Vehicle Security Hints & Tips
We have put together a list of hints and tips to help you make sure your vehicle is secure.
Here are some of our suggestions
Did you know?
112,000 vehicle thefts reported last year meaning a vehicle is stolen every 5 minutes. That’s a rise of almost 50% in the last 5 years* with a large volume of vehicles never recovered.
* Office for National Statistics data for 2017 and 2018 / Police recorded crime and Crime Survey England & Wales
Car theft practices have radically changed to overcome latest vehicle technology & vehicle security.
Organised vehicle theft – organisations common in the UK.
Violent car theft on the rise in the UK & Europe.
Over 75% of vehicles are stolen with keys resulting in house break ins and personal attack on occasions. However ‘relay theft’ exploiting vulnerabilities of keyless systems is on the rise.
A motorcycle is over twice as likely to be stolen as a car.
Fit a vehicle tracking system
Fit a Thatcham Accredited Stolen Vehicle Tracking System. Scorpion customers enjoy an exemplary recovery rate with many vehicles recovered in under 60 minutes with little or no damage.
Keyless entry systems
Keyless entry car theft using radio transmitters to perform ‘relay’ car hacks is on the rise. If your concerns for security outweigh the convenience offered by such systems – check if your keyless entry fob can be turned off in favour of a conventional means of access. Store your keys away from entry points to your home or workplace and out of sight.
Parking your vehicle
If your home has a garage or driveway – use it! The highest proportion of all car crime takes place in the street outside the owner’s house, so don’t be complacent. If you are parking in the street, park in an open well-lit and populated area.
Metal locking devices
Metal locking devices prevent the vehicle’s steering wheel, gear-stick or handbrake from being used when not in use. Whilst they can be quickly overcome by a professional thief, such devices will slow them down and are a highly visual deterrent.
Fit an immobiliser
An immobiliser is an electronic device which prevents the vehicle’s ignition and/or starter motor from operating unless the unit detects a paired immobilisation tag/fob.
Fit an alarm and always use it
An alarm will not physically stop a thief; however they are a powerful deterrent and won’t let a thief operate anonymously. Make sure you activate your alarm every time you park your vehicle.
ID Marking & Etching
Marking your vehicle can be as simple as writing on various parts of the vehicle with an ultra-violet pen, or as sophisticated as covering the vehicle with hundreds of micro dots – each encoded with your identifiable details. Etching involves ingraining your VIN or registration number into the vehicle’s windows and light covers.
Conceal your keys and keep them safe
Keep your keys safe and out of sight at all times. Many owners carry their keys whilst shopping or leave their keys on tables whilst in pubs, cafes and restaurants. Clearly leaving your keys on display increases the risk of them being discreetly or forcefully taken from you.
Don’t leave important documents inside your vehicle.
Do not leave documents with personal information such a bank statements in your vehicle. Nor should you leave your driver licence or vehicle’s ownership documents that could help thieves to dispose of your car.
Locking Wheel Nuts
Alloy wheels are a target for thieves given their high resell value, with their theft leaving the vehicle’s owner stranded. If you vehicle is not equipped with locking wheel nuts consider fitting them. Thieves can quickly and easily jack a car and remove standard wheel nuts. However, locking wheel nuts tend to have rounded heads making them impossible to remove with a standard wrench.
Connected vehicle software
Regularly check to see if your connected vehicle software is up to date, change your passwords and ensure that your PC or mobile phone itself has adequate security with the latest software updates.
Check for recalls & software updates
Consult your vehicle’s manufacturer or local franchised dealer to see if there have been any manufacturer recalls or software updates. Security related recalls and software updates are rare, but it’s worth checking and more importantly, doing so may alert you to any safety related faults.
Remove or hide belongings
Thieves will break into vehicles to steal absolutely anything, so keep your vehicle interior clutter free and your belongings out of sight – even if you are parked at home. Anything goes – sunglasses, shoes, jackets, CDs, full carrier bags, mobile phones, sat navs and cash.
If you’re buying a second hand vehicle, be wary of those that appear to be ‘bargains’. Have a good look at the registration documents and always check the vehicle’s history with HPI Group Ltd, Carwatch UK Ltd., the AA or the RAC.
Lock the vehicle’s doors, windows & remove keys from ignition.
When parked at home, place of work, fuel station or local shop – lock the doors, close the windows and take your keys inside with you. From our experience, we find instances of stolen vehicles in which windows have been left down in summer months and the keys are left in the ignition.