Downside to owning an exotic car: risk of theft

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Lamborghini Gallardo

It's nice to own an exotic or luxury car, but they come with higher risk of theft. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

People dream of owning luxury or sports cars, despite the fact that they will neverĀ  be able to afford one. However, the upshot is that people who do own high-end luxury and sports cars face a much higher rate of theft.

GPS foils car theft ring

The downside to owning a desirable car is that because it is desirable, it might get stolen. For instance, according to CBS, Eric Blumberg, owner of Los Angeles-based exotic car rental company Rent In Style, recently noticed the company’s 2010 Ferrari 458 Italia was sitting, despite being rented for several days. In other words, someone had paid for numerous days of use at $2,000 per day and wasn’t driving the car.

Using the GPS tracking system installed in the car, Blumberg tracked it to a port between Los Angeles and Long Beach, but the car wound up in Hong Kong before authorities could do anything. Customs officials returned the car, but the tip led them to discovering a car theft ring shipping stolen cars to China. According to AutoBlog, 15 to 20 cars worth a combined $1.5 million were seized.

All too common

An expensive car is often worth even more in certain markets. Thieves take them, ship them somewhere they are more valuable and sell them or strip them for parts and make a bundle. The Ferrari stolen from Rent In Style, according to CBS, is worth about $200,000 in the U.S., but double that in China.

The cars are sent to numerous destinations. A luxury car theft ring discovered in August 2011, according to Cleveland.com, was found renting luxury cars and shipping them to Montreal to be sold elsewhere. When authorities seized the ship containing the cars in Montreal, the ship was bound for Iraq.

[Interest rates for car loans are astoundingly low these days]

According to the Palm Beach Post News, the owner of luxury car rental service American Luxury Rentals tracked down a stolen Mercedes and Audi Q7 to a warehouse in Hialeah, Fla., in 2010. The cars were about to be sent to Russia.

Luxury car rental services are often targets. Luxury car-sharing service HiGear, had to shut down because of repeated thefts of member vehicles, according to TechCrunch.

Luxury cars the loss leaders

According to Yahoo News, the Highway Loss Data Institute reports that more money goes to payouts to replace stolen vehicles for luxury vehicles than regular autos. The absolute loss leader is the Cadillac Escalade EXT, followed by the long-wheelbase BMW 7 series and the Land Rover Range Rover. It isn’t so much that these cars are stolen more than others by number, but insurance companies have to shell out several times more for owners to replace them.

Sources

CBS

AutoBlog

Cleveland.com

Palm Beach Post News: http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/crime/a-miami-story-flashy-cars-brazen-thieves-and-2232354.html?page=2

TechCrunch: http://techcrunch.com/2012/01/01/luxury-car-sharing-service-higear-shuts-down-due-to-theft/

Yahoo: http://voices.yahoo.com/forbes-list-most-stolen-luxury-cars-308614.html?cat=27

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