According to the DVLA, nearly 48,500 vehicles were recorded as stolen last year in the UK – that’s over 900 a week! Ford Fiestas and Range Rovers are two of the most popular models stolen by thieves, so if you own either of these, you might want to think about how safe yours is.
Unfortunately, the pandemic has also led to a critical shortage of car parts, meaning new cars are far more expensive now than they used to be. In turn, this has driven up demand for second-hand cars, which makes your car a potential target for thieves looking to sell it on. So, what can you do to protect your car from theft?
Having insurance is important for two reasons. First, if your car is stolen, your insurance will help cover the cost of replacing it. Second, if your car is involved in a hit-and-run or other accident after being stolen, your insurance will help pay for the repairs. It might be tempting to skimp on insurance, but comprehensive coverage from one sure insurance or somewhere like it is vital, especially if you live in a high-risk area or you have a high-risk model of car.
Lock the car
One of the best ways to protect your car from theft is to keep the doors locked at all times, even when you’re driving. This may seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised how many people forget to do this. A locked door is an extra barrier that a thief has to overcome, and it could mean the difference between your car being stolen or not. It might seem strange to lock your doors whilst driving, but it can be pretty easy for a thief to open your door whilst you’re at a traffic light and pull you out of the car, so keep them locked.
Close the windows
It’s easy to forget to close the windows when you park up on a hot summer’s day but forgetting makes it so much easier for a thief to gain access to your car. All they’ll need to do is reach in and unlock the doors from the inside, and they have the tools to get your car started if they’re in any way a competent thief. This is another reason why you should never leave your dog or kids in the car with the windows open a crack – not only could they be kidnapped, but they could also be persuaded to open the door for the thief if tempted with treats.
Park in a secure area
Another good way to protect your car from theft is to park in well-lit, visible areas. This is especially important at night, but it’s also a good idea during the day. Thieves are less likely to target a car that’s in a well-lit area because they don’t want to be seen. When parking, if something doesn’t seem right, or if someone seems to be watching you, leave and find somewhere else. Look for a car park with good CCTV coverage and secure barriers. Some multi-storey car parks even have security guards, so your car is more likely to be safe.
Leaving valuables in plain sight is just asking for trouble. If a thief sees something that they want, they’re more likely to break into your car to get it, so make sure to keep all valuables out of sight, or better yet, take them with you when you leave your car. The best place to hide things is in the boot, but the glove box is also a good place. If a thief does manage to get in, these will admittedly be the first places they’ll look, but if you don’t tempt them in the first place, they’re more likely not to bother.
Install an alarm system or tracking device
Finally, installing an alarm system or tracking device in your car will not only help to deter thieves, but it will also make it possible to find your car if it does get stolen. Consider installing a camera on your drive too – many people now use Ring doorbells which can send a notification to your phone if it notices any suspicious activity near your house. These are great for seeing exactly who has stolen your car and can give the police a profile to search for.
Remember, these are just a few of the ways you can protect your car from theft. If you’re ever in doubt, trust your gut and call the police. And be sure to have insurance in case of theft or accidents. By following these simple tips, you can help keep your car safe and sound.