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Security | 15.07.2013 - 12:31

Keeping Your Car Secure

Tips for keeping your car secure and facts around car security.
Car keys
Car keys for security

Thanks to the technological innovations of car makers, car thefts have steadily fallen in recent years. It is much harder these days to steal a car, now that the days of hotwiring are gone.

 

Manufacturers have made it almost impossible to drive a car without the key. You might think that this makes your car impervious to theft, but some 100,000 cars a year are still stolen, and it is estimated that in around 70% of these cases the thieves did in fact have the car key.

 

“Car key theft” is therefore a serious business. Thieves can get hold of your keys primarily through house burglary, but also through mugging or even scamming you.

 

It is believed that most crimes of this nature are planned in some way, particularly house burglaries. However there are things you can do to minimise risk. Don’t walk around with your car key visible, but also be aware that when you’ve stop at your car to open it you are a) advertising that this is your car and b) distracted by looking for your keys and opening the door. At this point you’re vulnerable to an attack, so keep looking around you and move quickly.

 

Don’t keep keys right by your front door, but equally don’t compromise your safety by having them on you in the house.

 

If you can afford to invest in security measures for your car, do. A steering lock is a simple anti-theft device that most thieves, when pushed for time, will want to avoid. Alarms and immobilisers are fitted in some new cars as standard, but if yours doesn’t have one you can have a system fitted. Alarms sadly are often ignored these days, but they can still frighten thieves away, and immobilisers give additional security.

 

Remember as well that it’s not just the car itself which is attractive to criminals. Things like sat navs and stereos are easily grabbed and sold, so never leave them in the car. You might think that putting your sat nav in the glove box is ok, but thieves will look for signs on your dashboard that you have had a device stuck on to it and will search your car.

 

Over the past few years the price of platinum has risen, and this has led to a sharp increase in theft of catalytic converters, which contain platinum.

 

Worrying too much about car theft is not healthy, but it is good to be aware of the things criminals loo for and take steps to reduce your chances of becoming a victim. Don’t make it easy for them!

 

Kat is a writer about cars, lifestyle and personal finance for Car Loan For You.

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