Vehicle Security Hints & Tips

Vehicle theft is an unfortunate fact of life. The following information
is intended to help prevent you becoming a victim.

Did you know?

Fact 1

A vehicle is stolen every 6 minutes* with a large volume of vehicles never recovered.

* Police recorded crime and Crime Survey England & Wales for year ending March 2017

Fact 2

Car theft practices changed to overcome latest vehicle technology & vehicle security.

Fact 3

Organised vehicle theft – organisations common in the UK.

Fact 4

Violent car theft on the rise in the UK & Europe.

Fact 5

Over 75% of vehicles are stolen with keys resulting in house break ins and personal attack on occasions.

Fact 6

A bike is over twice as likely to be stolen as a car.

Here are our top tips to avoid being one of the statistics:

Fit a vehicle tracking system

Fit a Thatcham Accredited Stolen Vehicle Tracking System. With ScorpionTrack systems, your vehicle will be monitored 24/7/365 by our in-house Monitoring Centre who will co-ordinate with local Police Forces in the event of a confirmed vehicle theft. Scorpion customers enjoy an exemplary recovery rate with many vehicles recovered in under 60 minutes with little or no damage. In addition, systems like ScorpionTrack also come with a handy smartphone app.

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. Many of our alarms have an immobilisation systems integrated, providing comprehensive protection and not subject to the same ‘hacking vulnerabilities of manufacturer-supplied systems. Make sure you activate your alarm every time you park your vehicle.

Fit an immobiliser

An immobiliser is an electronic device which prevents the vehicle’s ignition, fuel pump and/or starter motor from operating unless the unit detects a paired immobilisation tag/fob. An immobiliser is a great, simple and cost-effective solution. Aftermarket immobilisation systems are becoming increasingly popular as they are not subject to the ‘hacking’ vulnerabilities of manufacturer-supplied systems.

Keyless entry systems

Keyless entry car theft is gaining proliferation in the UK and across Europe with more criminals using radio transmitters to perform ‘relay’ car hacks. If your concerns for security outweigh the convenience offered by such systems – check if your keyless entry fob can be turned off. If it can, then do so when the car is unattended. Store your keys away from the entry points of your home or office and out of sight – thieves only need to gain reasonable proximity to the key to amplify the signal. Relay devices can receive signals through windows, doors and walls but their performance is impaired by metal. Therefore, putting your keys in a metal tin or microwave can be effective. Alternatively, a more practical and effective solution is to keep your keyless fob in a metallised signal blocking Faraday pouch or wallet which is designed to block the RF signal emanating from the key.

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. If possible, try to park under the sight of a CCTV camera. If you are parking in a car park, try not to park near the exit and keep pay-on-exit tickets or tokens in your possession – not visible in your vehicle.

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. Many professional thieves steal to order and your keyfob signifies the brand of vehicle you’re driving which may be next on their hit list.

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. Avoid leaving sat nav holders on the windscreen and wipe-off any circular suction marks left on the glass. Remove evidence of mobile devices such as charging cables and cases as opportunist thieves will break into a vehicle on the off-chance that a phone or tablet has been left in the vehicle.

Lock the vehicle & remove keys from ignition.

When parked at home, place of work, fuel station or local shop – lock the doors and take your keys inside with you. From our experience, we find instances of stolen vehicles in which the keys are left in the ignition. Owners who leave their vehicle’s running, particularly in Winter months to defrost windows and warm the interior are prominent targets for many opportunist thieves.

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. Whilst they will not prevent your vehicle being stolen they will serve as a minor deterrent.

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.

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.

Check documents

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.