With car related crime now accounting for over 25% of all reported crimes in the UK, it’s time for us car owners to fight back and ensure our vehicles are secure!
As a motorist you will already know how important it is to safeguard your vehicle against theft. However, many motorists are still unaware just how vulnerable their vehicles are.
In recent years, we have seen factory fitted car security adopting more and more technology to help combat car thieves.
The problem with this is that thieves are always a step behind any advancements, and as time passes they will inevitably jump a step ahead. This is the unfortunate continuous cycle when it comes to vehicle security, and the simple reason why it is constantly having to be updated. You may have noticed in the last few years that many insurers have offered a reduction on the price of your policy if you have a car tracking device fitted.
With this in mind, it is never enough to simply rely on the factory fitted security of your vehicle. Below are a few tips to ensure a higher level of protection and will help you avoid the heart break of having your car stolen:
1. Always lock your car.
Let’s start by stating the obvious. However, with electric central locking now being the norm, car thieves in close proximity are able to remotely jam the locking mechanism when you press the lock button on your key fob (using equipment ordered online that costs them just a few pounds). Unless you physically check your car door handle after pressing the lock button, you will be none the wiser that it is still unlocked. When you walk away from your vehicle, you’re blissfully unaware that it is actually still unlocked. The thief then simply opens the door without forcing entry, and can overwrite the onboard computer to start your vehicle.
Wherever you leave your vehicle- even if it’s only for a few minutes as you run in to the petrol station to pay for your fuel, LOCK YOUR CAR and physically check the handle. It takes thieves mere minutes to steal your car using this technique.
With all the advancements in technology, it may seem like we’re going back 30 years by physically checking your car is locked- but a day very possibly may come when you’re glad you did!
2. A GPS CAR TRACKING DEVICE
When it comes to GPS trackers for vehicle security, there have been some major advancements in recent years. There is now a wide range of choice available to you, which can be quite daunting. However, you can narrow your search down to 2 main options. A magnetic GPS vehicle tracker or an insurance approved tracker. The good news is, regardless of your needs, preference or lifestyle, there is definitely a GPS vehicle tracker that will suit your needs.
A. MAGNETIC GPS TRACKER
In recent years, magnetic GPS trackers have become an essential tool in vehicle security, as well as helping to manage and monitor your fleet of vehicles in the field. The ability to simply detach and switch them between vehicles/assets and their covert nature makes them a perfect cost effective solution.
With real time tracking, full history/speed logs, zone alerts and a battery life exceeding 6 months on one charge for some models (Enforcer 4), magnetic GPS trackers are a highly effective and cheap option that will majorly increase your vehicle’s security. You can even monitor and control your tracking device from your phone, computer and tablet from anywhere in the world.
B) CAR INSURANCE TRACKERS (THATCHAM TRACKER)
Due to the escalating levels of car theft that we are experiencing, many insurance companies now insist that you have a car insurance tracker installed in order for your policy to be valid. The good news is that this may actually lead to a reduction in the overall cost of the policy.
The reason is simple- vehicles with a Thatcham approved tracker installed are more likely to deter thieves and/or be recovered in the event of theft. Insurance companies are paying out more than ever for vehicle theft. Therefore, if you can minimise that risk then the insurance companies are likely to reward you in the form of a reduction in your policy price. For this reason, it’s worth enquiring with your insurance provider to see if having a tracker fitted will lead to a reduction- it’ll definitely be worth it in the long run.
What’s fantastic is, comparatively, GPS tracking has never been more advanced and more cost effective. For the technology and information available (as well as the protection and peace of mind) car trackers are now incredibly good value for money. Whereas a few years ago you would be looking at thousands of pounds for a unit that will safeguard your vehicle and counter act theft, it will now cost just a few hundred.
3. Park somewhere secure
When parking your car at home overnight, if you have a garage then it really is worth storing your vehicle here- preferably with a decent locking system on the garage door. If your garage is currently used as overflow storage, it really is worth putting aside a Sunday afternoon to de-clutter so you can park your car in there. Who knows, you may even make a bit of money at a car boot or on eBay!
If you are parking in your driveway then installing motion-sensor lights will help to deter people entering your property at the risk of drawing attention. Same principle if you ever have to park on the street- try to park in well lit areas, preferably directly under street lights.
Whatever the case, as a car owner you will always be at risk of car theft. But this does not mean that we cannot take certain actions to minimise our risk.
If you can action the points on the above list then you will be able to rest assured that your vehicle is more protected against theft, and even if it is stolen, a GPS car tracker will almost certainly mean a swift and pain free recovery.
If you would like to know more then feel free to contact us any time 02081660603