The AA has released an anti-theft video and top 10 tips as research revealed that one in 10 members think modern cars are theft-proof.
Following the recent figures released by the Home Office, suggesting that vehicle thefts have increased by 50% in five years, AA has responded to misconceptions around car theft.
According to police figures for 2017, there were 280,313 recorded offences of theft from vehicles (13% more than 2016), and 103,644 were stolen (19% more than 2016) in England and Wales.
The video reveals that there are two types of car theft: from the vehicle and theft of the vehicle. Both can be planned or opportunistic. It urges motorists to take extra care if the car has a keyless entry system is essential – as signals from the key can be relayed.
It also advises to stand by the car and listen for the ‘click’ of the locks before leaving it, as thieves now use signal blocking which blocks the ‘lock’ signal sent by the key.
The AA’s top 10 tips are:
- Always check your door handles are locked before you leave the car. Make sure your car is locked and be careful not to accidentally unlock your car when you put your keys in your pocket.
- Remove anything from your car that could be of value to thieves.
- Use a locked garage if you have one.
- When looking for a public parking space try to use a car park that offers good security, such as one accredited by the Safer Parking Scheme. Avoid parking in dark streets away from public activity.
- If your car has a keyless entry system then keep the key in a signal blocking pouch and keep it as far away from the car as possible.
- Always keep your keys in a drawer or other safe place, not on the hall table or a convenient rack near the front door – keys are frequently ‘fished’ by thieves using a pole and hook through the letterbox.
- Consider using a mechanical steering locking device – this could put off an opportunistic thief.
- Fit a Thatcham certified immobiliser. These aren't as vulnerable to some of the new electronic techniques that thieves may use to bypass your car's standard security features or to override a keyless entry system.
- Consider fitting a tracking system to help find your car if it's stolen (for upmarket cars this may be an insurance requirement).
- If you're selling a car, always accompany potential buyers on a test drive. And if you change seats, take the keys with you and hand them over when you get back in the car.