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Motoring Advice

Car Theft Prevention

car theft prevention

Last updated 11 July 2022 | Published 18 December 2016


Car thieves have developed new and sophisticated techniques to overcome evolving car technology.   However, there are steps you can take to reduce your chances of falling victim.

Follow these simple rules to protect your vehicle from thieves.


Do Not Leave Your Unlocked Car Unattended

It is easy to be tempted to leave your car unattended while you leave the engine running to de-ice your car in the Winter – afterall it is cold outside.  However stay with your vehicle to ensure an opportunist thief can’t steal your car.  If someone does steal your car in these circumstances your insurer will not pay out.

The same is true when popping into a shop, dropping the children at the school gate, or meeting somebody at the station. Switch off the engine and lock the doors.


Check Your Car Is Locked

Some thieves use jammers to intercept the signal between your key fob and your car.

So to be sure your car has not been subject to one of these jammers, you will need to manually check every door and the boot, to be sure your vehicle is actually locked.


Protect your keyless entry car

Cars with keyless entry unlock automatically when the key is near the car, whether in a pocket or bag.

Car thieves use a device to capture the signal and unlock your car, even if your key fob is inside your home.

Although the signal can pass through doors, walls and windows, it cannot penetrate metal, so placing the keys inside a metal box, signal blocking wallet or safe will protect your vehicle from a ‘relay attack’.


Find The Right Place To Park

Thieves will be less likely to target your vehicle if they believe they might be disturbed.

Ideally choose a parking spot that is well-lit and open to public view.

Parking in busy areas is better too.


Keep Belongings Out Of View

Having items such as sat-nav devices,  bags, coats or even loose change on view could be enough to get thieves interested in your car.

Ideally take such items with you, or alternatively hide them in the boot.


Fit In-Car Security

Add a car alarm, immobiliser or tracking device

A car alarm can reduce the risk of theft as well as reduce your insurance premium.

Most modern cars have an immobiliser, but if yours doesn’t make it a priority to fit one.

Tracking devices do not prevent your car from being stolen, but increase the chance of it being recovered and returned to you.


Visual Deterrents

Make your car a difficult option for any opportunistic car thief by using highly visual car security devices:

  • Steering wheel locks prevent a thief from driving your car.
  • Wheel clamps are a physical immobiliser and highly visual deterrent.
  • Pedal locks prevent a thief from moving your car, even if they have managed to gain access to it.
  • Handbrake and gear stick locks render your car immobile.
  • Security window etching consists of etching all the windows of a vehicle with the logo of the International Security Register (ISR) and a code unique to your vehicle. This code is linked to a fully certified and secure database that’s used by police forces across the UK and available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  A thief will not want to have to replace all the windows.


Be Aware of Carjackers

Be alert to the possibility of carjackers when driving.

Drive with the doors locked, and in slow moving traffic close your windows.

In queuing traffic leave enough room to drive around the vehicle in front if you need to.


Do Not Store Documents In Your Car

Do not keep your vehicle logbook or service records in your car.  If a thief does manage to gain access the records will make it easier for them to sell your car.

Likewise do not leave any other documents in your car such as letters, forms of ID or bank statements which could open you up to identity theft.


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