Did you know that one fifth of all crimes reported to the police in the UK are vehicle crimes?
One fifth. That seems a huge amount.
In fact, car crime is falling in this country and has actually been reduced by 9% in the last few years according to the latest police statistics. The fall has been attributed to motorists finally taking notice of the numerous campaigns that have been implemented to encourage them to be more wary, and most of us now take steps to protect our cars.
But not enough.
The cost of vehicle crime affects all motorists because it drives up premiums and makes cheap car insurance harder to find. Here's a statistic for you- a vehicle in the UK is broken into every 23 seconds.
And nobody wants to be a statistic.
So to keep the thieves away from your car and to keep that cheap motor insurance premium at a reasonable price, there are some steps you can take.
First of all, remember that your vehicle is like a shop window for thieves. If there's anything on view then it could be stolen. And thieves will steal absolutely anything. So keep everything hidden or, better still, take it out of the car completely. It's not just the obvious like wallets, phones and laptops that will get taken, but old coats, CDs and the loose change that you use for parking.
If it's not the bits and pieces inside your car that the thieves are after, it's the car itself. Lock all doors, close all windows and shut the sunroof every time you leave your vehicle, no matter how long you'll be gone. Car thieves are often opportunists and will delight in a car that's been left unlocked on the garage forecourt or left unattended and defrosting on the driveway.
Talking of driveways, they're good. Well, better than the street anyway. But even better is if you can keep your vehicle inside a locked garage when you're at home. And motor insurance companies will love you for it- they'll be sure to give you a cheap car insurance quote if you can prove that your car is locked away securely at night.
Not everyone's lucky enough to have a garage to put the car in, or maybe yours is just too chock-a-block with bits of old lawnmower and garden chairs. If it is, and you really can't be bothered to clean it out, then there are some alternative security measures you can invest in.
The most popular, and a right pain in the backside to thieves, is a steering lock. They come in all shapes and sizes, although for some reason most tend to be yellow, and will normally put a potential thief off the idea of trying to half-inch your car.
Immobilisers and car alarms are other methods of protecting your vehicle, and nowadays often come fitted to new models as standard. Trackers are available too, and if failing to deter a thief, will instead go someway towards helping locate your vehicle later on.
Of course, alarms, trackers and immobilisers are all something that motor insurance companies love to hear about, so it could be worth investing in one to help get that cheap car insurance deal.
No matter how many precautions you take to make your car as thief-proof as possible, there is still a chance that it could be broken into or stolen. The only sure-fire thing you can to do to protect yourself is to get proper motor insurance cover, and nowadays, with all the cheap car insurance firms that are springing up, it needn't cost a packet.