It takes less than a minute for a thief to break into your
vehicle and steal it or your belongings inside.
More than half of car crime is opportunistic but by taking a few
simple steps you can outsmart thieves and reduce the chances of
your car being targeted.
Follow our advice to help keep your vehicle safe. Don’t give
thieves an easy ride!
Catalytic converters are also a target
for thieves. Protect your vehicle by following our advice on catalytic converters.
Park in safe areas
Choose somewhere busy and well lit with good surveillance. Areas
where there are few people about, several escape routes and cars
hidden out of view are attractive to thieves.
Try to use car parks with Park Mark status. These car
parks have been certified as meeting minimum standards in layout
and design, lighting, surveillance and controlled entry and
Although it’s not a guarantee of safety, figures show parking in a
secured car park reduces the chances of vehicle crime by 70
You can find out where these car parks are on the Park Mark website.
Use security devices
Think about wheel protection. Thieves target alloy wheels and tyres
from steel wheels so protect them using locking wheel nuts which
are inexpensive and easy to fit.
Fitting an immobiliser or alarm system is a sure way to prevent
your vehicle being stolen. Consider using Thatcham approved systems or
Sold Secure products which have
been tested to certain standards, but check with your insurance
company first as they may have particular conditions.
Steering wheel and gear lever locks are effective, inexpensive
and easy to fit.
Etch your vehicle registration number onto all glass surfaces.
This service may be free from a vehicle glaziers but check your car
insurance details first.
If you have a car stereo, choose one that’s removable or has a
removable front cover. Make sure you take it with you when you
leave the car and mark the stereo with a unique identifying
Keep doors locked and windows shut
It may sound obvious but unlocked doors and open windows are
invitations to thieves so make sure your vehicle is secure even if
you are only popping into a shop, paying for petrol or getting car
Don’t forget to lock the boot and sun roof too. It only takes
seconds for a thief to make off with your belongings.
Don't leave anything on display
Thefts from vehicles greatly outnumber thefts of vehicles so
never leave your property on display on the dashboard or front or
back seats. Removing valuables like radios, sat navs, mobile phones
and laptops helps remove temptation.
Don’t forget to wipe away the marks left by the suction pad on your
sat nav as they may lead thieves to believe it’s in your car
somewhere. Keep an eye out for devices on the market that can hold
sat navs in place without using sucker pads.
If you are unable to remove your property from the vehicle, lock
it out of sight in the boot or a vehicle safe.