Car theft on the rise, but you can stop it!

Healthy Driving  |  By
It probably feels like cars are safer and more secure than they’ve ever been, however, this is sadly not the case. Car theft on the rise, but you can stop it!
If you’ve had your car stolen, you’ll know it can be a very stressful experience. Even if you’ve never been a theft victim, car theft can still impact you with increased premiums.
The good news is, there are lots of things you can do to protect yourself against car crime.

Did you know car theft is on the rise?

In the first quarter of 2019 The Association of British Insurers reported car insurers paid out more theft claims than they had in over 7 years.
A payment went to to a car crime victim every 8 minutes in 2019 and cost £108 million. This works out at over £1.2 million paid to policyholders every single day.
The cost of motor theft claims has doubled in the last four years. This passes down to you in the form of higher premiums.

How can I protect my car?

1. Don’t forget the basics

Simple old fashion methods still have their place.
  • Don’t forget to ensure your car is properly locked.
  • Make sure all your windows are up to the top with no gaps.
  • Don’t leave valuables on view (if you do need to leave valuables in the car, put them out of sight in the boot).

Car theft on the rise, but you can stop it! - A thief is taking a handbag from a car out of the open passenger side window

2. Secure your keys

Keep your keys out of sight of doors and windows. Thieves can be opportunists and will take a chance if it’s given to them on a plate. They have been known to use a coat hanger to hook keys through the letterbox!

3. Use anti-theft devices

Physical deterrents are still available, like:
  • Steering wheel locks,
  • a driveway parking post,
  • or even a wheel clamp still have their place and can be a good theft deterrent.
Most high street car accessory stores such as Halfords have a great range.

4. Do you have a garage? Use it for your car!

A surprising number of people have a garage but still leave their car on the street. For the sake of a few minutes, you can add an extra level of security for your car by putting it away (if the garage is alarmed even better!). If you are using it for storage, it could save you a lot of money to clear it out and secure your vehicle.
If you only have a driveway, then a motion-activated security light can be a good deterrent to car thieves.

Car theft on the rise, but you can stop it! - A man is clicking a button held in his hand to close his garage with his car inside

4. Watch where you park

The RAC recommend when you’re away from park:
  • under a street light
  • in a secure car park
  • or even on your friends or families driveway if you can.

5. Add a tracking device

Fitting your car with a tracker is an excellent deterrent. Tracker state that vehicles fitted with its tech have a 96% recovery rate when stolen. Other brands of tracker are available, just make sure yours is properly fitted and functioning.

6. Buy a signal-blocking pouch

If you have keyless entry on your car, a signal blocking or Faraday pouch is essential. The pouches are made of signal-blocking materials, that stop your key transmitting its security code.
Keeping your key in one of these can stop thieves from detecting and amplifying its signal and driving away with your car. Carbuyer magazine has reviewed the best here.

7. Update your cars software if you need to

Ensure your car has the latest software updates. Producers are working on software to combat keyless theft. Having the latest software can help protect your car.
Finally, be on the lookout for unusual activity in your area. and keep your neighbours and if necessary, the police, informed.
Want to learn some more useful information? Check out our blog on what to do if you have an accident.

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