In 2022, 58,000 vehicles were stolen in the UK, making that 1117 stolen weekly, and 159 stolen a day. This had a 58% increase from 2021. So, here is Keytek® Auto Locksmiths guide on car security, and what measures you can take to make sure your vehicle is safe!
What Will Help You Keep Your Car Secure?
Locking Your Car
Although this seems like an obvious first piece of advice, it's still extremely important and vital to keeping your car safe. It can be an easy mistake to forget to lock your car after leaving the vehicle, but it really needs to become an everyday necessity to ensure vehicle safety. If a burglar does break-in to your car because it wasn't locked properly and steals any of your valuables that were left in there, then your insurance could be invalid because the door hadn't been locked.
Parking your vehicle in a safe and well-lit area is a good way to keep it secure. We recommend parking in areas where there is good lighting or where there are CCTV cameras. At night-time it would be best to park on a driveway, in a secured garage or car park. The reason for doing this is to make sure that where your car is parked is more visible and will attract attention if a burglar tries to break-in. It also acts as a visual deterrent as burglars are aware of how much more attention they will attract if they target a car that is in a safe and well-lit area. This is why car burglars go for cars that are parked in more secluded areas, which you should avoid where you can!
Hide Your Valuables
Just like you want to ensure security in your home, hiding any valuables is key for preventing car break-ins. If a car thief sees any valuables left unattended in your car, they are likely to target your car to steal them. So, you should always take valuables out of your vehicle, or try to hide them so that they are not visible from the outside.
Car Key Safety
Keeping your car keys safe is vital for car security because if the wrong person gets a hold of your keys, then they could easily break into your car and steal it. If your car keys have been stolen, we highly recommend getting a replacement car key where a local Auto Locksmith can not only provide you with new keys to your car but de-program your stolen ones, rendering them useless.
A way to keep your keys safe is keeping them hidden, as it's not uncommon for car keys to be stolen from inside your home, with thieves fishing for them with a stick and hook through the letterbox. If you want a spare car key, give us a call at 01202 830 652!
Install an Anti-Theft Device
Anti-theft devices are different gadgets that help to secure your car from break-ins. They make it so that it's harder to break into the vehicle, or so that it creates more noise if they succeed, alerting people nearby. We will break down what type of anti-theft devices are good for your car later on in this advice page!
Car Anti-Theft Devices
Steering Wheel Lock
A steering wheel lock is designed to protect your vehicle. It's an effective anti-theft device for your car, acting as a physical and visual deterrent that provides security to your car and reduces the chances of your car getting stolen. It's a metal rod that is connected to the steering wheel to prevent it from turning, locking the steering wheel into place with the metal rod, making it impossible to bend the steering wheel without removing the rod. The lock can only be unlocked with a unique key, so anyone without this key will not be able to drive it.
Car Security Alarm
A car alarm is designed to alert the car owner and anyone around the vehicle that someone may be attempting to break into a car. They act as a physical deterrent, attracting attention to the vehicle, therefore protecting it and its contents from damage or theft.
By installing a smart car alarm, you can use your smartphone to check if your car alarm is engaged, and it will alert your phone if your car alarm is going off by sending you a notification, meaning that if you aren't near your car, you can still be alerted.
A wheel clamp is designed to prevent a car from moving. The clamp surrounds the wheel and physically stops a car from being driven. They are made from very strong steel and contain pick-proof locks that make it difficult for thieves to remove. They are also very time consuming to try and remove, which acts as a visual deterrent as well as a physical barrier to theft, as thieves try and be as fast as they can.
What Are Signs Your Car Is Being Targeted?
Some of the most common signs that your car might be a target is small dots or lines on the bodywork of the car, stickers on the windows or headlights, or even folding in both of your wing mirrors.
Vehicle theft is usually by opportunists, who are looking to take advantage of any car security mistakes you might make, like not locking the door or leaving valuables on view. The majority of car thieves will have the intention of stealing your car and then selling its parts for a great deal of money, so it is important to look out for the signs of car theft.
What To Do If Your Car Has Been Targeted By Thieves?
When you approach your vehicle, check for anything unusual, look for the signs your car is being targeted, anyone hanging around.
If you feel like any suspicious behaviour or marks is an indication of car theft, then you need to act fast. You will need to report the markings to the police, as well as taking photos of it for proof. You should also start to take extra security measures, such as parking in a safe area, and installing anti-theft devices.
What Time Do Most Car Break-Ins Occur?
Studies show that around 80% of car theft and break-ins occur at night. Whilst we would recommend parking in a garage, we understand that this isn't always accessible for everyone, so the best thing to so would be to park in a well-lit area, preferably where there are CCTV cameras. If you are in a situation where you cannot park in a garage, then it would be best to install an anti-theft device for your peace of mind. Whilst nothing can 100% prevent car theft, an anti-theft device decreases the chances of a thief successfully stealing or breaking into your vehicle.
Does Car Insurance Cover Car Theft?
Your car insurance provider should cover you if your car has been stolen, broken into, or damaged. However, if no effort has been made to secure your car, then your claim could be denied by them. For example, if you forget to lock your car when the incident occurs, or if you accidentally leave your car keys in the ignition. This is why car security is so important, and why you should do as much as you can to keep your car secure, because even in the event of a break-in, your car insurance provider will be able to see that you weren't at fault, and they normally will be able to help you.