top tips for keeping your car secure
Vehicle theft is a serious issue in the UK, with DVLA data showing that over 52,000 cars were stolen in 2019. In spite of various advancements in security technology, it appears that car thieves are finding ways around even the most robust security system. It is therefore vital that you take the right steps towards keeping your vehicle safe.
We’ve put together some top tips for keeping your car secure, as well as data on the cars that are stolen most frequently.
how can I make my car more secure?
Securing your car means more than just making sure it’s locked away in a garage. There are a number of extra steps you can take towards better security. Some of the best things to do are:
Keep your keys somewhere safe
It might seem obvious but keeping your keys somewhere safe and away from prying eyes is a good idea. Even if you keep your keys in the house, they might still be visible from a window and could easily be reached through a letterbox or something similar.
Use an immobiliser
Steering wheel immobilisers are an effective way of stopping thieves from taking your vehicle, even if they do manage to break into it. A good quality steering lock will be extremely hard to break and therefore leave potential thieves with no way to move your vehicle.
Choose a safe parking space
Sometimes parking spaces are few and far between, but where you choose to leave your car - even if just for a short while - can affect the likelihood of it being stolen or damaged. Quiet side streets that have few people walking around will be a thief’s first port of call, so try and find a space in a well-lit, busy area. At home you should either keep it on a driveway or in a garage. If that is not possible, keep it within view of your house and, if you have a particularly expensive or sought after car, why not try a car cover to keep it hidden.
Don’t leave valuables in your car
It might be that a thief sees something in your car worth breaking the window for. Keep any valuable items in your house rather than your car, or at least try and keep them locked away and out of sight. The glove compartment, the boot, or a locked bag are good options.
Install a tracking system
If your car does get stolen, having a tracking system installed will help police be able to find it using this onboard black box. You might already have a telematics system installed for insurance purposes; this can also double up as a way to track your car if it is taken.
Make sure your car alarm system works
We’ve all heard car alarms go off in the middle of the night, meaning we know just how loud and effective they can be at attracting attention. It’s a great way to scare off those who are trying to get into your car and alert you to the issue as quickly as possible.
what is the best anti-theft system for cars?
There are anti-theft systems to suit any budget or car. Whilst some newer, more advanced cars may come with some anti-theft devices, the majority will need extra security and protection against theft. Brake locks, tire locks, and steering wheel locks are relatively inexpensive ways to keep thieves at bay and can be ordered online or purchased in-store at shops like Halfords.
You can also use a dash cam as a security measure. Some dash cams can record high quality videos that provide crisp footage, even in the dark. Certain models will start recording if they sense a movement, such as window breaking. Preventative measures are also important, like a wireless alarm system that won’t turn off even if the key is put in the ignition - this means that thieves are less likely to drive away with it.
what is the best alarm system for cars?
There are many alarm system providers out there, each offering different things. The most popular brands are Viper, Direct Electronics, and Prestige. Each alarm comes with different specifications and levels of technology, but they are all effective in their own way.
One of the best on the market is the Viper 3400V, which is an aftermarket alarm that is affordable and easy to install. With bright blue LED lights to deter thieves and an in-built shock sensor, it’s a good all-rounder for people looking to secure their car without paying over the odds.
which cars are stolen most often?
Thieves will steal cars for different reasons, whether it be to resell abroad or cut up for parts. The most commonly stolen cars in the UK are:
- Range Rover Sport
- BMW X5
- Mercedes-Benz C-Class
- Range Rover Vogue
- Land Rover Discovery
High-end vehicles such as these are usually stolen to order, meaning criminal groups will make money by selling them for a profit in places like Eastern Europe and North Africa.
Assessing and understanding a car’s vulnerabilities in technology is one of the ways thieves continue to exploit them. One of these technical vulnerabilities is keyless entry.
can a car be stolen without keys?
Keyless entry systems are convenient for many drivers, but they can also be exploited by thieves, as mentioned above. The fob used in keyless entry transmits a signal to your car. If criminals have a relay device, they can hack the signal and open the car without you noticing.
If you have a keyless entry system but you still need a traditional key to start the ignition, then you will be safer than those that have keyless entry and start. One way you can make your car safer is to turn off the fob’s wireless signal when you are not using your car, if it has that facility. There are also key pouches available; these are made from a material that blocks signals from being transmitted, thereby stopping thieves in their tracks.
Buying a car but need to know its past? Check if your car has been previously stolen with a vehicle check from mycarcheck.