From 2011 and 2012, an independent census carried out by motoring website Honest John has determined that, in England and Wales, there were a reported 121 vehicle crimes per 10,000. These figures might seem low, but vehicle crime and theft is a growing problem in Britain, and it seems virtually anyone can be a victim of it.
The majority of the time, vehicle theft is committed by opportunist thieves; in other words, these are people who initially had no intention of breaking into your car, but they obviously saw something they liked and wanted inside of it, and decided to go for it. Other times, crimes may be committed by organised gangs of criminals.
Many of these organised criminal gangs usually set out to steal a specific type of car, usually to strip the car of its parts, or to illegally ship it abroad under false documentation for the purposes of selling it to an overseas buyer on the black market.
If you are concerned about someone stealing your car or the contents within it, then you should take a look at these 8 surprisingly effective ways to minimise the chances of such bad things from occurring!
- Lock your car
- It might seem like I am preaching to the converted here, but trust me there are so many people that leave their cars unlocked in public. For example, this often occurs when cars are left unattended at filling stations whilst the owners go to pay for their fuel.
- Buy a car with good security features
- Modern cars, such as those sold from dealers like hiltongarage.co.uk, have a number of anti-theft measures in place and improved security over older cars.
- Park your car somewhere safe
- The golden rule is to park your car in a safe area, especially if it is in a well-lit location such as underneath a street lamp post. Parking your car somewhere out of the way and dark will increase the likelihood of it being broken into or stolen due to the secluded area.
- Keep valuables out of sight
- If you leave your mobile phone, laptop, wallet or other valuables in plain view, it can prove too much of a temptation to resist for even the most inexperienced of thieves.
- Utilise visible deterrents
- You can make life difficult for any would-be car thieves by using visible deterrents such as a Disklok, which wraps around your car’s steering wheel.
- Consider using security etching
- Many companies offer security etching services. In a nutshell, this refers to the process of physically marking glass or metal (such as windows or alloy wheels) with a security number that can help police recover any stolen cars or parts.
- Make your car difficult to tow away
- Some cars are stolen by literally being towed away on the back of a low-loader or other recovery truck! You can make this job difficult or even impossible by applying your handbrake and turning your wheels to one corner.
- Don’t keep your car’s details in the glovebox
- A surprisingly large number of people keep documents relating to their car such as the log book and recent MOT certificate in the glovebox. You don’t need to carry these around with you in the car, so make sure you leave them at home.