From returning to a smashed window in the Tesco car park to heading out to your car in the morning only to find it’s vanished; car crimes are all too common in the UK. In fact, every year, the RAC receives more than 150,000 reports of stolen cars, vans, and motorcycles.
So, what will help keep your car secure? Read on for our comprehensive guide to preventing car theft and break ins. We cover a wide range of solutions, from no brainers like locking your vehicle to clever tricks like installing anti-theft number plate screws.
1. Hide ALL valuables
Don’t think that iPhone cord plugged into your USB charger counts as valuable? Think again. Even if your phone is safely stashed away in your pocket, an iPhone cord tells thieves there’s a chance it could be concealed in your glovebox or under the seat. Leaving your charging cord out just isn’t worth the risk. The same goes for items like a gym bag, which may be stuffed with sweaty clothes but could be mistaken as a goldmine by a thief.
2. Lock your car
It may sound ridiculously simple, but locking your car is one of the easiest and most effective ways to prevent theft. According to Neighbourhood Watch, 44% of all car break ins are via an unlocked door. This means a simple turn of the key or tap of the lock button can drastically reduce the risk of a break in.
3. Install a vehicle tracker
If you’re serious about preventing car theft, installing a personal vehicle tracker is a savvy solution. Designed to track and trace vehicles, these nifty devices keep tabs on your car if it’s taken without your permission. Disclaimer – if your vehicle is stolen don’t go rogue and try to hunt it down yourself. Instead, get in touch with the police and let them take the lead.
4. Use a steering wheel lock
What will help keep your car secure? Most thieves are opportunists so small deterrents like a steering wheel lock can go a long way when it comes to preventing car crime. You’ll find these available from online stores and bricks-and-mortar retailers. The great thing is these locks can be easily fitted to your steering wheel when you’re away from your car.
5. Use public transport in London
Whether you live in London or are just visiting, using public transport is one of the easiest ways to minimise the risk of car break ins and theft. The Capital is one of the most crime-ridden regions in the UK. What’s more, a representative from UK-based company Tracker stated, “It is no surprise that London was the busiest region for vehicle thefts and recoveries in 2020 – it always is. The area accounts for as many recoveries as the next seven regions in our top ten, combined.”
6. Park in a well-lit area
Did you know 80% of all car thefts and break ins occur at night? By parking in a well-lit area, you’re taking away the cover of darkness which can help deter thieves. Ideally, you should park your car in a secure garage overnight. However, if this isn’t possible, try to park under a streetlight. This is one of the easiest solutions when brainstorming what will help keep your car secure.
7. Install anti-theft number plate screws
Personal belongings and the vehicle itself aren’t the only things on the radar of thieves, with number plates also hot property. Stolen plates can be used to evade road tax, steal petrol, and commit other crimes – all under your name. Available from most car accessory stores; anti-theft number plate screws are a shrewd way to deter thieves and keep your plates where they should be.
8. Hide your keys at home
It can be tempting to hang your car keys on a hook next to your front door. Unfortunately, this makes it all too easy for a thief to take off not only with items from your home, but also your car. After breaking into your home, all they need to do is step outside, press the unlock button and look for the flashing lights. So, what will help keep your car secure? Stashing your keys in a drawer or somewhere else out of sight is a simple way to minimise the risk of car theft after a home burglary.
9. Avoid Range Rovers and Land Rovers
Serious car thieves have expensive taste and unfortunately, Range Rovers and Land Rovers top the list as the most stolen vehicles in the UK. Statistically speaking, the chances of your car getting stolen are higher if you own one of these luxury vehicles. That said, they are a pleasure to drive! Therefore, with the right precautions you can enjoy classic models like the Discovery and Defender without having to worry about theft.
10. Upgrade to a newer model
Car manufacturers are continually developing new ways to outsmart thieves. This means when you upgrade to a newer model, you’re also improving your security credentials. For example, the latest Ford models feature intelligent security technology designed to combat keyless entry hackers.
Land Rover is also spearheading the movement with ultra-wide-band radio technology. In short, this is designed to confuse counterfeit fobs and prevent keyless entry thefts. Furthermore, BMW and Mercedes-Benz have taken a similar approach to Ford and installed motion sensors into their keyless fobs to deter thieves.
Keep your car secure by upgrading today
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It all starts with a quick online quote, with zero impact on your credit score. Once you have a better idea of where you stand, we’ll check your car finance eligibility then scour our lending panel for the best car finance deals in the UK.
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