With tech-savvy criminals reverse engineering manufacturer security protocols, enabling them to steal vehicles with relative ease, drivers are having to get creative at protecting one of their largest assets from theft.
Not just theft of the vehicle but the parts on the vehicle too. In 2018, AA insurance had 32 claims for stolen catalytic converters. In 2019, that rose sharply to 393. In 2020, it’s risen so sharply that one police force issued a stark warning to Leicester drivers to be extra vigilant after recording 618 incidents of this type of theft.
3 Effective Ways to Protect Your Vehicle, It’s Part, and Your Insurance Premiums
1) Install Dash Cams and Park Where There’s CCTV Footage
Dash cams that have Motion Detection Recording will begin recording when motion in front of the camera is detected. Video surveillance is a huge deterrent to criminals. When you’re out and about, it’s always best to park somewhere that’s covered by CCTV.
Home video surveillance equipment is available to cover vehicles parked in driveways and if you need to use street parking that doesn’t have CCTV, dash cams with motion detection recording are your next best security measure.
When you have these installed, it is advisable to have visible notices on your vehicle stating that it is equipped with “Dash Cam Recording” as that can be a deterrent to criminals.
2) Guard Your Catalytic Convertor
It really has reached a stage when the parts on your car needs to be kept in a cage. As noted earlier, there is a surge in the theft of catalytic converters. This is being attributed to the rising cost of precious metals. Without guards around this vital part of a vehicle, thieves can jack your car up, get under it and be away with a catalytic converter in one-minute. The cost to fit a replacement can be in excess of £1,000.
Admiral Insurance have reported the most susceptible vehicles being targeted are hybrid vehicles, primarily because the metal doesn’t erode as fast. Criminals tend to be targeting specific vehicles, notably, the Honda Jazz, Toyota Prius and Auris, and the Lexus RX.
Toyota have released the CATLOC device, designed to fit around Toyota catalytic convertors and most garages can fit them. Universal Catalytic Convertor locks are also available for other brands.
Older models have higher amounts of metal (palladium, rhodium and platinum). A single catalytic converter can have 7 grams of precious metals able to fetch hundreds of pounds. Local garages can fit guards around a vehicles catalytic converter to prevent the lucrative and essential part being stolen.
3) Have Your Vehicle Fitted with a Tilt Activated Alarm
Car alarms are a vital deterrent to any type of theft; however, the majority of alarms are limited to door sensors and impact sensors. Tilt sensors are designed to activate in the event someone tries to tow the vehicle. With the majority of valuable parts being located under the vehicle, tilt sensors are becoming more valuable as they will be activated if a thief elevates the vehicles height so they can get under to steal parts
The Ultimate in Vehicle Security…
Determined thieves will overcome many of the deterrents you try, which is why it’s becoming increasingly common for vehicle trackers to be installed. Some insurers even insist on it. This ensures that if a determined criminal does manage to steal your vehicle, its movements can be tracked, and dependent on the model of vehicle tracker installed, it may even be possible to remotely immobilise the vehicle.