Cars have been a target of car thieves for decades, but we are noticing the incidences of thefts of classic cars are on the rise. Many older cars are easier to break into and steal than newer cars, they are harder to track down, and often their parts are valuable making them a target.
So, to keep our cherished cars safe from thieves, we have to add some extra protection and a little bit of common sense.
Here are our top tips to deterring thieves and keeping your classic, retro or modified vehicle secure.
Use the barrier method
Extra physical security such as wheel clamps, pedal boxes and steering locks are possibly one of the best forms of deterrent to use to keep the thieves at bay. As well as being a visual deterrent they actually make it a lot more difficult to steal. Car thieves do like an easy target, they don’t usually want to be seen wrestling with a wheel clamp or a steering lock.
Fit an immobiliser, alarm or battery kill switch. An alarm will draw attention to a theft and if your vehicle won’t start, it’s a lot harder to steal. Pre-90’s cars were not fitted with an immobiliser but fitting one to your classic or retro car now is not that difficult or expensive to do. Another good option is to fix a switch in the fuel pump supply if your car has an electric pump. Even if your vehicle does get stolen, the fuel supply will run out a few metres down the road, by which time you will be in full Usain Blot mode.
Out of sight is out of mind
Hiding your belongings is an obvious one but not everyone does it. A car with mobiles, tablets, wallets and sat navs on display will be a magnet for opportunistic car thieves. Don’t leave your loose change on display either, as crazy at it seems we have seen cars broken into for a pile of small change.
Lock and stock
Keep your keys safe. It may sound obvious, but don’t store your keys by the front door. Lock your classic car at all times, including whilst paying for petrol, at a show and on your driveway. The incidences of theft among keyless cars has been widely reported recently. If your modern or daily driver has keyless entry, keep your key fob secure in a faraday pouch or signal blocking box and well away from your car or front door.
Secure your garage
Make your garage harder to access by adding extra locks. The addition of a motion sensor security light or security camera are also worth considering. Block your garage with your other vehicle, if you have the option. If your vehicle is stored in a lock up away from your home, make sure you check on your vehicle on a regular basis.
When out and about, park your car in a well-lit area and avoid dark and remote locations. A well-lit spot will deter car thieves as, obviously, they don’t want to be seen unless they want to be caught and face the full force of the law, which we’re guessing they don’t. Places that are remote and quiet give more opportunity to thieves to gain access to your car without being disturbed. Crank your wheels towards the kerb too to make your vehicle harder to tow away.
Beware what you share
Be cautious about what you post on social media. Although fun, the so called “spotted” car groups could be your nemesis. Never give away the location of your classic car and be vigilant about posting photos that show your property in the background.
There are a number of low-cost tracking devices now available on the market which could help track your vehicle if it is stolen furthering its safe return. We do like GPS trackers, but it is better to secure your car so it does not get stolen in the first place.
Finally, make sure you are properly covered. Insure your car on an agreed valuation basis rather than market value, and if necessary, update your agreed valuation if you have not done this for a few years. Be honest when you apply for insurance too by telling us where your vehicle is kept. You can call us on 01455 639 000 to find out more on insuring your classic or modified car on an agreed valuation basis.