As hard as we try to protect our vehicles, unfortunately vehicle crime remains a huge issue. However, there are still many measures we can take to protect our vehicles as most vehicle theft is opportunistic and highly preventable.
It can take just 10 seconds for someone to steal something from your vehicle. A vehicle can be completely stripped for selling parts in as little as 2 hours. These are sobering statistics. The simplest prevention is to ensure you lock your vehicle every time you are away from it. Other useful measures include:
Take everything out of the vehicle when you leave it unattended. This especially applies to valuables, but leave nothing, not even a jacket that’s visible from outside.
Don’t forget to close the sunroof and windows when leaving your vehicle.
Don’t just assume it’s safe to lock valuables in the boot, take them with you too.
Keep documentation, especially car ownership information at home and never inside the vehicle.
Establish a routine so that you always take the keys out of the ignition.
Remember to take removable sat nav and stereo equipment with you.
Installing anti-theft number plates will also make them less attractive to thieves.
Where you choose to park your vehicle also plays a big part in the security of your vehicle. Ideally, try to only use car parks that have been approved by the Safer Parking scheme, are well lit, have CCTV cameras and are used by many people.
At home, thieves will often break into properties searching for car keys. They are also employing hook and wire tactics to drag your keys through the letterbox. Always keep keys away from doors and windows.
A GPS tracking system is worth considering, in particular a real-time active GPS. This means that police can track the whereabouts of your vehicle and improves the chances of having it returned to you. For Vehicle Tracking devices, visit https://www.vehicle-accessories.net/vehicle-tracking/
Another good idea is to have the vehicle windows etched with the registration number or last 7 digits of the unique vehicle identification number. This can be a deterrent for criminals as it makes it harder to sell the car on. It also assists the police in identifying the vehicle and returning it.
When you’re buying a car, do your homework as some are better for security than others. Visiting the Thatcham website can help you to compare the security of different makes and models of cars, vans and motorbikes. Each vehicle receives a point score so you can easily see how well it fares against other makes. The DVLA can also tell you about a vehicle that you might be considering buying second-hand.