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Theft of Motor Vehicles

Car theft is likely to occur as a result of a burglary due to vehicle keys being easy to reach through an open door or window.

Below are some simple things that you can do to avoid becoming a victim of car theft.


  • Don't leave your keys in the vehicle unattended. This includes on winter mornings while "warming up" the vehicle. Your insurance company is unlikely to compensate you if your car is stolen in this situation.  
  • Keep your keys out of reach and out of sight when at home. They are vulnerable to being snatched in sneak-in burglaries. Keys hung up or placed near front doors could be "fished" using a hook and wire fed through a letterbox.
  • Keep your keys secure when out and about.
  • Keep spare keys secure and safe at all times. Consider giving it to a friend or relative for safe keeping, especially if you are going away.
  • When using remote locking key fobs check for visible or audible signals that your vehicle locked when you pressed the button.
  • Ensure that you close your windows before you leave your vehicle. 


  • Use your garage if you have one.  
  • On private driveways, keep trees and shrubs maintained so you and your neighbours can see the vehicle from your properties.
  • Consider dusk till dawn lighting to illuminate the area. 
  • When parking on a street, pick a well-lit and populated area.

Alarms and Immobiliser Systems

If you drive an older vehicle without an alarm or key transponder, consider having a Thatcham approved product professionally fitted as:

  • Criminals exploit known weaknesses in manufacturer fitted standard security systems. A professionally installed aftermarket product protects the vehicle further and reduces the risk of being targeted.
  • Most manufacturers security systems are basic and rely on the doors being opened to activate. An alarm system that detects movement may not prevent the breaking of a window but its activation may prevent a more sustained attack.


If you own a desirable, expensive car or unique vehicle, consider fitting a Thatcham CAT5 approved multi-band (GPS /GSM/VHF) tracking system. Have it installed by a professional fitter and advertise it by displaying window stickers. Effective Thatcham CAT5 systems are expensive to install and have high annual fees. They also need robust locating networks in place to help in the recovery of stolen vehicles quickly. 

Steering Locks

Use a steering lock in combination with a steering wheel security disk lock. It is a cheap and effective way to prevent anyone driving your vehicle away.