Keeping your car safe is a top priority for many people, so here are some dos and don’ts to keep your vehicle safe.
In 2021, it was reported that more than 48,000 cars were stolen; that’s one vehicle every 11 minutes. There are many reasons cars get stolen, and there are some ways to prevent it and help restore the car if you ever find yourself in this situation.
What do car thieves pay attention to?
Car thieves will look for different characteristics when choosing a target. It can be the type of vehicle, whether it is considered a more prestigious car, a rare model, a modified vehicle, whether the car will get a good return for spare parts, or, more often, looking for items to be put in a car. kept, such as money or mobile phones.
Valuables in cars are sometimes more motivation to steal a car than the car itself! So, what do people steal from vehicles? The most common stolen items of cars, 39%, are valuables, such as handbags, wallets, purses or cash. Other everyday items include truck tools, telephones, radios, and even wheels.
There are no statistics on why thieves attack certain cars, but by looking at the lists of the most stolen cars from previous years, we can make a judgment. In the list of the top 10 most stolen vehicles in the UK, you won’t be shocked to find that Land Rovers, Range Rovers, BMWs and Mercedes are all in this list, but you might be surprised to learn that none of them hold the number one position. The most stolen car in the UK, taking the first position, is the most common car on the road; the humble Ford Fiesta. Being the UK’s best-selling car in recent years might make it easier to steal and harder to get caught because there are just so many of them on the road at once that are the same color and model.
The more prestigious cars in the list are the Range Rover, which is popular for export, the Mercedes C-Class because it has all the bells and whistles you could ever ask for in a car, the BMW 3 Series and the Mercedes E – Class.
Frustratingly, there is more than one way your car can be stolen, some of which are a bit more technical than others, usually coming from methods intended to protect your car, rather than making it a target for theft.
Keyless car theft, arguably the most common form of car theft, is carried out using external equipment which can be purchased for as little as £100. They require two offenders and use a relay transmitter and an amplifier to trick your car into thinking the key is closer than it is, meaning it can be opened and driven away without damage to the vehicle.
This is the kind of theft we would stereotypically think of when it comes to stealing: breaking in and entering a property, taking the keys and driving away.
If you thought manual entry cars were safe after keyless car theft, you were wrong. Theft of a turbo decoder uses what you would call a modern runner to fill the shape of the keyhole, making it easy to unlock the car.
Unfortunately, when cloning transponder keys, this is exactly what it says on the can. Your car key is taken and cloned to be stolen. This is more common in places like garages, where you don’t think twice about leaving your car and keys unlocked.
- Compromise On-Board Diagnostics (OBD)
This device is usually used to check the condition of your car, often used for MOTs. However, if this device falls into the wrong hands, it can be used to duplicate codes for electronic keys.
This method of theft requires a little more planning and waiting than some other methods. Using a special device, criminals can capture the key code while the victim locks the car, which can then be downloaded onto a blank key.
This type of theft focuses on additional security features as opposed to the car itself. Often people install a GPS tracking system so that their car can be located if it is stolen. Unfortunately, violators can use a device to block the tracking device’s signal at the time of the theft, so it can’t be tracked.
How do you prevent your car from being stolen?
There are plenty of ways to avoid targeting your vehicle for theft.
This may sound painfully obvious, but locking your car can prevent direct and opportunistic theft. In addition, it is essential to check that you have closed all your windows and the sunroof.
- Keep your keys safe and away.
If you have keyless car entry, this is especially important to you. To make sure your car is safe, keep your key as far away from your car as possible when you’re not in it. If you park your car at home, don’t leave the key by the door as there is a chance it will open easily during a theft, and make sure you have a spare key. You can also buy signal-blocking pouches, which can help prevent theft.
Again, this sounds obvious, but it’s an easy point to overlook. Parking in a well-lit, safe place will reduce the chances of your car being stolen.
Personalized license plates
In some criminal cases, personalized license plates can be a reason to commit car theft because criminal activity in the vehicle cannot be traced back to them and can be used as a direct target for a person. However, personalized license plates can be a blessing in disguise if your car is stolen.
You can report your stolen vehicle to the police and the stolen license plate to the DVLA so that your car can be tracked by both authorities and then it is much easier to prove that if something happens to that car, it’s not you if it’s reported.
If your car has been stolen, you should contact the police immediately, especially if you, your vehicle or anyone else was injured. You must also call your insurance company to make a claim. After this, if the insurance pays out for the vehicle, you should contact the DVLA to let them know that the car is now owned by that insurance company.