Have you ever had your car stolen before? While it may seem like one of those disasters that happens to other people and not to you, vehicle crime is on the up. Thefts have increased by 56% in four years in the UK as criminals seek new opportunities.
Car theft can be a significant setback even if you have a robust insurance policy. So whether you’ve saved up for a new set of wheels on finance or had the same model for years, it makes sense to protect it.
Here are five effective ways to guard your vehicle against thieves.
Choose parking spots carefully
While expensive security systems can seem over the top, choosing the right places to park is a simpler deterrent.
Try to stick to spots that are well-lit and in public view. Choose car parks with visible security measures such as CCTV or patrols, and park close to other cars rather than isolating your vehicle. With enough potential disturbances around, your car won’t seem worth the hassle.
Avoid leaving valuables on display
It’s another simple and often repeated piece of advice – but carrying or hiding your belongings can also avoid advertising your vehicle to thieves.
That counts for phones, wallets, handbags, laptops, shopping bags and even loose change. Though less popular nowadays, sat-nav systems and car stereos are two other items commonly targeted by opportunistic thieves.
Add extra security measures
From visible deterrents to invisible technology, there are countless extra security measures you can put in place to protect your car.
Steering wheel locks are an obvious barrier to quick and easy crimes, while souped-up alarms and immobilisers can also come in handy.
Fitting a tracking device meanwhile won’t necessarily prevent theft happening in the first place – but could improve your chances of recovering your vehicle quickly.
Take care of your keys
Another good bit of common sense is to take care of your car keys. For traditional devices, that means keeping them out of sight and out of reach when out in public. Hallways and porches at home are also best avoided to prevent them being stolen through your letterbox.
For keyless cars, consider using a signal-blocking bag to stop thieves amplifying your device from afar.
Mark your vehicle
Marking or etching your car involves stamping it with a unique identifier. This could be done with an ultra-violet pen or encoded micro dots, or by ingraining your car’s serial or registration number into windows and other parts of your car.
Sophisticated thieves may be deterred by a visible etching, while identifiers are another way to make stolen cars more recoverable.
Are you confident that your car is safe? Follow these tips to upgrade your security and prevent avoidable crimes.