the experience won’t be smooth. Also, it would harm the environment and all living things.

Are there cars with no catalytic converter?

Yes, cars in the market do not require a catalytic converter. All-electric vehicles do not have catalytic converters because they run on electricity. They charge the car battery, which does not involve any fuel. All the cars that run on diesel or gas only require a catalytic converter.


That was my take on which cars are least likely to have catalytic converter stolen. Catalytic converters are present in almost every car that runs today. And because of the expensive metals used in the device, thieves target them. Some car manufacturers have created new designs and changed their placements to prevent them from getting stolen, making removing them tough. Diesel and electric cars are least likely to have their catalytic converter stolen.

However, it does not eliminate the possibility of theft. One can take some precautions to hedge the risk of theft, like having insurance and installing alarms and cameras.

Catalytic converters are an essential part of a car’s exhaust system. It’s not only important for the car but our environment as well. Given the rise in pollution, it’s important to have cars that have very effective catalytic converters.

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