Vehicle crime can be distressing and annoying as it can cause a lot of inconvenience - you could be without your car/van/motorcycle for weeks, waiting for the garage to make repairs or for your insurer to pay.
That’s why the security features of your vehicle should be as important as any other feature and a lot of vehicle crime results from criminals seeing opportunities and taking them.
But you can easily outsmart thieves by following the simple advice in this section.
Your car. It may feel like a safe place – perhaps even your own little bubble full of comforts and mod cons – but opportunistic criminals won’t see it that way.
Thankfully, protecting your car from would-be thieves is easy.
Keeping it locked with its windows closed and any alarms activated is a sure-fire step to reduce your risk of becoming a victim of vehicle crime.
Don’t leave valuables – or anything that could be mistaken for them – on display, either. Even a carrier bag of rubbish or an empty laptop bag could attract the wrong sort of attention, while valuables like golf clubs and satnavs can become targets if they’re left inside while not in use.
With satnavs in particular, make sure you not only remove the device from view but also its cradle – and don’t forget to wipe away any telltale sucker marks on the windscreen, too.
Consider removing and concealing satnavs or valuables before your reach your destination will prevent them from being observed by potential thieves
Motorbikes can be lifted and carried away even when locked, so ones left vulnerable are especially attractive to thieves.
Here are four handy ways for you to keep your bike safe and sound.
Always secure your motorcycle with the fork and ignition locks, remembering to remove the keys
Set the alarm and immobiliser every time you leave it unattended. Don’t have an alarm? Consider having one fitted and look for it to be Thatcham or equivalent security graded.
Invest in a quality Sold Secure chain and padlock and always lock the bike to an immovable object, like a bike park securing rail or a ground anchor.
Chain and anchor the bike even when storing it in a garage or shed at home, and consider fitting a disc lock.
The potential for small vans to contain tools and petty cash can sometimes make them appealing to criminals.
But there are many ways you can protect your vehicle and make it less desirable to thieves.
By keeping doors locked, windows closed and alarms active at all times, it will be harder for them to break in and steal either the vehicle itself or anything inside.
Never leave valuables or things that could resemble them on display, and don’t carry satnavs, trade spares or other unnecessary items if they aren’t being used.
Tools and stock items should always be removed from the van overnight – displaying signage explaining this to be the case is also very helpful.
Satnavs should be removed slightly prior to your destination, along with their cradle and any lasting sucker marks on the window, while leaving roof bars and external load boxes or tubes empty and unlocked can help avoid any costly inquisitive forced entries.
If possible, park your van so the rear and side doors are tight to walls, garage doors or other vehicles to hinder direct access and any physical attacks