Vehicle theft is a growing problem in the UK. Businesses and high net worth individuals are particularly at risk. Thieves often target luxury vehicles and high-end cars, knowing that they can fetch high prices upon resale. We are seeing a particular rise in Bentleys and Ferraris being targeted in and around London.
Thieves are also becoming bolder, and are more willing to target cars that are on driveways, behind gates or in secure parking garages.
The rise in reports of theft comes as the cost of living and the scarcity for parts has peaked. Shockingly, device that unlock and start luxury cars are being sold online for as low as £1,300, according to the Times. Scores of cars apparently have flaws that can be exploited by criminals. Both car parts and vehicles themselves are in extremely high demand. As an insurance broker who cares for their clients, we’ve spotted this rise and want to provide some guidance on stopping vehicle theft.
Here are some steps luxury vehicle owners can take to protect their vehicles and prevent theft:
1. Use an anti-theft device
The most effective method to prevent your car from being stolen is to install an anti-theft device. These systems come in many forms such as alarms, immobilizers and steering wheel locks. Burglar alarms are probably the best known type of anti-theft system and are effective in deterring thieves. Most cars will come with these installed, however if your luxury car is an older model, it might be a good idea to get one surreptitiously installed.
An immobilizer, on the other hand, prevents the car from starting unless a special key or code is entered. This can become annoying, but that extra layer of protection is worth it. Finally, steering wheel locks physically prevent the steering wheel from turning, making it harder for thieves to drive or roll away with your vehicle. All of these options are effective in deterring thieves and stopping vehicle theft.
2. Install a tracking device
Another effective way to stop vehicle theft, or to recover from an incident, is to install a tracking device. These devices use GPS technology to constantly monitor the vehicle’s location and allow it to be tracked in real time.
If your car is stolen, you can immediately notify the authorities and give them the location of your vehicle. This greatly increases the chances of recovering the car before selling or parting. Always remember to ensure you keep your tracker subscription up to date to make sure you can use it in the unfortunate event that your car is stolen.
3. Park in a safe place
Where you park your car can have a big impact on your chances of theft. Park in a safe, well-lit area if possible. This could be a garage, a parking lot with surveillance cameras, or a gated community.
If you are traveling, try to park your car in a well-lit area near your hotel or accommodation. Thieves are less likely to target a car parked in a secure location, so this simple step can prevent theft.
4. Keep your keys safe
Believe it or not, one of the most common ways thieves steal cars is simply by stealing the keys. Keys are often stored by the door of the house, they are very easy to find and even include the keys to the house as well. Keep your keys in a safe place, especially never leave them in your car.
If you need to have a spare key available, hide it in a location only known to you. Also, house or car keys should not be left in obvious places; such as under a car mat or a pot or in a glove compartment.
5. Be aware of your surroundings
Finally, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and watch out for suspicious activity. Thieves often target luxury cars in upscale neighbourhoods. So if you see someone hanging about near your vehicle or scouting the area, be sure to report it to the authorities.
You can also consider installing security cameras and motion-activated lights near your parking lot to deter thieves. Physical obstructions installed on your property are also an option; such as bollards, spike traps or gates.
Vehicle theft is a significant problem affecting wealthy individuals and businesses in the UK. However, by following our guidance, you can greatly reduce the chances of your car being stolen. Installing a tracking device, using an anti-theft system, parking in a secure location, keeping your keys safe and being aware of your surroundings are all effective ways to deter vehicle theft.
Please be vigilant, and if any clients are experiencing worries about their security, do not hesitate to contact your Romero account handler. All high net worth individuals and businesses should contact Romero Insurance Brokers to learn how they can better their security, risk analysis, preventative measures and insurance.
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