Fact Check

Yes, More Cars Are Stolen on New Year's than Other Holidays

Of all the holidays, your car is probably safest on Christmas.

Published Dec 28, 2021

Masked burglar trying to get into a car ( Rapeepong Puttakumwong / Getty Images)
Masked burglar trying to get into a car (Image Via Rapeepong Puttakumwong / Getty Images)
More cars are stolen on New Year's Day than any other holiday.

When the New Year rolls around, it's likely that you'll see some not-exactly feel-good stories posted online about how that holiday is the one on which your car is mostly likely to get stolen. Unfortunately, according to figures crunched yearly by the National Insurance Crime Bureau, it's generally true.

Year after year, the NICB releases statistics that show New Year's Day to be the holiday upon which most cars are stolen. In its most recent set of data, published in November 2020, NICB stated in a news release confirming that once again, more cars were stolen (2,320) on New Years Day than any other holiday in 2019. The tweet below lists the 2019 holidays with the fewest number of cars stolen: 

Although the NICB didn't provide a reason in that news release for the spike in car thefts on New Year's, Washington, D.C.-based TV station WRC-TV quoted an NICB expert in a 2017 news story about the phenomenon who said that it has to do with alcohol.

"People get drunk on New Year’s and that makes many otherwise ordinary, responsible adults act like mindless morons and do things they might not do when sober," the NICB's Frank Scafidi is quoted as stating.

A separate analysis from the agency stated that car thefts increased "dramatically" in 2020 over 2019. Citing a preliminary analysis, NICB reported, "there were 873,080 auto thefts in 2020, a 9.2 percent increase over 2019 which had 799,644 thefts, a boost of more than 73,000 thefts."


"Auto Thefts Surge In 2020 According to New NICB Report | National Insurance Crime Bureau, 26 Jan. 2021, https://www.nicb.org/news/news-releases/auto-thefts-surge-2020-according-new-nicb-report. Accessed 28 Dec. 2021.

"Holiday Thefts: Be Thankful Vehicle Thefts Slow Down On Thanksgiving." National Insurance Crime Bureau, 23 Nov. 2020, https://www.nicb.org/news/news-releases/holiday-thefts-be-thankful-vehicle-thefts-slow-down-thanksgiving. Accessed 28 Dec. 2021.

Tuss, Adam, et al. “Car Thieves Often Strike on New Year’s Day.” NBC4 Washington, 18 Dec. 2017, https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/new-years-day-popular-holiday-for-car-thieves/34530/. 

Bethania Palma is a journalist from the Los Angeles area who started her career as a daily newspaper reporter and has covered everything from crime to government to national politics. She has written for ... read more

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