Preventing Vehicle Theft: What Will Help You to Keep Your Car Secure?
Vehicle theft is a significant concern that affects car owners around the world, and the United Kingdom is no exception. In recent years, car theft has been on the rise, with alarming statistics indicating a 29% increase in the number of car thefts over the past year alone.
This rise in vehicle theft highlights the importance of taking necessary precautions to keep your car secure. By implementing a few key measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of becoming a victim of car theft. This article explores effective strategies and preventive measures that will help you protect your vehicle from thieves.
How Many Car Thefts Are There A Year?
The number of reported incidents has been steadily increasing, with a concerning rise of 29% reported in the past year. This surge in vehicle theft emphasises the need for car owners to take proactive steps to safeguard their valuable assets.
How To Keep Your Car Secure
1) Ensure Your Car is Always Locked
Locking your car seems like an obvious step, but it is surprising how many thefts occur due to car owners neglecting to lock their vehicles. Always double-check that your car is securely locked, even if you are parking for a short period. This simple action can act as a deterrent and significantly reduce the chances of opportunistic thieves targeting your vehicle.
2) Install a Steering Wheel Lock
A steering wheel lock is a highly effective and visible deterrent against car theft. This device immobilises the steering wheel, making it extremely difficult for thieves to steer the vehicle. When choosing a steering wheel lock, opt for a robust and reputable brand that offers a high level of security. The presence of a visible steering wheel lock acts as a strong visual deterrent and can discourage potential thieves from targeting your car.
3) Lock All of Your Valuables Away
Leaving valuables visible inside your car is an open invitation for thieves. To minimise the risk of theft, ensure that all valuable items are locked away and out of sight. It is advisable to remove any valuable possessions, such as laptops, wallets, or smartphones, from your vehicle entirely. If you must leave any items in your car, store them in the trunk or use a lockable storage compartment.
4) Install Cameras and CCTV
Investing in a surveillance system for your vehicle can provide an additional layer of security. Installing cameras and CCTV around your parking area or driveway can act as a powerful deterrent against potential thieves. High-resolution cameras capture clear images and can help in identifying criminals in case of a theft or break-in. Consider installing a visible camera near your car to discourage criminals from targeting your vehicle.
5) Pick a Safe Location to Park
Choosing a safe parking location significantly reduces the risk of car theft. When possible, park your car in well-lit areas with high foot traffic. Opt for parking spaces near security cameras or in monitored parking lots. Avoid leaving your car in secluded or poorly lit areas, as these locations are more likely to attract thieves. By parking in secure areas, you minimise the chances of your vehicle being targeted.
6) Etch Your Windows
Etching your car’s windows with a unique identification number can help deter thieves and aid in recovering a stolen vehicle. The process involves etching a unique mark, such as the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), onto the windows. This mark makes it more difficult for thieves to sell stolen parts and acts as a visible deterrent, making your vehicle less attractive to potential criminals.
7) Keep Your Car Keys Away From the Front Door
It is crucial to keep your car keys in a secure location, away from doors and windows. Some thieves use technology to scan and copy key signals, allowing them to gain unauthorised access to vehicles. To prevent this, store your keys away from the front door in a location that is not easily visible or accessible from outside. Consider using a key box or a designated key hook away from the main entrance.
8) Invest in an Anti-RFID Blocking Wallet
As technology advances, so do the tactics used by car thieves. Some criminals use devices to intercept and clone key fob signals, enabling them to unlock and steal vehicles. To counter this threat, investing in an Anti-RFID blocking wallet can provide an added layer of protection. These wallets are designed to block radio frequency identification (RFID) signals, preventing thieves from scanning and cloning your key fob signal.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Car Insurance Cover Vehicle Theft?
Car insurance policies typically offer coverage for vehicle theft, depending on the type of policy and coverage options chosen. It is essential to review your car insurance policy to understand the extent of coverage provided for theft. Comprehensive insurance policies often include coverage for stolen vehicles, providing financial protection in such unfortunate events.
Can a Car Alarm Prevent Catalytic Converter Theft?
While car alarms can help deter thieves and alert you to potential break-ins, they may not specifically prevent catalytic converter theft. To prevent catalytic converter theft, you may consider installing a protective device, such as a catalytic converter lock or shield, designed to physically secure this vulnerable car component.
How Can I Check if My Car Was Previously Stolen?
To check if a vehicle has been previously stolen, you can perform a vehicle history check. Several online services provide access to databases that record stolen vehicles. These checks allow you to verify the history of a vehicle and ensure that it has not been reported stolen in the past.
Preventing vehicle theft is crucial to safeguarding your valuable asset and ensuring peace of mind. By implementing the preventive measures discussed in this article, such as always locking your car, installing a steering wheel lock, securing valuables, and choosing safe parking locations, you can significantly reduce the risk of car theft. Additionally, using surveillance systems, etching windows, storing car keys securely, and investing in an Anti-RFID blocking wallet provide added layers of protection against modern theft techniques. By taking proactive steps and staying vigilant, you can effectively protect your car and minimise the likelihood of falling victim to vehicle theft.