Although vehicles and technology have undoubtedly become much more sophisticated in recent times, it looks as though criminals are finally starting to catch up.
Over the past two decades, advances in technology have resulted in much stronger vehicle security measures, with the UK enjoying a steady decline in annual car theft rates. According to ONS, by 2016 there were just 50,000 reported car thefts across the country, with the authorities and improved security successfully keeping potential thieves at bay.
However, there were 89,000 vehicle thefts in 2017, an increase of 56% and the highest UK theft rates since 2012; while Statista is reporting over 100,000 stolen vehicles in 2018 already. Modern keyless entry systems are being blamed for the sudden spike, but every driver should be aware of the growing theft rates and the need to become much more vigilante.
So, how can you keep your car safe in such trying times?
Install A Tracking Device
Physical anti-theft devices have really taken off over the past few years, with many drivers choosing to install their own car tracking device to combat the growing crime rates. GPS trackers have become particularly popular since they’re capable of pinpointing the exact location of a vehicle in the event of theft; and therefore make it much easier for the authorities to recover it.
Since 77% of car theft cases are closed without a suspect in mind, a tracker can prove absolutely essential in locating the vehicle, recovering it, and identifying those responsible for the theft. Even if your vehicle’s never targeted by thieves, a tracker offers incredible peace of mind and ensures you’re fully prepared for a worst-case scenario.
Lock Up And Keep Your Keys Safe
The majority of modern cars will lock through a fob system, with many drivers failing to check that their doors have actually locked. Although a failure in the system might seem unlikely, it’s always worth just taking a second to pull on the handle to make absolutely certain the door has locked behind you; otherwise, you risk offering an open invitation to any prowling thieves in the area.
Once your car is safely locked up, you need to put your keys in a safe and secure place. Thieves are notorious for trying to fish keys through open windows and letterboxes, so you should avoid leaving them in the hallway or other vulnerable areas of the house. Instead, keep them safely out of sight and out of reach.
After all, improved technology has made it much more difficult for someone to steal your vehicle through conventional methods (such as hotwiring), so getting hold of your keys will undoubtedly be their number one priority.
Find A Great Place To Park
Your car will always be much safer if you’ve parked in a secure, well-lit location since criminals typically avoid areas open to the public view or monitored by CCTV. Although you might usually prefer to park in quieter areas, thieves are less likely to operate in high-traffic zones where they could be disturbed.
Hide Your Valuables
A criminal is unlikely to risk breaking into your vehicle unless they’re absolutely certain they can grab something valuable from inside. By leaving your mobile, sat nav or wallet out on display, you’re essentially setting up your own shop window and tempting criminals to break their way inside. Instead, you need to keep your valuables safely locked away in the boot or glove box– just make certain nobody can see where you’re putting them!
Flaunt Your Security Measures
Car thieves will always be deterred by extra signs of security, so it’s a good idea to make these signs as clear as possible. For example, many drivers will ensure they’ve always got an alarm sticker on display, while others take things one step further by investing in wheel and steering wheel clamps.
However you plan on improving your vehicle’s security, you need to flaunt these extra measures and show criminals just how seriously you take your vehicle’s safety.
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