With numerous reports suggesting that car crime in the UK is skyrocketing, we thought we’d bring you some helpful tips and advice on how you can make sure you and your car are protected at all times – especially if you’re thinking of traveling abroad.
But first – is your car one of the ones that could be a hot target for thieves?
The Brands of Cars Most Likely to Be Stolen
There’s a significant difference between the number of Fords that are stolen compared to other motor vehicle brands. In the first half of 2018 alone, 1070 Ford cars were stolen in the West Midlands compared to 333 BMWs, 327 Audis, 267 Vauxhalls, and 183 Volkswagens.
Other brands within the top ten include Mercedes, Land Rover, Nissan, Peugeot, and Fiat.
As you can see, it’s not just ‘luxury’ brands that are being stolen but day-to-day family vehicles, too. However, Audi and BMW are noticing high theft rates and Fiat and Land Rover noticed the highest increases in this period.
So why are Fords so targeted?
Well, we need to take into account the fact that there are more Fords on the road, which may play a role in this figure.
Why Is the Rate of Car Theft Increasing?
Some suggest it is to do with the growing use of technology – not only by car manufacturers but by the criminals themselves.
For example, on the black market, there are what are known as ‘relay boxes’ which are able to find the car key’s signal in the owner’s home before transmitting a message to make it unlock the car. The thieves are then able to steal the car without having to break into a property or vehicle – and in less than a minute.
Criminals may also use On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) ports. Mechanics tend to use these to get into the vehicle’s computer but criminals can also use OBD ports to copy keys, unlock doors and stop alarms. And with this technology being available online for £70, it’s not hard to get started.
Older cars are also susceptible to traditional methods, e.g. picking a lock.
How Can You Protect Your Car?
Firstly, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got the right insurance should the worst happen. Always thoroughly check what your insurance policy covers, especially if you’re traveling abroad. In instances where you are leaving the country, the likes of ALA gap insurance will be handy as it offers the full protection you need.
Equally, you may want to take some steps to make sure your car isn’t an easy target for thieves, whether that’s adding extra security to your car (e.g. a wheel lock) or ensuring your key is well hidden in the home.
Police also think manufacturers should take greater steps to protect vehicles by installing an off switch that would prevent the car from being opened on overnight or during holidays.
One thing’s for sure, though, with crime rates increasing, it’s important to be vigilant and takes all the necessary steps toward protecting this prized possession.