How to Protect Your Car from Thieves

Over 2022 we have seen an increase in reports of car thefts, particularly cars worth more than £20,000.

This is backed up by recent figures that show that there were more vehicle thefts in 2021-2022 in England and Wales than there were in 2020-2021 with 108,542 recorded offences in one year, averaging to 297 thefts a day and 2,082 thefts a week.

And also, DVLA figures suggest that thieves tend to target specific makes and models. So the risk of car and van theft is high for everyone, but it may be particularly high for some drivers.

In this post we’ll discuss some simple things you can do to protect your vehicle from car and van thieves.

Safe and Sensible Parking

Thieves are more likely to target your vehicle if they think they won’t be seen. So if you park in a busy, well-lit area, thieves may be less likely to risk a break-in.

If parking away from home aim to park in car parks that have measures in place to deter thieves, including onsite staff, ample illumination, security cameras, barriers, and more.

At home, the best place to park your vehicle is in a garage with a lock and an alarm. But of course, not every driver has access to such facilities. So what can you do if you have no choice but to park your vehicle overnight in dark and unobserved areas?

Keep Valuables Out Of Sight

Many car thieves are opportunists so make sure that you keep any personal belongings or cash out of sight. Even if you are at a petrol station or popping into a shop, take valuables with you and lock your car.

Get Anti-Theft Tech

Your car or van will be fitted with lots of advanced security and safety features as standard. Yet it might be a good idea to make your vehicle extra secure – especially if you can’t park it in a safe location.

Good anti-theft tech can include:

If you’re a van driver, we also have a dedicated guide to keeping your van secure.

Lock Your Vehicle

It may sound obvious, but it really is vitally important that you lock your vehicle whenever you’re leaving it unattended.

You might think you do this anyway. But have you ever left your vehicle unlocked when filling up at a petrol station? Or when just popping into the shop for a moment or two?

And what about those freezing winter mornings, when you have to defrost your vehicle before you can drive it. Don’t be tempted to leave the car running while you head back into the house. Not only will this make it easy for thieves, but it will also invalidate your car insurance.

So, get into the habit of locking your vehicle whenever you leave it unattended, even if it will just be for a few moments.

Also check that your windows and sunroof are closed before you leave your vehicle. And it might also be worth manually checking that your vehicle’s locked. This simple action could give you a bit of reassurance, and it could even put-off any thieves who happen to be prowling around.

Look Out For Organised Thieves

Some thieves are highly organised, so be on the lookout for any signs that thieves may be operating in the area:

  • People hanging around car parks and parking spaces.
  • Unmarked tow trucks, driven by people not wearing uniforms.
  • Spray paint markings on the road or pavement.
  • Supermarket trolley tokens or branches that appear out of place and placed near or around your car.

Take Care of Your Keys

Never leave your keys on a table or counter when you’re in a shop, café, pub, club, bar, or restaurant.

And when you get home, don’t just place your keys by the door, or thieves might be able to steal them with a stick and a hook through your letterbox. Instead, keep them somewhere safe, secure, and out of sight.

If you drive a car with keyless entry, keep your fob in a Faraday pouch, or even a biscuit tin, to block their signal. This will stop thieves from cloning the fob while you’re at home. Read our complete guide to stopping your keyless entry car from being stolen here.

Get A Tracker

If the worst happens and your car gets stolen, then a GPS tracker may help the police to find your car. Some vehicles may have inbuilt trackers but if yours doesn’t you can easily buy one online. There are a huge number of trackers to choose from which are very easy to install and track using an app.

You could also use an Apple Tag. Hide the tag in your car and you can track it through your ‘Find my iPhone’ app on your phone.


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