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Which Cars are Least Likely to Have Catalytic Converter Stolen

February 23, 2024 | Victor Lukasso

Catalytic converter theft has been on the rise, with thieves targeting vehicles with valuable converters that can be sold for a considerable profit.

However, some cars are more targeted than others because of the amount of platinum or palladium inside their converters.

READHow Much Gold Is In A Catalytic Converter?

Likewise, a particular category of cars either come with low-quality materials in their converters, and some don’t have a catalytic converter.


This shouldn’t stop you from buying your dream car but help enact security laws that protect your car from catalytic converter theft.

In this article, we will explore which cars are more and least likely to have their catalytic converter stolen and the safety measure you can employ to prevent this.

Why is the Catalytic Converter being Stolen?

You must know why thieves aim for catalytic converters so that you’ll see what’s in for every successful theft.

The catalytic converter is found in a vehicle’s exhaust system, and it helps reduce the emission of harmful gases such as nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide into the environment.

Depending on the model, catalytic converters contain precious metals such as platinum, palladium, and rhodium, which can be sold for a high price in the automotive aftermarket.

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Thieves are attracted to these valuable materials in the catalytic converter and often go for vehicles that theirs is easy to access and have a high resell value.

Removing a catalytic converter can be done in minutes using an angle grinder, especially in cars with fully exposed converters.

While your car can work perfectly without a catalytic converter, you’ll have to endure the loud noise from the exhaust.

Replacing a catalytic can cost between $2,000 to $3,500, depending on your car model.

Which cars are least likely to have catalytic converters stolen

Generally, most Asian car brands, such as Honda and Toyota, tend to have low-value converters and are less likely to be targeted by catalytic converter thieves.

In addition, cars with their catalytic converter embedded in their engines are harder to remove – Electric cars, diesel cars, and those produced before the ’74 don’t come with a catalytic converter.

1. Certain Car Brands

Car brands such as the Jeep, Ford, Chevy, Chrysler, Dodge, Mazda, Nissan, Subaru, Hyundai, and Chevrolet seem to have the least possibility of catalytic converter theft.

This is primarily because of the design employed by the manufacturers of these cars, which limits the material inside of the converters.

2. Cars with the catalytic converter in the engine section

Cars such as BMW, Audi, and Volkswagen have their catalytic converter installed in the engine compartment instead of the exhaust section.

While it’s still possible to pull a theft stunt on this type of car, thieves often avoid cars like this since removing the converter requires many jobs.

3. Cars built before 1974

Cars built before the ’74s don’t come with a catalytic converter. So you don’t have to worry about getting it getting stolen.

But I don’t see anyone having any of these cars since catalytic converters are mandatory for better emissions.

4. Electric cars

Cars such as Tesla, Audi E-Tron, or Mullen don’t need a catalytic converter because it doesn’t emit gaseous waste.

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They’re fully powered by electricity and don’t use gas or diesel.

5. Diesel Vehicles

Diesel vehicles come with a catalytic converter, but they aren’t worth it as that one on fuel-powered cars.

Gas catalytic converters have precious materials such as platinum, palladium, and rhodium, which diesel catalytic converters lack.

As such, thieves tend to stay away from these types of vehicles.

6. Cars with Bead Converters

Most cars come with bead converters filled with beads making them very worthless.

Models such as Chevy and some General motor cars come with this type of converter.

7. Cars with low clearance

Most expensive cars come with low clearance making the underneath uneasy to access. This will help reduce the cat theft rate.

However, it would be best to enact security measures such as parking in a garage and a well-lit place to avoid theft.

Cars Most likely to have their catalytic converter stolen

So, which cars are most likely to have their catalytic converter stolen? Generally, larger vehicles such as SUVs and trucks are more likely to be targeted by catalytic converter thieves.

This is because these vehicles have a higher ground clearance, which makes it easier for thieves to access the converter.

Additionally, larger vehicles often have more complex exhaust systems, making it easier for thieves to remove the converter.

Also, hybrid cars such as the Toyota Prius will most likely have their catalytic converter stolen.

1. Truck and SUVs

Due to the increased size of trucks and SUVs, the engine requires a more valuable converter for proper emissions.

And as thieves commonly target such their cats. Also, thieves can quickly access the catalytic converter because of the higher ground clearance.

2. Hybrid Cars

Hybrid cars come equipped with catalytic converters rich in palladium. This will help achieve its aim of providing clean emissions.

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The converters installed on hybrid cars are more expensive because they aren’t heavy and are also cleaner because the car runs on electricity.

This calls for a boost in the price of the car, as seen in the Toyota Prius, a victim of cat theft.

3. Luxury Cars

Most expensive cars come equipped with more than one catalytic converter based on the engine requirements.

Selling one cat on a luxury car will cost around $3,000 or more when two of your converters valued at $7,000 are stolen.

Cars like Lamborghini also have expensive converters but low clearance making it quite difficult for thieves to remove.

4. Older vehicles

If you’ve got a car manufactured years ago after 1974, your catalytic converter is a treasure hunt by converter thieves.

Cats manufactured during this period contain more precious metals with poor emissions.

READHow Much Platinum Is In A Catalytic Converter?

Most persons with this type of vehicle aren’t aware of the fortune in their car, and thus they often lose it to thieves.

If the car isn’t helpful, you can sell the inbuilt catalytic converter and replace it with an inferior or less costly cat.

How to Prevent Catalytic Converter Theft

While it is not possible to completely prevent catalytic converter theft, there are some steps that car owners can take to reduce the risk of their vehicles being targeted.

  • Park in a secure, well-lit garage
  • Camouflage the Converter with Paints
  • Make a selection wisely before purchasing a car
  • Install an anti-theft device.
  • Install a car Alarm
  • Get insurance for your vehicle
  • Install Catalytic Converter Lock
  • Scribble your plate number on your catalytic converter


What car has the most sought-after catalytic converters?

Catalytic converters in trucks and SUVs are the most sought. So, you must enact security measures if you use any of these cars.

What is the best catalytic converter anti-theft device?

After much analysis, the WSDCAM has been proven to be the best catalytic converter anti-theft device for your car.

What vehicles have no catalytic converters?

The only vehicles that don’t have catalytic converters are the all-electric vehicles and car manufacturers before 1974.

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Meet Victor Lukasso, the owner of V. Auto Basics. Through this blog, Victor Provides Insights on the latest tips, maintenance, repair, and techniques in the automotive world.