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 research by Direct Line Car Insurance revealing that in the last three years, the total value of stolen cars and parts in the UK has reached £744 million, it seems that car theft remains a concern despite the growing number of anti-theft solutions available.
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 times that the general public forgets to do the basics.
The good news is that by just taking a couple of extra simple precautions, you can instantly reduce the likelihood of your car being stolen. Here are our top tips and products to help you get started.
1. 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.
2. 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.
Two of our favourite options are the Disklok Steering Lock and Stoplock Pro Elite Steering Wheel Immobiliser. The Disklock encases your whole steering wheel and spins on attack to prevent the wheel from being turned. An anti-drill and anti-pick lock makes it difficult for thieves to remove, while the lock protects against both traditional theft and advanced theft techniques like key cloning and keyless entry.
The Stoplock wraps around your steering wheel and is extremely difficult to remove, even with heavy-duty tools. It’s easy to fit, with both keys and a unique key code for an additional level of security, and is a great visual deterrent.
Check out our Car Security Buyer’s Guide for the best steering wheel locks and other car security accessories.
3. 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, 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 BlackVue DR750-2CH LTE dash cam. The DR750-2CH LTE will automatically switch to Intelligent Parking Mode when your ignition is switched off and will continue to monitor your vehicle when you’re not around. It will record and store footage for review later, or can even alert you to any incidents in real-time via the BlackVue app.
4. 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 a vehicle’s windows with the logo of the International Security Register (ISR) and a code unique to your car. This code is linked to a fully certified and secure database that’s used by police forces across the UK and is 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.
5. Watch them
Technology has come a long way in such a short space of time, especially in the home security industry. A CCTV security camera watches over your car at all times, providing both protection and the ability to record vital footage.
Security cameras often come with various night vision modes and features like AI-powered people-detection, crisp HD resolution, a weather-proof body, access to a live stream, adjustable camera angles, trespassing notifications to your smartphone and alarms.
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.
6. Light it up
If a thief is going to attempt to steal your vehicle, you should make them clearly visible to the world. A driveway security light will instantly light up when an intruder sets foot onto your driveway or land.
This should either alert you or your neighbours, scare the thieves off entirely or make it easier for you to record them committing the crime.
7. 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?
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!
Introducing the Halfords Motoring Club
Another way to keep your car safe is to become a member of the Halfords Motoring Club. Join today to access a range of amazing benefits and discounts that are designed to keep you moving, keep you safe and keep you saving.
It’s free to join and you’ll receive money off your MOT, a free car health check and a welcome voucher that can be spent on any Halfords product or service.
Or choose our Premium membership for a small monthly fee (or a one-off payment) to unlock exclusive member pricing on all motoring products and services online and across our stores, garages and Halfords Mobile Experts, as well as a variety of other benefits that will help you to keep moving for less.
With so much to enjoy, this is too good an opportunity to miss!
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.