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Car security: what you need to know

Cars being broken into or stolen are sadly things that, while rare, can happen. Modern cars are certainly a lot more secure then they were even ten years ago but as technology gets more sophisticated, so do the people doing the stealing. There are some steps that you can take to make your car as secure as possible and deter thieves from going near it.

Keyless theft

Before we look at ways to stop people from breaking into your car, it is important to briefly discuss the problem of keyless theft. Most cars these days have remote locking and many cars can be opened and driven as long as the key is in your hand, pocket or bag.

This useful technology has sadly been exploited by would-be thieves to allow them to gain access to the car. If your key is near a window or door, they can use a system to amplify the signal from your key and send it to someone standing next to the car, and just open the door without breaking into the car.

How to stop keyless theft

Thankfully, there are some solutions to this new problem. With many manufacturers, keys can actually be turned off when not in use. Check the owner’s manual or speak to your dealer to find out if your key allows you to do this – just remember to turn it back on.

Another clever solution is to buy a small pouch for your key, called a Faraday pouch or bag, which electrically insulates the key to protect it against the technology used by thieves. It is critical to test these pouches if you order one by standing next to your car with the key in it and seeing if the key works.

Trackers

Trackers are small devices you can have fitted to your car that will send a signal to the company that made the tracker if your car is stolen. You simply activate the beacon if your car is taken, and the company will track it so the police can try and recover it. It’s important that you leave it to the police to deal with it rather than trying to go after your car yourself.

While trackers don’t prevent theft, they are a great way of making sure the vehicle comes back. It is also worth noting you can put a warning sticker on the car to let people know it has a tracker hidden somewhere in it, which will hopefully be a big deterrence.

Dashcams

A dashcam is a small camera that is normally fitted behind the rearview mirror and can be left filming when driving or parked. Originally, they started being used to help prove who was at fault in an accident but are becoming a very popular way of securing a car.

The blinking light on a dashcam alone might be enough to prevent someone from trying to steal your car and ending up on camera. While some have a live feed that can be accessed remotely, some dashcams have a memory card that can be destroyed – but there’s no way for a potential thief to know from the outside, so hopefully, they won’t take the risk.

Car dashcam

Dashcams can be a great way to deter potential thieves from breaking into your car

Old fashioned favourites

Sometimes technology can be fantastic and sometimes, there are some more traditional solutions that simply can’t be beaten:

Steering lock

These are still very effective, even with all of the new technology available. Although some very cheap versions can be broken off, a good quality lock will be impossible to remove and the time it would take to try is hopefully enough to put thieves off. They are a bit of a pain to store in the car and put on and take off, but they do work.

Easy tips

While this article has covered various products and technologies available to stop people from taking your car or breaking in, it’s advisable to consider certain practices to get into the habit of, that will stop your car being a potential target in the first place:

  • Remove valuables from the car and don’t leave any on show
  • Try to avoid hiding valuables in the glove box, as it’s likely to be the first place thieves will look
  • Park in a well-lit area or somewhere in the view of a CCTV camera
  • Keep car keys away from windows and doors in your home and at work

Thieves will always look for easy targets, so even without buying anything, you can take these simple steps to try and remove your car from that list.

As part of the Motability Scheme’s worry-free package, customers have insurance included in their lease, which covers theft. Find out more about the insurance cover for your car and other benefits of leasing a car through the Scheme.


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