Five things you can do to prevent car theft

Want to reduce the likelihood of your vehicle getting stolen? Here are five things you can do to prevent car theft.

Statistics show that car theft overall has decreased compared with figures collated in the early 2000s. This is more than likely down to the fact that motor manufacturers have upped their game and produced cars with better security systems like immobilisers. These are standard on most modern cars and go a long way to protecting against theft.

However, the number of motor vehicle thefts has risen steadily since the mid-2000s and the most recent figures show that there were 108,541 vehicles stolen in England and Wales.

There is no doubt that thieves are using ever more sophisticated methods to steal cars, so what can you do to prevent your pride and joy from becoming a statistic? In this article, we look at how covering the basics such as where you park, and adding tech, such as a professionally fitted car tracker can help to protect your vehicle from theft.

1) Lock your car

This is the most basic advice, but the locks are the first line of defence against an opportunist thief. This means locking it every time you walk away from your car, including in petrol stations and outside your home, whether on the road or on a driveway.

Make sure you keep your car keys in a safe place at home and at work. Don’t keep them in a place that is easily accessible to thieves, like just inside the doorway or on a windowsill. A locked metal box or Faraday bag is ideal, particularly for cars with keyless entry, to protect from thieves outside using an electronic device to intercept the signal from your fob.

2) Park in a safe place

This is another common-sense piece of advice, but it’s a fact that thieves are more likely to attempt a theft in a dark, quiet place where they know they won’t be disturbed. Park in places which are well-lit and preferably with CCTV or regular security patrol people. In public car parks such as shopping centres, try to park close to others rather than in a secluded corner.

3) Add security devices

The most important thing you can do to keep your vehicle safe is to add more than one security device to it. Start with the most basic of devices which is a steering lock and or a wheel lock.

These are relatively cheap to buy and easy to fit yourself. This is a visible deterrent for the opportunist thief who will think twice about taking your car and look for an easier target rather than take a lot of time trying to break in and risk being seen and caught.

4) Check you have a car alarm or immobiliser

Most modern cars are factory-fitted with an immobiliser as standard. Immobilisers are fitted in a discreet place somewhere on the car and are designed to prevent the vehicle from being started up and driven away.

Alarms are also standard on many cars. However, by having a Thatcham Category 2/1 retro-fitted to your car, you could find your insurance premium reduced. A combined alarm/immobiliser is the best option. 

5) Fit at tracker

Should the worst happen and your pride and joy is stolen, or you forget where you parked it, a professionally fitted car tracker can save your car by locating its position in real-time. It can communicate this information directly to your device or to a monitoring control centre so that you, or the police, can go and safely retrieve your car and return it to you.

There are a number of different types of trackers depending on your requirements and your budget. Hence, it is worth spending time talking to a company which specialises in vehicle security. Trackers are no longer the preserve of high-end, expensive cars but are common among car owners keen to keep their cars safe.