Helping to prevent you from becoming a victim of crime.
Losing your no claims bonus, having to pay the excess after a theft, taking time off work to deal with the police and insurance companies and arranging alternative transport for you and your family are just some of the 'inconveniences' these ideas to secure my car could help avoid.
These are simple and low cost methods to reduce the chance of being a victim of crime, most of the ideas are free, or very cheap.
1. Think about where you store your keys.
Probably the simplest way to gain access is to use keys, no door locks need to be forced open, windows don't need to be smashed and you can start the engine quickly and easily.
A trend over the last few years has involved keys being stolen during house burglaries, so your vehicle can be stolen. Sometimes criminals 'fish' for sets of keys that are hung near the door on a rack, this involves putting a pole, often with a magnet through a letterbox, then driving away in a short space of time.
Simply think about where you store your keys and move them to a less obvious place, to make it harder for thieves.
2. Consider where you park.
Areas which are not well lit, have cover for hiding places and no security cameras are higher risk. Criminals can work while not being seen. If you park on your drive or your street, don't be complacent, this is where most crimes take place. Cut back overgrown hedges that may hide criminals and consider solar security lights (they're easy to fit ad don't need mains power). Links to a garage security article can be found further down this article.
3. The obvious – keep it locked at all times.
It may seem obvious; however an unlocked car is temptation for thieves. Specific times when you may risk leaving doors unlocked are when de-icing and just pop into your house, or when at a petrol station, when keys are often left in.
4. Steering, gearstick or handbrake locks.
There are a huge range of products on the market that claim to offer protection. Good ones often have Sold Secure or Secured by Design approval. There are a range of steering, gearstick and handbrake locks available at varying costs, these might act as a deterrent to potential thieves, but often they are quite easy to remove for an experienced offender. If you do wish to purchase one ensure they have been independently tested by Sold Secure, Secured by Design or Thatcham before purchasing, but don't rely on these products alone.
Most vehicles come with an alarm and a immobiliser fitted, the devices highlighted below exclude these types of product for this reason.
5. Forensic Security Protection. This is a relatively modern innovation, used by police forces throughout the UK and over a million customers. It is simple to use, a real deterrent to criminals and now hugely discounted for mycrimeprevention.co.uk readers. Watch the video and get further information here: forensic crime prevention.
6. Car Tracking Systems. There are a number on the market, with the same basic principles, they help to find your stolen vehicle by plotting its location, helping it to be recovered. They usually require a small device being planted somewhere out of sight, a subscription is often involved. One of the main players is Tracker, although there are some lower price alternatives on internet shopping sites that can be purchased for a one-off fee and don't involve a subscription.
Related Article: Great security tips for garages
Related article: Video - forensic security including discount code
This article discusses security measures for what is often the second most expensive item most people purchase. Basic advice such as using an alarm and immobiliser is often followed. Extra elements such as protecting your keys may be overlooked, but this is one of the main methods for stealing cars in the UK.
There are additional measures that are quite new developments, such as forensic security systems, and tracking devices.
Both are relatively low cost and could prevent the disruption and inconvenience of having to deal with the aftermath of a stolen car, things like dealing with insurance companies, paying for your excess, losing your no-claims bonus, arranging for transport to and from work, waiting for payments to be processed, dealing with the Police etc., these issues are not often considered until after the event.
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