Despite constant improvements in vehicle engineering, car theft and vehicle break-ins are still common. According to Halfords, 22% of car owners in the UK have had a car lease hire stolen at some point. While it's impossible to eradicate vehicle theft, you can make it as hard as possible for thieves to break in. By taking some extra simple precautions, you can reduce the likelihood of incidents happening to your vehicle.
Don't leave any belongings or valuables inside your vehicle
This tip might seem obvious, but it is often neglected, so be sure to take your belongings with you to help prevent thieves or vehicle vandalism. This includes your wallet, sat navs, tablets and mobile phones. Even having a coat or bag on display or leaving loose change on the dashboard is enough to entice somebody to break into your vehicle.
Common items thieves target include:
- Portable sat navs or SD cars
- Wallets and cash
- Aftermarket DVD entertainment systems
The best way of preventing theft of these accessories is to not leave them in the car at all. Better still, don’t leave any evidence of them – no charging cables, mounting brackets or even the residue that such brackets leave. It may even be a good idea to leave your glove box open, so it’s obvious there’s nothing of worth inside.
It's also vital that you don't keep any important documents inside your vehicle. This includes insurance forms and your vehicle logbook. If these records are inside your vehicle and it gets stolen, the thieves could use them for fraudulent purposes to potentially sell or scrap your car for cash.
When leaving the vehicle unattended, make sure you look around the interior of your car before you get out to check that you haven't left anything valuable on display. If you have to leave something in your vehicle, try hiding it in the boot.
Keep your keys safe
One of the major advancements in basic car security has been the closing down of simple ways of bypassing the keys. Thieves can no longer expect to hop in a car, easily hotwire and drive away before someone realises what they are doing. Instead, car crime is increasingly a two-part theft: car keys are stolen and subsequently used to steal cars.