Fleet News

Catalytic converter thefts up tenfold in 2019

Catalytic converter

The number of claims for catalytic converter thefts has increased tenfold from the beginning of the year, says AA insurance services.

In January, the insurance company recorded eight catalytic converter thefts. That figure has leapt to 79 in the month of October.

A few vehicles have had their catalytic converter stolen twice, meaning the owner has had to make two separate insurance claims.

Janet Connor, managing director for AA insurance services says; “Criminals are being bold and brash by stealing converters in broad daylight, as they believe passers-by won’t question someone tinkering underneath a car.

“Where possible, drivers should park in a garage or in a well-lit area. Manufacturers have also developed anti-theft devices, which can be attached to the fixings and give the converter a unique serial number. Concerned drivers should contact their dealer for further information.

“Scrap dealers and online auction sites have a role to play too, by making appropriate checks to ensure the parts being sold or scrapped have not been illegally gained.”

Although catalytic converter thefts represent a very small proportion of all insurance claims made, the number of claims has steadily increased since January 2018.

Catalytic converters contain precious metals such as palladium, rhodium and platinum and can either be sent for scrap or sold privately via online auction sites.

As the converter is either unscrewed or sawn off the car, other damage can occur, such as cutting through electrical wires. This means repair bills can be around £2,000 to £3,000.

Police forces across the UK have recognised the increase in crime and have highlighted that hybrid vehicles are of particular interest to thieves.

Number of Catalytic Converter claims to AA insurance since January 2019:

Month

Cat Conv Thefts

October 2019

79

September 2019

63

August 2019

24

July 2019

13

June 2019

21

May 2019

13

April 2019

19

March 2019

10

February 2019

5

January 2019

8



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