Leaving your car on your driveway or in a garage overnight, investing in some deterrents like a steering wheel lock or putting up an expensive security camera system should keep car thieves away, right? Well, with 22% of car owners in the UK admitting to having had a car stolen at some point, it seems that car thieves are still finding ways around the often hi-tech anti-theft solutions out there.
Even though immobilisers, smart steering wheel locks and keyless entry systems are helping to keep robbers away from our vehicles, savvy crooks are taking advantage of the general public forgetting to do the basics to make a quick buck. Even with every bit of car security kit out there, you could still end up facing a phone call to the insurers and police if you aren’t covering all your bases.
The good news is that by just taking a couple of extra simple precautions, you can instantly reduce the likelihood of these kinds of incidents from happening to your car.
Here are our top tips and products to help you get started – all from a former burglar who specialised in stealing cars (and their contents!)
Turn your car wheels into the curb
A simple but effective trick is to turn your wheels into the curb or towards another vehicle. As a result, this will make it a lot harder for thieves to make a speedy getaway in your car. If they manage to break in and get the engine started, they’ll still need to straighten up or potentially do some reversing or manoeuvring, giving you time to call the police and note down their description.
Get a steering wheel lock
Steering wheel locks act as a visual deterrent, plus they’ll take a while to remove from the steering wheel if you go for one with a high Sold Secure rating. Most times, opportunist thieves who rely on a quick getaway will simply walk by a car that has a lock on the steering wheel.
Check out our car security buyer’s guide for the best steering wheel locks and other car security accessories.
Keep your valuables out of sight
While this might be obvious when you’re out and about, it’s easy to forget when you park your car at home. Try hiding any expensive electronics in the boot or take them into your house.
If you must leave an electronic piece of equipment in the car, you should make it a dash cam that records even with the engine switched off. If thieves bump the car (which they will definitely do if they’re trying to break in), the dash cam will record everything, plus it may act as a visual deterrent if it’s visible. No thief wants their face to be recorded on camera!
For a dash cam with parking mode, we recommend the Nextbase 522GW dash cam, with a smart parking mode for catching all unwelcome movements when you’ve parked up.
Invest in security window etching
Etched vehicles are 45% less likely to be stolen and 50% more likely to be recovered than non-etched vehicles. This makes the Security Window Etching Service a hassle-free, yet highly effective way of deterring and detecting vehicle crime.
The service consists of etching all the windows of a vehicle with the logo of the International Security Register (ISR) and a code unique to your vehicle. This code is linked to a fully certified and secure database that’s used by police forces across the UK and available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
At only £20, the Security Window Etching Service is a small price to pay to enhance your vehicle’s security and a worthy investment.
Technology has come along way in such a short space of time, especially in the home security industry. A Smartwares IP Bullet CCTV security camera gives you a crystal clear vision of your car at any point in the day. Position it out of sight and you have evidence if the worst was to happen.
As a top tip, try including a sign on your car or nearby saying that the thief is being watched by CCTV. This should put them off from attempting the crime in the first place.
Light it up
If a thief is going to attempt to steal your vehicle, you should make them clearly visible to the world. The LED Robotic Security Light instantly lights up when an intruder steps foot onto your driveway or land.
This should either alert you or your neighbours, scare them off completely or make it easier for you to record them committing the crime.
Get an Anti RFID wallet
Did you know that thieves can create a clone of the unique system on the key fob that allows you to lock your car remotely? Well, 71% of car owners didn’t in our recent survey!
Although smart thieves can use technology to unlock your car without your knowledge, they still need access to the signal from your key fob before they can clone it. Instead of shoving your keys in a drawer or leaving them in your pocket, invest in an Anti RFID blocking wallet that will prevent readers from accessing the signal. It’s a small amount of money to prevent your car from disappearing altogether!
Ensure your vehicle doesn’t end up being another statistic. In 2018, 114,656 vehicles were reported stolen in England and Wales, up a massive 52% over five years. By following these tips and maybe investing in a couple of deterrents, you’ll remain one step ahead of the thieves – plus your insurance premium will hopefully stay at a sensible level!