How to prevent Vehicle Theft
Despite a sharp drop since its peak in the mid-90s, vehicle theft has seen a rise in recent years. At the same time, methods of vehicle theft have become more and more advanced.
Going beyond the basics of locking car doors and parking in safe locations is more important than ever. This article will outline how to prevent car theft at home with security measures and devices.
Understanding Vehicle Theft Risks
According to ONS data, there was a 25% year-on-year increase in vehicle theft between 2021 and 2022 and, with people driven to increasingly desperate measures in the cost of living crisis, that number only looks set to rise.
Methods used in vehicle theft are keeping pace with advances in in-built vehicle security technology.
As well as stealing car keys, and tricks like changing the number plates to avoid recognition, it is now possible to clone and duplicate key fobs — or to block them from working altogether — remotely.
Importance of Vehicle Security Devices
The faster vehicle security technology moves, the smarter methods of car theft become.
In a world where cars can be controlled with a mobile phone, and key fobs can be duplicated from the street, physical steering wheel locks and other security devices present the last line of defence against vehicle theft.
Types of Vehicle Security Devices
Steering wheel locks
Steering wheel locks should be the first port of call when it comes to car security devices. A steering wheel to seat-belt lock can be fitted and removed in seconds — and is adjustable to almost any make and model of car.
As well as being an effective anti-theft device, physically preventing the car from being driven, a wheel steering lock can also act as a deterrent for would-be vehicle theft.
For an added layer of protection when parked at home, a removable bollard is another anti car theft device you can install and use yourself. A removable bollard acts as a physical barrier between your car and the exit, so you can stop worrying about car theft at home.
Using anti-tamper screws to secure your number plate and alloys can be another simple way to both improve vehicle security and deter opportunistic theft.
Car alarms and immobilisers
Most modern cars come with an inbuilt immobiliser system, but if yours doesn’t then getting one fitted should be a security priority.
Choosing the Right Security Measures
You might choose to use specific security devices and other precautions for any number of reasons.
For example, if your vehicle is particularly valuable and sought-after, you may be willing to spend additional time and money on more elaborate security systems.
Equally, if your vehicle has a robust in-built immobiliser alarm, and other vehicle security features, there may be less need for additional security measures.
Your car insurance company may even stipulate the use of certain security measures, such as an immobiliser alarm.
Steering wheel locks can be one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to protect your vehicle for almost every type of car on the market. Particularly if you choose a universal style, such as a steering wheel to seat belt lock, you will be able to use it in almost any vehicle.
Installation and Usage Guidelines
As with any security measure, car security devices are only effective when they are installed correctly. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions to install any security device in your vehicle.
Steering wheel to seat belt locks, for example, should loop around the steering wheel and then plug into the seat belt buckle. They are simple to use — which only adds to their effectiveness.
Additional Tips for Vehicle Protection
There are several other measures you can take, alongside using vehicle security devices, to ensure the safety of your vehicle:
- Park your car in busy, well-lit areas — preferably covered by security or CCTV
- Always check every door (and close every window) before walking away from your vehicle
- Remove or hide valuables and other belongings
- Take good care of your keys and vehicle registration or ownership documents
- Register with security databases.
Vehicle theft may be on the rise — but there are certain precautions you can take to reduce your chances of becoming part of these statistics. In addition to basic vehicle safety measures, such as parking in safe areas and locking doors and windows, you can make use of security devices, such as steering wheel locks and removable bollards to give you peace of mind, and deter and prevent the theft of your vehicle.
For more practical information on vehicle, home or personal security please visit our blog and visit the Securian homepage to browse through our security products which are all designed and manufactured in the UK.