Posted on: 21/10/2014
Your car is likely to be one of the biggest purchases you ever make. So you need to keep it safe.
It's also likely that you keep valuable stuff in your car. So to avoid becoming a victim of car crime, check out these 5 top tips:
1. Get a car alarm
Although they can’t physically stop a car (or valuables kept inside) from being stolen, a thief will likely think twice before tackling a set of wheels that he or she knows will get everyone’s attention. Most modern cars come pre-equipped with an alarm. If you drive an older vehicle, getting an alarm professionally fitted will help secure your car and could result in cheaper car insurance.
2. Car immobiliser
An immobiliser is an electronic device which prevents a car from being started by someone who doesn’t have the proper key. Although an immobiliser won't stop a car from being broken into, it may stop it from being stolen. Since 1998, all new UK cars have had immobilisers fitted as standard, but if you drive an older car, getting an immobiliser professionally fitted will help secure your car and could mean cheaper car insurance.
3. Car tracking systems
Car tracking systems require a transmitter to be hidden in your car. If stolen, the vehicle can then be tracked and recovered. There are two main types of tracker: GPS systems can find your car whilst it’s at street level, and VHF systems can find your car even if it’s hidden in an underground car park or storage container. However, tracking systems can be quite expensive, often requiring a significant monthly subscription charge.
4. Steering locks/gearstick & handbrake locks
These devices prevent the steering wheel, gearstick or handbrake from being used when the car is not in use. They are relatively cheap to buy, but in general, the more you pay, the better the security. Their bright colour (sometimes with flashing lights) lets a thief know that this car will take longer to pinch, so they may as well move along and try their luck on an easier steal.
5. Hide valuables
It’s not just car thieves you have to worry about, there are plenty of crooks out there who are simply after your valuables. Therefore, never leave expensive goodies out on display within your car - it’s just too tempting for the opportunistic thief. Satnavs, mobile phones, CDs, laptops, briefcases, jackets and sunglasses are all fair game - so make sure you hide them out of sight in the glove compartment or boot.
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