One in seven drivers have no car security measures

Published 27 November 2020

New research has found that just one in seven drivers have any form of car security in place, despite car theft figures rising significantly over the last five years.

Of those who do have safety features installed in their cars, the most common measures are car alarms, which nearly two thirds of vehicles have (60 per cent), followed by built in steering locks (38 per cent) and vehicle immobilisers (36 per cent). Completing the top five are GPS trackers (17 per cent) and steering locks (12 per cent).

>>> What is keyless theft and how can you prevent it?

The research by Direct Line found that public car parks are the UK's largest vehicle crime hotspot, followed by on-street parking outside the owner's property.

As part of the study of over 2000 drivers, the insurer analysed where cars were most likely to be stolen, broken into or attempted to be broken into. Parking away from the home, such as while on a holiday or on an outing took third spot (15 per cent).

While the use of garages has decreased by nearly a third, the use of on-street parking has increased by over a quarter (26 per cent) in the last decade. An estimated 1.7 million fewer motorists park their car in a garage now compared to ten years ago.

Over the last five years, car theft in England and Wales has increased by 29 per cent, according to a Crime Survey published by the ONS. An estimated 80,000 thefts of vehicles reported between April 2019 and March 2020, which is a significant rise from the 62,000 reported between April 2014 and March 2015.

Most common security features installed in people’s vehicles

Security measure

Percentage of drivers who have this security measure

Car alarm

60 per cent

Steering lock (built in)

38 per cent

Vehicle immobiliser

36 per cent

GPS tracker

17 per cent

Steering lock (accessory)

12 per cent

Faraday Pouch (car key signal blocking cage/pouch)

8 per cent

Wheel Clamps

7 per cent 

>>> Top 10: Ways to prevent catalytic converter theft


FiestaOwner    on 28 November 2020

Don't believe a word of this research!

It's been compulsory for cars built since 1998 to have factory fitted immobilisers. Yet according to this survey only 36% of drivers have one!!!

Allegedly only 38% have a steering lock (built in). Pretty sure that since the 1970's virtually every car on the road has had to have either a steering lock or a lock which locks the transmission lever.

Allegedly 7% of drivers have a wheel clamp. The only cars I see clamped (in Scotland) are clamped by the DVLA.

The stats in this article are completely wrong!!

hissingsid    on 30 November 2020

Totally agree. This is just the latest of several howlers which have appeared since HJ departed. Those responsible for running this website need to check and verify so called "research" before publishing it as "fact".

MPH25    on 2 December 2020

Agreed, What nonesense!

Stephen Sparrow    on 2 December 2020

Appears to be totally inaccurate.

MykiMyk    on 2 December 2020

bang on. this article is total nonsense

Mr I R Shore    on 2 December 2020

Very strange statistics. I echo the sentiments of the previous respondents. Is it worth Direct Line commenting on what seems to be arrant nonsense? It might clarify matters. Also, what are the parameters here, and which vehicles were targeted? Until very recently, older cars were prime targets because of the ease with which built in steering locks could be circumvented. More detail is needed: currently, this article makes the website look decidedly amateurish.

Sixt    on 4 December 2020

Sloppy journalism anyway: the headline is contradicted by the story. I'm not sure you can blame this column for some counter-intuitive survey findings though!

lawrence kempster    on 10 December 2020

never new honest john had departed! from this site but i now understand why over the years is everything he advised is now the complete opposite, i think but not sure he personally answers in his telegraph Q and A on saturdays

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