It is something we never really think about until it happens to us, and that would be car theft! In 2015 there were 69,547 cars stolen in the UK, and as I am sure you are aware this usually happens when you leave your vehicle, so when you are asleep or even when you park it whilst your shopping or at work.
Here at Connect, most of our products are tailored around cars e.g. Private Car, Motor Trade, Taxi and Fleet, so we want to make sure that our customers are well protected and potential customers are too. According to UK Statistics the Top Five Cars that were most stolen in 2015 are:
- Range Rover Sport
- BMW X5
- Range Rover Vogue
- Mercedes C-class
- BMW 3-series
But just because your car may not be on list do not let that stop you from taking extra measures and precautions as you never know when it could happen to you. So here are some helpful tips to help you keep your vehicle secure:
- Make sure you keep an eye on your keys – This is because now thieves know that car security systems have become more advanced, one of the easiest ways to steal your car is to steal your keys. Therefore when you are out and about ensure that your keys are either secure in a zip part of your bag or in a pocket other than your back pocket where they can easily be reached. When you’re at home, make sure you do not leave keys in reach of the letter box or by a window.
- Secure your vehicle – In modern cars you can usually hear the central locking system activating, so make sure that you listen to the car lock; some cars also use a visual effect such as flashing indictors – make sure that these do flash as well. If one does not work or neither work this could mean that car is not locking properly. However it could be worse since “Security experts believe that some thieves use remote locking jammers to target cars – preventing the signal from your fob from reaching the car, and ensuring it stays unlocked so that they can steal whatever’s inside”. If you are unsure whether the vehicle has locked, test it by pulling on the door handle before leaving your vehicle.
- Park intelligently – Even the nicest parts of an area can have problems! When you are parking your car try to leave it under a street lamp, even during daylight, because if you do end up stopping longer than you intended and it does go dark at least it will be illuminated. If you have the facility, park as close to your house as possible e.g. driveway or car park; and if you’re at a pub or restaurant, park where you can see your vehicle from the inside so even if you cannot see it someone else will be able to see if anything untoward it happening. When you are out shopping, park in and amongst other cars and do not leave your vehicle on it’s own as this is when thieves are more likely to strike.
- Valuables don’t belong in your vehicle – Yes I know it sounds so obvious! But you will be surprised by how many people forget about putting their sat nav away or having phones, cash or wallets on display. When leaving your vehicle you should make sure that they are hidden away from prying eyes e.g. using your glove box or putting them in your boot. But the best measure of security is to take your valuable items with you whenever you leave your car unattended. Also consider that your bags, coats and even jumper are all striking to a thief because even if the item itself is not worth much, what it could be hiding is an attraction to a thief. In addition make sure that no important paper work is in view as this can be targeted for identify theft.
- Don’t leave your car running unattended – Even if you think that you are just leaving your car for minimal period of time like popping back into the house because you have forgotten something. An opportunist thief only needs a few seconds to be well away with your vehicle. This can also be the same if you are de-icing your car on one of those cold winter morning, some people won’t even consider you as they run you down to get into the driver seat and speed off. If your car is stolen whist it is running, this will deem your insurance invalid so not only will you be left without a car, you will not be paid out for the theft claim either.
In summary, always make sure that you keep your vehicle secure and the contents within it because you do not want to have to go thorough losing your vehicle and having thoughts of “Could I have done something different?”