If you're in the market for a used car, consider this.

The 1994 Honda Accord tops the list of most frequently stolen vehicles in South Carolina for 2007. And the rest of the top 10 all were 2001 models or earlier.

While the Hot Wheels 2008 study released by the National Insurance Crime Bureau shows that car thieves in the Palmetto State are targeting a wide range of popular passenger vehicles, pickups and sport utility vehicles, older-model vehicles remain a popular target.

"Car thieves are looking for parts," said Allison Dean Love, executive director of the South Carolina Insurance News Service.

"They're cutting the cars up into parts to sell them off and to make money on them."

Dean Love said there is a black market for the parts. The cars are dismantled in chop shops and the parts are sold to body shops, dealers or anybody that needs parts for older-model cars, she said.

People who own cars that are stolen frequently will feel the statistics in their pocket as well, Dean Love said. Their auto insurance rates are higher.

"What's important for people to know is when you're shopping around for a new car that you consider the theft rate on the car," she said.

"If you buy a car that is prone to more thefts, you are going to pay more for auto insurance."

While vehicle thefts are down nationally, the number of thefts in the Palmetto State remains steady with more than 23,000 vehicles stolen from metropolitan areas last year.

The Charleston and North Charleston area is ranked 132nd of 361 in the nation for vehicle thefts in 2007, compared with its ranking of 119 in 2006.

Its ranking for 2005 was also 132.

Last year, the Myrtle Beach/Conway/North Myrtle Beach metropolitan area topped the state for the most thefts and ranked 23rd in the nation.