How to Stop your Car from Becoming a Target of Car Thieves
Not Getting Your Car Stolen Even Once, Now That’s a Flex
With the increased sophistication of cars these days, particularly the greater emphasis on security, many people think their car is less likely to be stolen. That’s not true, however, because thieves have become correspondingly more sophisticated and use a variety of techniques and equipment to steal cars.
Rather than falling, the incidence of car thefts is rising, up 26% to 61,106 in 2022 in the UK. And of those that are stolen, around 72% are never recovered. That means you need to be ever more alert and need to take steps to stop your car being stolen.
The Cars Thieves Steal and How to Stop Them
Professional car thieves don’t just steal cars at random but instead will target particular makes and models. These include high-end, high-value models such as Range Rovers, Land Rover Discovery and various premium brands such as Mercedes and BMW. Also targeted are popular models such as the VW Golf and the Ford Fiesta simply because there are plenty of them on the road. The latter is the most stolen car in the UK and that’s partly due to production coming to an end so second-hand models and spare parts may soon be in short supply.
Other models may be at lesser risk but can still be targeted by opportunist thieves if they appear particularly vulnerable. However, this type of thief is relatively easy to deal with and it sometimes means taking reasonably obvious actions that include:
- not leaving valuables on show in an unattended car
- parking sensibly, ideally in a locked garage but otherwise on a private driveway or in a well lit and busy area
- always ensuring you lock your car before leaving it and that all windows are closed and the parking brake is on
- never leaving your car unlocked and with the engine running, which will likely invalidate your claim if the car is stolen.
The Increase of Technology in Car Theft
Keyless cars are becoming much more common and are convenient to use because you don’t have to fumble for your key to open and start the car. As long as the key is present, either in your pocket or a bag, you can unlock the car by simply pulling the door handle and starting the engine by depressing a button.
This added convenience has led to a weakness that thieves have been eager to exploit. A system known as relay theft is employed whereby a thief will use an electronic device to detect the signal that a key emits. It is often possible to pick up this signal from outside your house and then transmit it to a second device that an accomplice can use to unlock and start the car.
Some manufacturers are taking steps to counter these activities by deactivating the signal when the key is motionless or by using wide-band technology so the signal can’t be isolated. In other cases, you can thwart the thieves by keeping the key well away from windows and doors so it’s harder to detect or putting it in a Faraday Bag that blocks the signal. Some people put the key in a metal box or even a microwave although operating the latter will destroy the key and the microwave if you forget it’s there.
Other ways to prevent the theft of keyless and other cars are by installing lockable posts on your driveway, using a wheel clamp or fitting a steering wheel or pedal lock. These are all highly visible and are effective at deterring thieves.
For cars operated by more conventional key fobs, thieves sometimes use electronic devices to block the signal and so prevent the doors from being locked. There’s usually some indication when the locks operate, such as the door mirrors folding in or the indicators flashing. If you’re unsure, check the doors and lock them manually if necessary.
Using Technology to Counter Thieves
Having your car stolen can be an expensive business because you may not receive its full value from your insurer, may lose your No Claims Discount and can incur unexpected costs. These may include additional travelling expenses, or a loss of income and you will also spend a lot of time pursuing your claim.
Car Keys Solutions can help you safeguard your car and your sanity by fitting an car alarm fittings that will deter thieves, a car ghost immobiliser that is undetectable and will prevent the car from being driven away and a GPS tracker that will help you recover the car if it is stolen. They all come with warning stickers that you can attach to your windows to alert and deter thieves, and they’re all professionally installed with full customer support, so you know they’ll work well. Contact us today to ensure your car is fully protected.