Rises in car thefts and how to protect yourself

Our claims team offer some invaluable advice on how to keep your vehicles safe.

Posted on | Posted in articles, news

UK Car Thefts Are Up by 20%

Figures just released by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) have shown that the number of motor theft claims paid by insurers in the first quarter of this year are the highest they’ve been since 2012.

Staggeringly, a car theft claim is paid out around every 8 minutes, and the cost of the claims has risen by over 20% over the same period as last year.

One of the biggest culprits of the rise is the abundance of keyless vehicles now on the road. With tech-savvy criminals being able to bypass the technology and make off with your car in as little as 20 seconds. You can read more about the risks of keyless theft in a previous article here.

With car crime on an upward trajectory, and the Home Office recording a 50% rise in vehicle theft over the last five years, it’s more important now than ever before to make sure you and your vehicle(s) are properly protected.

A few members of our claims team put their heads together and drew from their massive experience in successfully dealing with claims for our clients to come up with the following tips and tricks to make sure that you’re doing everything you can to keep your vehicle safe.

Preventative Measures

Put simply, make it as difficult for a criminal to steal your car as possible.

There are a whole host of ways to boost the security of your car with a few simple upgrades that are quick and easy to use. So invest in the security and avoid waking up to find your vehicle(s) gone.

Our claim’s team’s top recommendations were:

  • Buy Diskloks. They are aroud £100 and fully cover the steering wheel making it a long and difficult process to remove by force. This would deter a criminal as it would probably take far too long and be too big a risk for them to try and steal.
  • Use handbrake to gearstick locks. Similarly to Diskloks, these add an extra layer of protection that make it almost impossible to get off quickly and discreetly further deterring a would be theif.
  • For particularly desirable vehicles, use an Auto Telescopic Anti Ram post fitted where you park you car. This metal bar rises behind your vehicle when it’s parked and makes it impossible for the car to be moved without removing the bar.
  • Stop locks should be fitted to vans, as they make it incredibly difficult to prise the rear doors open.

Make it less desirable

It’s all too easy to think that those tools or your laptop bag will be safe when you’re only nipping away from the vehicle for 5 minutes. But it takes no time at all for a thief to break in and steal vehicle contents.

  • Don’t leave anything in the vehicle that’s worth stealing. It sounds obvious, but make sure tools are removed overnight, and that nothing is on view in the vehicle to tempt thieves.

Pick a safe space

Opportunistic car thieves are always on the hunt for vehicles that look vulnerable. If they’re parked in a remote, inaccessible or badly lit location, it’s easier for them to act without being seen. So to give your vehicle the best change of staying safe, follow the below advice:

  • Park close to windows and doors, so you can keep an eye on your vehicle, and where there’s a higher risk of thieves being disturbed by people coming and going.
  • Avoid dark, unlit areas with little to no foot traffic.
  • When parking in a car park, park close to or preferably in view of security cameras to help deter would be thieves.
  • If parking on a driveway, make it more difficult for thieves to get away, by driving front in, rather than reversing into your drive.
  • Where possible, park the vehicle in a secure building or compound to add an extra physical barrier between a wannabe thief and your vehicle.

And finally. Don’t leave the keys in the car when it’s unattended.

It sounds simple, but it’s all too easily done. Whether it’s running back inside to pick up the phone that you forgot, or jumping out to open an automatic barrier. If you leave your keys in your vehicle, it can be just a matter of seconds before a thief is into your car and gone. And if this happens, on top of the heartache of losing your vehicle, your insurer won’t cover you.

It’s not a complicated set of instructions, but by keeping this simple guides in mind, it’ll help make sure that you and your vehicles have the best protection they possibly can.

See how we can help keep you protected

For more questions about how we can help protect your tomorrow, today, get in touch and we can organise a no obligation confidential review of your insurance.

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