What will Help You to Keep Your Car Secure?

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What will Help You to Keep Your Car Secure?

Last updated on: April 3, 2024

The question “What will Help You to Keep Your Car Secure” is more relevant today than ever before.

As per Statista’s data, England and Wales witnessed more than 130k motor vehicle thefts in the year 2022/23, marking a notable increase from the previous year.

Despite the incorporation of advanced security technologies in modern cars, the risk of theft persists. This is due to the fact that as these technologies evolve, so does the sophistication of thieves, who constantly discover new methods to bypass these security measures.

And owners of older vehicles may falsely believe their cars are not attractive targets for theft, which is not always the case.

Here are 15 proven ways that will help you to keep your car secure.

1. Double Checking Doors and Windows

checking car door lock

Locking your doors and rolling your windows up might appear to be a simple and apparent preventative measure, yet it is one that vehicle owners frequently overlook.

The convenience of remote locking sometimes gives rise to a false sense of security. However, there are times when remote signals fail or the lock mechanisms stick, leaving the vehicle vulnerable.

Hence, it’s crucial to double-check that your car’s doors are indeed locked, even when using a remote. This verifies that your vehicle is secured and protects against opportunistic thieves.

Furthermore, it is strongly advised not to leave your vehicle open and unattended, no matter how brief the period.

For example, during fuel station stops, popping into the shop may seem quick, but it’s ample time for an opportunistic thief.

The winter months bring about their own set of challenges in the form of ‘frost-jacking’. This is when motorists start their car to let it defrost and decide to ‘nip’ indoors, leaving the car running unattended. Opportunistic thieves can seize these moments to drive your car away!

To avoid this, make sure the car is always in sight while it’s defrosting.

2. It’s Not Just About How You Park, But Where

car parking under cctv

If you’re fortunate enough to have a garage, it’s an ideal spot to park your car. Not only does this provide extra security, but it also hides your vehicle from potential thieves.

If you have multiple cars, consider parking the one less likely to be targeted in front, making it harder for thieves to access your more attractive vehicle. Additionally, turning your wheels into the kerb when parking can deter thieves, as it necessitates extra manoeuvres for a quick getaway.

Car parks reaching the Park Mark standard, having passed a police risk assessment, are ideal. Areas with CCTV coverage offer an extra layer of security.

Whenever you’re out – be it for work, school, or shopping – try to find a parking spot within the view of a CCTV camera, serving as a deterrent to potential thieves.

3. Fit a Dash Cam

adjusting a dash cam

Dash cams, or dashboard cameras, continuously record the view through a vehicle’s windscreen and can provide evidence in the event of incidents.

A dash cam with intelligent parking mode is particularly useful; it will activate and begin recording when it detects movement, serving as both a documentarian of potential crime and a deterrent for thieves.

In the UK, using dash cams is perfectly legal as long as they are installed safely and do not obstruct the driver’s view.

It’s also legal to film other road users on public roads and share this footage if necessary. However, it’s important to note that taxi drivers must inform passengers about the presence of a dash cam and mute the sound to respect privacy rights.

With a dash cam, you add an extra layer of protection that contributes to keeping your vehicle secure.

4. Installing Immobilisers If Not Already

car keys, Immobiliser, remote

Immobilisers have become a standard feature in modern vehicles, offering an additional security layer against theft. Contrary to popular belief, possessing an immobiliser doesn’t mean your car is impervious to theft.

Despite its security-enhancing role, an immobiliser only makes the theft process more challenging; it does not guarantee complete safeguarding. These devices work by cutting off the engine fuel supply, ignition, or starter motor from working without the right key.

Nevertheless, immobilisers are crucial in the fight against vehicle theft, and it is highly recommended for vehicles lacking this feature to have one installed. This, along with other security measures, can provide a comprehensive shield against theft, deterring potential car thieves.

5. Take Valuable Items With You

purse, bag inside car

Leaving valuable items in plain sight within your car can turn an opportunistic thief’s attention towards your vehicle.

Not every thief is out to steal cars; some are merely on the lookout for valuable items left carelessly inside.

Items such as laptops, tablets, mobile phones, expensive sunglasses, or brand-name bags should always be kept with you when leaving the car.

If unable to carry them with you, ensure to store them somewhere out of sight within the car, like under the seats or in the glove box.

However, certain items like your wallet, purse, or any car documents such as the V5C (logbook), insurance documents, or MOT certificates should never be left in your car.

If the thief manages to steal your car and these documents, it simplifies the process for them to sell your car, causing more trouble for you in the long run.

6. Steering Wheel Lock

steering wheel lock

Investing in a steering wheel lock may seem a bit old-fashioned, as they were more ubiquitous in the 90s and have since fallen out of favour due to perceived inconvenience. However, it’s worth revisiting this seemingly outdated security tool, as it offers a visible deterrent to potential thieves.

These locks, which are attached to the steering wheel, prevent it from turning and thus make it considerably harder for a thief to drive off with your vehicle.

Despite the slight inconvenience of setting it up each time you park, the heightened security they offer can provide peace of mind, especially if you often park in areas with high vehicle crime rates.

Remember, what may seem an inconvenience to you will likely be an even bigger nuisance for car thieves.

7. Kill Switch

A Kill Switch, often referred to as an engine immobiliser, is an anti-theft device that can disconnect the power supply of your vehicle, rendering it unable to start or operate.

It works by disrupting the flow of electricity at the battery or disabling the fuel pump. The switch can be manually operated and is generally placed in a hidden location to prevent potential thieves from locating and deactivating it.

Installing a kill switch can be an effective deterrent against vehicle theft, as it requires the thief to spend additional time locating the switch, increasing their risk of being caught.

