Car security has advanced dramatically in the last twenty years, with many cars using good security systems as standard. Regardless, motor vehicle theft is still on the rise. According to Statista, there were over 100,000 car thefts in the UK in 2021/22, an increase compared to previous years.
Over 50% of these thefts occurred when the car was parked in either a semi-private facility or on the road (Uswitch). So how do we prevent this from happening?
Here at Nationwide Vehicle Contracts, we’ve compiled some top tips on how to keep your car secure when it’s at home.
One of the main reasons thieves break into a car is because they’ve seen something inside that has value, such as a phone, laptop, or jewellery.
If you don’t want to remove some items from the car, make sure you hide them from view. Typical areas are the glove box or under the seats, but you can get creative and hide valuables under floor mats, in the spare wheel, and between the seat cushions.
To prevent this, remove all valuables from your car when you get home.
Having your keys near your front door is great for convenience in the morning but also for opportunistic car thieves.
It’s common for thieves to try and get a hold of the keys by fishing for them through the letter box or an open ground-floor window. To prevent this, keep your keys in a secure location that’s out of sight.
Cars with keyless entry automatically lock when the keys are within a certain distance of the vehicle. You don’t have to do anything at all; the car will open as long as you’ve got your keys with you.
Thieves are increasingly trying to clone the signal emitted from your keys, thus enabling them to open the car and steal it.
A few simple steps can avoid this:
Glass windows are one of the few parts of a car that traditionally don’t have any identification number etched onto them. This makes them a target for thieves as they are likely to sell for greater profit.
Security etching consists of having a unique code etched onto the vehicle’s window. This code will be linked to a fully secure database that’s used by the police across the UK, making it easier to identify.
Security etching is relatively cheap and, according to Halfords, reduces the chances of your car being stolen by 45%.
This is one of the most effective ways to ensure that your car remains safe whilst at home.
If you have a garage or a driveway at home, make sure you use them. Although it may be a bit more awkward than parking outside your house, it massively decreases the chances of your car being stolen.
If your house/flat has no secure parking, make sure you park in a well-lit area. If you need to park in a car park, try and use one that’s staffed or has been awarded a Park Mark award.
Similarly to the above, installing a security light in your driveway will deter thieves. Car thieves like to use the cover of darkness to mask their work, and a security light will often scare them away.
Security lights cost around £20, so they are worth the cost.
CCTV cameras will deter car thieves and help you identify them.
Camera technology has come a long way in a short space of time, with many CCTV cameras having night vision modes, AI-powered people detection, HD resolution, and access to a live stream. The days of seeing a 20-pixel CCTV camera’s footage are long gone, thankfully!
Installing a CCTV camera system at home is not cheap, but the security benefits are worth it. Curry’s provides a range of different options for homeowners to choose from.
Most of the time, car thieves who want a quick turnaround will walk past a car with a steering wheel lock.
If a thief does choose your car, a steering wheel lock may give you an extra few seconds to spot them.
Lock your vehicle whenever you leave it. Even if you’re unloading some shopping or filling up the car for a day trip away, lock the car whenever you leave its sight.
You should especially do this if your car has wing mirrors that fold in when it’s locked. Some thieves target modern cars whose wing mirrors are out, as there’s a greater chance the vehicle is unlocked.
Dash cams were first designed to record collisions, but they’ve advanced with technology and can now act as a security camera. Some dash cams come with a parking mode, which will switch on when it detects movement.
This can act as a deterrent to criminals and can also help you find the person responsible.
RAC have a wide range of dash cams available.
Are you looking for more car safety tips and tricks? Nationwide Vehicle Contracts produces handy motoring and leasing blogs on topics such as 10 Ways To Reduce Stress While Driving or How To Stay Safe Whilst Running On The Road.