Tips to prevent your vehicle from being stolen and targeted by thieves
Car thefts and break-in are on the rise in the UK, according to new research revealed by the RAC.
Crimes of this type rose across 26 different regions in the UK in 2017.
Around 85,000 car thefts took place in the UK during 2017 and car thefts have risen by 30 per cent over the last three years.
Drivers are being urged to use a number of methods to protect their cars from being targeted by thieves.
Security expert Michael Fraser in collaboration with Leasing options has reveals how to keep your car safe from theft
Parking in public
Whether you like to park right by the door or avoid those pesky bollards, always park facing the wall in public car parks. This will minimise the chance of thieves making a quick getaway in your car. If they have to reverse, it will slow them down and they will be less likely to take the risk.
Always turn your car wheels into the curb
Surprisingly, a simple trick of stopping thieves from taking your vehicle is turning your wheels into the curb or towards another vehicle. This makes it really difficult for a thief to make a getaway in your car as they would have to make more manoeuvres.
Keep valuables out of sight
Although it’s always advised to keep personal belongings out of sight in our cars, many forget to hide them away. Having visible items in your car shows thieves exactly what you have to steal and suggests there may be more items that are worth taking.
Don’t leave your handbag or keys near your front door
Did you know that the latest technique used by criminals to steal cars is letterbox fishing? Letterbox fishing is where thieves put a pole through a letterbox to take your keys. The burglar then has the opportunity to let themselves into your home and take your car. Always keep your handbag or keys away from ground level doors, ideally, you should leave them on the first floor or above.
Face your car towards the house
After a long day away from home, the way you park is the last thing on your mind. When you arrive at home most people tend to reverse on to their drive to make it easier for them to leave the house. However, doing this makes it easier for someone to take your car from your driveway. Make sure you park facing your house and don’t forget to lock your wheels too.
Change your habits
Have you ever stopped to think about how often you go about the same routine each day? It’s very easy to slip into habits but doing the same thing each day will make you an easy target for thieves. Consider switching the way you park and where you leave your items every five days to make it harder for criminals to guess your next move.
Keep it clear
Were you aware that windscreen marks are indicators to thieves that your car is worth breaking in to? Remove any wiring, Sat Nav mounts and marks from your windscreen before leaving the car.
“The suction mark from a Sat Nav is a sign that you have left valuables in your vehicle.
It may also sound crazy, but having a tidy car can fend off thieves as it shows that you take your car and its security seriously. If the car is untidy or has any items visible – it generally shows that the person is unorganised and they have something in the car to be taken.
Always take a look around
Believe it or not, taking a look around as soon as you leave the car can potentially deter thieves. It shows any potential thieves watching that you’re aware of your surroundings, as well as appearing to be security conscious.
Mike Thompson, brand manager at Leasing Options, said: “Michael has provided some great insight into how to avoid car theft, highlighting points that many of us probably did not know until now.
Car theft and break-ins have risen in the UK
“We’re hoping that our research highlights the extent of car theft in the UK and the importance of taking extra time to ensure vehicle safety.”
Security expert, Michael Fraser, said: “Car related theft is a regular occurrence in cities and many people are unknowingly putting their cars at risk by not taking the correct precautions.
“Leaving cars in unsecured areas, such as dark car parks or under trees with no lighting, makes it easier for thieves to steal the vehicle and they know they are less likely to get caught on security camera footage.
“Members of the public could also be unaware that high valuable technology inside vehicles won’t be covered on car insurance policies, unless the driver has made the insurance provider aware of the items being left in the car.
“Unfortunately, police forces don’t currently have enough resource to follow up on car theft crimes or home burglaries. These crimes are constantly being pushed down the list of priorities.”