It is strongly recommended to have a professional install the kill switch to ensure it operates correctly and is well concealed.

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8. Anti-theft Number Plate Screws

Anti-theft number plate screws are an effective and simple measure for safeguarding your vehicle’s number plate from theft. They work by utilising a unique, one-way design, which allows the screws to be tightened but not reversed or unscrewed, thus making it significantly more challenging for thieves to remove the plate.

The importance of these screws lies in the prevalent issue of number plate theft. Stolen plates can be used in various criminal activities such as fuel theft, speeding fines evasion, and clone stolen cars, causing significant and often expensive problems for the car’s rightful owner.

If your number plates are stolen, it’s essential to report the theft immediately and have them replaced with tamper-proof screws to prevent future incidents.

9. Choose “Fully Comp” Car Insurance

car insurance

Choosing the right car insurance is a critical aspect of vehicle ownership. In the UK, whilst the minimum legal requirement is Third-Party insurance, it only covers damages to other vehicles or property and injuries to other people in the event of an accident.

For a higher level of protection, you might consider Third Party, Fire and Theft insurance, which covers your vehicle if it’s stolen or damaged by fire.

However, the most recommended option is Fully Comprehensive insurance.

Despite being more expensive, it offers the most extensive coverage, including protection against theft, fire, damages to your vehicle, and injury to yourself. It’s worth noting that the cost can vary based on factors such as the driver’s age, driving history, and the car’s make and model.

It’s not just about finding the cheapest option; it’s about ensuring you have the right level of coverage for your needs.

10. Don’t Give your Car Keys to Anyone

don't give your car keys to anyone

Handing over your keys to someone, such as a parking attendant or a workshop technician, could potentially expose you to the risk of your keys being cloned.

Tech-savvy criminals have developed ways to duplicate the signal from your key fob, allowing them to gain unauthorised access to your vehicle. This method, known as a cloned key attack or relay theft, is becoming increasingly common.

It’s often used in conjunction with other techniques, such as breaching the vehicle’s onboard computer systems.

Always be cautious when giving your keys to anyone and ensure they’re only handed over to trusted individuals or their authorised representatives.

11. Get Your Car Windows Etched

Having your car windows etched is a simple yet practical anti-theft measure. This process involves engraving your vehicle’s unique identification number (VIN) or an agreed-upon code onto all windows and glass surfaces of your vehicle. This etching acts as a theft deterrent since it makes it more difficult for thieves to sell the vehicle or its parts without being traced.

Additionally, it provides a means for law enforcement to identify your vehicle if it’s stolen, which can increase the chances of its recovery.

The etching is typically carried out using a special stencil and an acidic compound, which creates a permanent mark on the glass that can’t be removed without causing significant damage. This process does not affect the car’s appearance or performance, but it does make it less attractive to thieves.

It’s advisable to have this task performed by a professional to ensure the correct, legible application of the VIN or code.

12. Install a Car Tracking and Alarm System

A car alarm system acts as a deterrent, drawing attention to any unauthorised attempts to access your vehicle through loud sirens or flashing lights.

Meanwhile, tracking systems use GPS technology to monitor your car’s location continuously, which can prove crucial if your car is stolen, aiding the police in locating and recovering your vehicle promptly.

You can also even immobilise your car remotely, disrupting a thief’s plans.

It is important to install these systems professionally to ensure they function correctly.

The cost of these systems is often minor compared to the peace of mind they provide and the potential cost of losing your vehicle.

13. Beware of Test Drive Thieves

It is crucial to maintain vigilance when it comes to allowing potential buyers to test drive your vehicle if you are selling it. ‘Test drive thieves’ or ‘joyriders’ pose as legitimate car buyers but with the nefarious intention of stealing the car under the guise of a test drive.

When allowing a supposed buyer to test drive your vehicle, always accompany them and ensure you have their details beforehand, such as their full name, address, and a copy of their driving licence.

Be wary if they are insistent on going alone or seem in a rush.

Also, avoid handing over the keys until you’re securely in the car, and never leave them alone in the car with the keys in the ignition.

By employing these precautions, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to test drive thieves.

14. Establish Good Relations with Your Neighbours

Good Relations with Your Neighbours

Neighbours who are familiar with you and your vehicle can easily spot any suspicious activity and alert you or the authorities promptly. They might notice unfamiliar individuals lurking around your car or hear an alarm when you’re not home.

In turn, you can do the same for them, fostering a sense of community vigilance. It’s advisable to keep them informed if you’re planning to be away for an extended period so they can keep a closer eye on your vehicle. This mutual lookout can be a powerful deterrent against car theft.

15. Make Your Car Stand Out with Modifications

modified cars

For car enthusiasts who enjoy personalising their vehicles, this could inadvertently serve as a deterrent against theft. A car that stands out due to modifications or unique features is typically less likely to be stolen. Thieves prefer inconspicuous vehicles that can blend into any situation, making it easier to move around without attracting attention.

For example, custom paint jobs, personalised number plates, and unique body modifications can make your car easily recognisable.

However, be cautious not to go overboard with modifications, as some may reduce the value or practicality of your vehicle. Strike a balance between personalisation and functionality.


We hope this guide has provided you with a plethora of practical tips to safeguard your car against theft. Remember, the secret lies in developing little habits and consistently following them. 

Incorporating these measures into your routine may seem challenging initially, but once they become habitual, you’ll do them without a second thought. 

While it’s important to note that no security measure is 100% fail-proof, layering these precautions can significantly diminish the likelihood of your car being stolen.

By taking these steps, you’re not just securing your vehicle, but also investing in your peace of mind.


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