Top tips on protecting your vehicle from car thieves

PUBLISHED: 11:06 06 April 2016 | UPDATED: 11:06 06 April 2016

Cat thief

Cat thief

Archant

Press the key fob to lock the car and that’s it, job done; the car is safe and secure. This is what many of us think, but thieves are always on the lookout for cars to steal, so here is how to make sure your pride and joy is not the criminals’ next target.

First off, thieves are lazy and will always look for the easiest pickings. If you leave valuables lying around in your car or even charging cables that suggest there might be a phone or sat-nav in there, they will smash the window. Also, never leave your car unlocked or with the keys in it when you go to pay at a petrol station or even when running into the house to get something you’ve forgotten. It only takes a split second for your car to become a theft statistic.

EASY OPTION

Next up, when you’re at home or in the office, keep your car keys somewhere safe and out of plain sight. Again, thieves will take the easy option and if your car keys can be lifted from the worktop by the door or through the letterbox, the car will disappear. It’s best to keep your car keys on your person when not at home. When in the house, put them in a drawer or cupboard that’s not an obvious choice.

If you have a garage, use it to keep your car in: out of sight is out of mind for thieves. If you park on the street, don’t be one of those people who insist on parking in front of your house – it’s a clear indication of where to break into when they want the keys. Much better to park a few doors away to confuse the casual thief.

VISIBLE SECURITY

When you leave the car parked up, use some visible means of security other than the alarm. A steering wheel or handbrake lock are quick and simple to fit and act as a clear deterrent to any passing car criminal. Basic devices may not resist attack for long, but more substantial ones require power tools to remove. Thieves will simply move on to a less well-protected target.

Another simple step to making ne’er-do-wells walk on by is to park your car with the wheels turned into the kerb or pointing towards another car parked next to it. Again, it’s about frustrating thieves and this tip makes it much harder for them to push or tow it away. A simple tip, but it could save you an insurance headache.

DRIVEWAY ORDER

If you have more than one car at home and park them all on the drive, try to arrange them so the most likely to be stolen is furthest from the road. Again, it’s about making life hard for criminals and this is a simple way to make them give up before they even try.

Lastly, when you park the car away from home, choose a space that it well-lit and on a busy road. Thieves don’t like an audience, so the more people are around the better. Also, if you can spot a CCTV camera, this is a good place to park as the criminals will also have noticed the camera and may be less likely to use this area, for fear of being filmed.

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