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Surge in vehicle thefts: Eight ways to keep your vehicle safe from car thieves


In response to a startling 20.8% increase in vehicle thefts last year, motoring specialists from LeaseCar.uk are stepping forward with advice for drivers aiming to shield their cars from the clutches of opportunistic thieves.


The alarming rise, translating to an additional 22,493 incidents, escalating the total from 108,028 in the period from 2021 to 2022, to 130,521 in the subsequent year, has prompted an urgent call to action for vehicle owners.

Amidst this surge in criminal activity, the experts at LeaseCar.uk have compiled a list of eight essential tips designed to fortify vehicles against theft. Key among these recommendations is the practice of etching the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) onto the car's interior parts. This unique identifier serves as a critical deterrent, complicating the resale of stolen vehicle parts and aiding in the recovery of the car should it be stolen.


Another standout suggestion involves the use of conspicuous yellow wheel locks. These devices not only serve as a physical barrier to theft but also act as a highly visible sign that the vehicle is well-protected, often discouraging thieves from attempting a theft in the first place.


Further to these measures, the motoring authorities advocate for the adoption of advanced alarm systems and vehicle tracking technologies. These tools offer a dual function; they not only deter potential thieves with the threat of immediate detection but also provide owners with the means to quickly locate and recover their vehicles in the event of a theft.


The significant uptick in vehicle thefts has cast a spotlight on the need for heightened vigilance and proactive measures among car owners. By adopting the recommended strategies, drivers can significantly enhance the security of their vehicles, making them less attractive targets for theft and increasing the likelihood of recovery should the worst occur.


As the statistics underscore a growing challenge in vehicle security, the guidance from LeaseCar.uk emerges as a beacon of practical advice for concerned car owners nationwide. In the face of rising theft rates, such informed measures are more crucial than ever, offering a pathway to greater peace of mind for drivers navigating an increasingly uncertain landscape.

Tim Alcock, motoring expert at LeaseCar.uk said: “It’s alarming that vehicle thefts have been on the rise in the last few years and that we could be reaching the 150,000 mark in 2024.

 

“That’s why we’ve provided our advice to drivers in the hopes that it’ll keep their cars safe and ultimately deter those from committing the crimes.

 

“Simple measures such as using an anti wheel lock, anti-theft screws on numberplates and tracking devices can all help to keep the cars safe from the hands of mindless criminals.”

 

Eight ways to keep your vehicle safe from car thieves:

 

1 Etching the VIN into the interior

 

Having the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) etched onto the doorframe, windows and steering wheel can help to deter vehicles from stealing the vehicle as it’ll be harder to sell stolen car parts if they’ve been personalised.

 

2 Bright wheel locks

 

Wheel locks will stick out like a sore thumb to criminals as they’ll know the owner of the vehicle is taking extra preventive measures to protect their car. Opt for bright colours such as yellow so they can be easily viewed.

 

3 Place alarms

 

Set alarms to activate in the car so any criminals attempting to break in will leave them alone once the sound is triggered. It’s highly worth investing in one especially if you’re leaving the vehicle for long periods of time.

 

4 Tracking systems

 

Place a tag in your car in a hidden area such as in the glovebox, under the seats or in the boot so you know where it is at all times. This allows you to track the vehicle if the worst happens.

 

5 Anti-theft screws on number plates

 

Vehicle cloning has been on the rise in the UK with criminals stealing thousands of number plates from cars. Anti-theft screws can help prevent them from being stolen due to their durability.

 

6 Put all valuables away

 

One of the easiest things you can do is ensure no goods are left on the seats before leaving the car unattended. Some will break into a car just to steal whatever is in a shopping bag which could escalate into them stealing the entire vehicle.

 

7 Window tinting

 

Tinting the windows can be another useful way to deter criminals from looking into the car as an opportunity to steal it. The law states that the front windscreen has to let in at least 75% of light through and for front side windows, 70% is needed. There are no rules around the rear windscreen or rear passenger windows.

 

8 Install cameras

 

Cameras are the obvious deterrent to keeping criminals away from cars. You can even keep your dashcam recording through the night as an extra lens to show anyone walking in front of the car. Signs stating that you have cameras around may work as an extra deterrent.


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