Wasim Bux is from personal insurance provider, iGO4. Here, he shares his top tips for protecting your vehicle from theft.
Keeping your car safe from theft can seem daunting and expensive, but you don’t have to spend a pretty penny to keep your vehicle protected. While taking steps such as keeping your car locked and parking in secure areas are important, there are other things you should be considering as a car owner.
So, if you find yourself worrying about how to protect your vehicle, or have been a victim of theft before, here are my top tips to put your mind at ease.
Implement anti-theft accessories
Adding any kind of anti-theft device or accessory to your vehicle will make your car less appealing to thieves, as it shows an extra barrier for them to overcome when trying to make away with your car. Having visible deterrents, such as window alarms or steering wheel locks, warn thieves about the precautions you’ve taken, reducing the chance of them even trying to break in — saving you time, money and stress.
However, do be aware that some precautionary devices, like dashcams, can have the opposite effect and make your car more appealing to theft. So, if you have any valuable devices, be sure to put them away when you’re parked up.
Avoid keyless break-ins
With new high-tech products available to thieves, it’s now possible that cars can be stolen without the keys (The Crime Prevention Website). Criminals will use a ‘relay attack’ which includes two people working together using an electronic signal to intercept the car key fob signal.
However, there are ways you can block these relay devices from being able to pick up on the key signals. This can be as simple as placing your car keys in a metal tin or getting a specialised metal signal blocking pouch, as this material will protect electronic keys from these attacks. Just be sure that this isn’t the only measure you’re taking to prevent theft to your car. Combining this with the previously mentioned visible anti-theft accessories may make it harder and less appealing for your car to be a target.
There are other measures you can take to protect your car from theft, and unsurprisingly the way you park is one of them. When parked on the roadside, turning your wheels towards the kerb can deter thieves as it’ll take more effort and time to move it when they’re trying to make off in a quick getaway. If you’re in a car park, rotate your wheels to face another car, as again this will appear more challenging to the thief and if they hit another car it’s bound to cause a stir around them.
Choose your parking spots smartly, such as in a secure multi-storey, and avoid side streets where there’s not much footfall, as these quieter areas can be the ideal place for theft to happen. Websites like Park Mark can help you to find safe car parks that have been approved by the police Safer Parking scheme. When you’re at home, be sure to park your car facing forwards, rather than reversed in, as again, this will take longer for thieves to escape without being caught, hopefully putting them off.
Install GPS trackers
Even if you take the precautionary measures, you can never guarantee what will happen. That’s why, I recommend getting some GPS trackers installed. There are many models available with a range of different alerts, including ones that recognise unexpected movement, suspected tampering and unauthorised driving. You can even choose ones that notify you once your vehicle is driving outside of a set location perimeter.
Check your car before leaving
We all have busy lives and sometimes this means just pulling into a space and getting out the car in a rush. But, it’s incredibly important that you check the car both inside and out for anything that could make your vehicle susceptible or attractive to thieves.
A car filled with valuables is more likely to be a target than one which has no expensive possessions in it. If you have a sat nav, make sure you always take both the device and the mount down before leaving your car unattended and check for any suction marks which could indicate that there are expensive goods in your car. Many of these highly valuable items won’t be covered on your insurance policy unless you’ve disclosed that they will be left in the car, so think before you leave them. For more details, visit our guide to car insurance claims.
Car theft is something we all try to avoid, but sometimes it can be hard to know what you should be doing to prevent it. With my top five tips, some initiative and vigilance, you’ll be on the right track to protecting your vehicle against theft.