As reported by RAC Insurance, vehicle thefts rose to the highest level in four years, as more than 150,000 cars, vans and motorcycles were reported as stolen in 2018-19. With that in mind, how do you discourage thieves from stealing your parked car?
It might sound obvious, but a significant number of car break-ins happen because the owner left their keys in the car.
Avoid keeping a spare set of keys in the car. These can be easily found by a thief, who will more than likely take the extra time to search for them.
Again this sounds like an obvious one, but a lot of car crime is a result of leaving your car unlocked. Whenever you're leaving your car, even if it's momentary, ensure your car is locked and secured.
30% of car crime happens in car parks and a lot of this takes place at night. Avoid parking in a deserted car park. If potential witnesses are around, your car is less likely to be stolen - thieves prefer no-one seeing them. When you return to your car, it's a good idea to make sure that the tyres, spare tyre and battery are the same ones you arrived with.
Cars are often stolen outside petrol stations, cash machines and local stores, when the driver has briefly stopped for something.
Thieves often strike when a driver has left the engine on to warm up the car. Don't leave your engine running, even if you'll only be gone for a matter of seconds - a thief only needs a few seconds to pounce.
Leaving your windows open makes it simpler for a thief to get into your car.
Don't leave valuables out on display. This is virtually asking for trouble. Leave them in the locked covered boot or glove box instead.
Almost half of all car crime happens right outside the house so make use of garage space if you have it. Don't leave your car outside and visible to thieves, unless you have no other alternative.
Lock the garage as well as your car doors to make things more secure.
Keyless entry theft has risen significantly in the UK with more and more manufacturers offering this feature. With keyless entry theft taking as little as 20-30 seconds, often owners won't even know their car has been stolen until the next time they go to use it. Keeping your car keys in a signal blocker pouch can prevent criminals from gaining entry to your vehicle.
T-shaped door locks meant that thieves can break into your car with less hassle. Switching to straight locks reduces the chances of this. This is typically a design feature associated with an older car, so if you've purchased a new car this shouldn't be an issue.
Having your VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) etched onto your car windows makes it easier for your car to be tracked if stolen.
Having your personal ID etched onto accessories such as the car stereo means thieves will find it more difficult to get rid of the offending item.
These optional security measures can be fairly expensive but are worth every penny if you're serious about keeping your car safe from thieves.
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Disclaimer: The information in the article is for general purpose information only and should not be constituted as legal advice. This article has been produced by a third party and Jardine Motors does not take any responsibility for the completeness, accuracy, or reliability with respect to the website or the information provided. Article last updated August 2016.