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Protecting your car from theft

Vehicle crime makes up 19 per cent of all recorded crime in England and  Wales according to the Home Office and in the period 2007-2008, there  were 1.7million vehicle thefts. Car jacking continues to be a threat  for drivers too with many criminals using weapons to threaten the  physical well-being of drivers and take control of the car.

 

How to protect yourself and your car

Here are our top tips:

Remove valuables from the car......... 
Take your GPS navigation, car stereo and personal belongings out  of a car. If you can`t take them with you, hide them in the boot or  under the seats. Wipe sucker marks off the windscreen and be wary of  fitting sat nav brackets to the dashboard - there have been many  reported cases of opportunist thieves breaking into vehicles on the  off-chance that the sat nav handset is hidden inside.

Keep doors locked......... 
Lock your doors and close your windows when leaving your vehicle  unattended and keep doors locked whilst driving. This stops thieves  from grabbing your personal belongings off your seat whilst you are  waiting at traffic lights or stuck in a queue.

Never leave documents in a vehicle......... 
Don`t store documents such as your driving licence and vehicle registration document in the vehicle.
 
Fit a tracker to performance or prestige models......... 
Fitting a GPS vehicle tracker means that your vehicle will be tracked  and recovered as soon as it triggers as stolen. It`s a worthwhile  investment for performance and prestige models and can earn you a  discount off your insurance premiums too.

Use additional security devices as deterrents......... 
Steering wheel locks are a good deterrent, as are gear-stick locks.  Also use locking wheel nuts to prevent thieves targeting your alloy  wheels.

Park with security in mind......... 
Use a garage for overnight parking if possible, otherwise park in a well-lit area rather than in the shadows.

Registration etching......... 
Have your registration etched into the windows and headlights making it  more difficult for the car to be sold with false number plates.
 
 What if your keys are lost or stolen?

Do not leave car keys by the front door of your home or by a window  where they are easily reached by thieves. Thieves often use sticks to  reach for keys through a letterbox. Store them out of sight and never  leave them in the ignition of a car.

If your car keys are lost or stolen, contact an auto locksmith.  Lost car keys can be remanufactured and cut to code, but when  required locks can be altered to different combinations to ensure the  misplaced key cannot be used to start the car. Immobilisers can also be  reprogrammed. Some car insurance providers include key recovery  services in their policies.

 

 

 

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