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Tips From the IAM to Prevent Your Car Being Stolen

Thu, 11 Feb 2010

Despite alarm systems being fitted as standard and an increase in video surveillance
over the years, the IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists) has warned against
complacency and given drivers advice on how to reduce the chances of a car break-in
or theft.

Peter Rodger, IAM Chief Examiner, said: “It seems obvious, but we’d still remind
drivers, where possible, to park in a well lit, busy area with valuables out of view
- and make sure your car has both an alarm and an immobiliser.

“Never underestimate the determination of some thieves: don’t leave your car keys in
a bowl or on a rack by the door - one of the most common methods of stealing a car
is using a pole to reach through the letterbox to get the keys,” said Mr Rodger.

If you have a garage, now’s the time to clear out the ski boots and rolls of old
carpet and make way for the thing it was built for – your car – although cars have
got bigger over the years, meaning most of us have to park outside which affects
both road safety and car security.

More advice on avoiding car crime:

•        Try to use a car park with the 'ParkMark' logo which means it has achieved basic
standards of security - but remember that you have no consumer rights in a car park
and the car park operator has no legal responsibility whatsoever to protect your
car.
•        Thieves will break into homes to get the keys to steal a car. If your car is high
value, check the security of your home.
•        Don't leave the keys in the ignition when filling up your car with fuel or warming
it up - remember your insurance could be invalidated if you do and your car is
stolen.
•        Don't leave a satnav fitting on display, and rub off any ring left on the
windscreen by the suction pad - a thief will smash the window and go straight to the
glove compartment to find it.
•        Never store your car's documents within it and keep the glove box empty, leaving
it open to make it clear there isn’t anything inside.
•        Consider fitting a vehicle tracking device to help track and find your car if it
gets stolen.

Mr Rodger added: “The value of property stolen from your car may be relatively low,
but the cost of repair to the car will be considerably more, not to mention the
inconvenience, so vigilance and common sense could save you money and hassle.”

ENDS
Notes to Editors:

The 10 most dangerous places for theft were:

1 Hull
2 Nottingham
3 Bradford
4 Manchester
5 Doncaster
6 London
7 Northampton
8 Sheffield
9 Oldham
10 Reading

The 10 safest places were:

1 Swindon
2 Cheltenham
3 Solihull
4 Southampton
5 Bangor
6 Norwich
7 Exeter
8 Maidstone
9 Preston
10 Lincoln

Source: Endsleigh Insurance

 

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