Ten tips to stop car thieves
July 25, 2017 at 12:06 PM
Modern cars are better protected from criminals than ever before, but that doesn’t mean car crime has become a thing of the past. Just like financial fraud, bank robbery or cyber crime, the criminal fraternity is always only one step behind in countering our anti-theft measures.
That means you need to stay on your toes and use all the tools at your disposal to keep your car safe and your insurance premium down. Here’s our top ten.
1) Lock it!
Let’s start with the blindingly obvious – at least you would think so, but you’d be amazed how many people still leave the car unlocked or the window wide open, presenting an almost irresistible temptation to car thieves.
2) Don’t leave it running
You could have all the anti-theft protection in the world, but it will not help if you leave the car with the keys in the ignition and the engine running. It only takes a few seconds for someone to jump in and drive off – and your insurance is unlikely to pay out.
3) Remove temptation
Many of us keep half of our worldly goods in the car. If yours has a pile of coins and a smartphone sitting in full view, it is just asking for someone to do a little smash and grab. Leave your valuables out of sight, and preferably, not in the car at all.
4) Don’t hide a key
Those little magnetic boxes where you can hide a spare key under the wheel arch are very popular, so much so that it is the first place car thieves look. Don’t make it easy for them and leave your spare key at home. You’re really not that likely to lose the main key, anyway.
5) Interior locks
Locks that brace the steering wheel or gear lever used to be all the rage, but they are less common these days. We are not sure why, as in addition to being effective, they offer a highly visible deterrent to car thieves, meaning they will not even try. These are particularly useful on an older car or a classic, where the exterior locks might be less secure.
6) Pay for parking
We all love something for nothing, but is it really worth leaving your car on a back street somewhere just to save a couple of pounds on parking? If you return to find someone has taken it, you will probably reach the conclusion that it was a false economy.
7) Fit an alarm
Most new cars have an alarm of some sort, but it is something that can also be retrofitted to an older vehicle. Again, this is a must for classic car owners, and for those worried about originality, the technology can be fitted inconspicuously, which must be better than losing your pride and joy forever.
8) Park in the centre
Having persuaded you to use a proper car park, the next tip is to park in a central space. Thieves are more likely to take a vehicle from close to the exit, as it is a shorter getaway.
9) Let there be light
Thieves love to operate under cover of darkness, so if you are leaving the car overnight, choose a spot under a light. If the car is well illuminated, there is far less likelihood of undesirables messing with it.
10) Fit a tracker
Trackers are great. If the worst happens, all you have to do is log on and the system will tell you, and the police, exactly where your car is. Some trackers can even kill the power to the engine remotely
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