Modern cars are marvels of technology and engineering rolled into one, but despite ever-improving security systems, car thefts are on the rise. According to reports from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), 61,106 cars were reportedly stolen in 2022 – a 26% increase on the year before. So, we thought it would be worth exploring how to stop your car from getting stolen.
The figures have become so alarming that manufacturers are rolling out new security measures at pace to keep their cars in the hands of those who bought them. Unfortunately, however, just as the manufacturers are reaching new heights in their car security game, so too are the thieves in their methods to take them away. So, what can you do as an owner?
Luckily, there are several techniques and products that can help to prevent your car from getting stolen. On this page, we’ll outline the latest news around car thefts and what you can do to keep your car safe.
• UK sees surge in Ford Fiesta thefts
Police officers have issued a warning to Ford Fiesta owners after more than 100 of the cars were stolen in the UK throughout October 2023. According to the DVLA, 5,979 Fiestas were reportedly stolen in 2022 – a 53% increase on the year before.
The police have speculated that the rise in thefts could be motivated by part stripping, as the Fiesta has now gone out of production and spares may be in short supply.
The majority of October’s thefts took place across the south east of England, but police have warned that owners around the country should remain vigilant to the increased risks.
• Jaguar Land Rover issues recall to improve security on thousands of vehicles
Jaguar Land Rover has issued a recall order to improve security measures on thousands of vehicles made between 2018 and 2022 – including models from both Jaguar and Land Rover.
In a bid to curtail the number of stolen vehicles produced by both marques, JLR is rolling out a program to retrofit its vehicles with new theft-prevention measures, patching up security holes that have left their cars especially vulnerable to theft in recent years.
With signal hacking equipment, thieves can replicate the signal emitted from a car’s keyless entry key to unlock its doors, all while the actual key remains locked inside the owner’s house.
According to the DVLA, just under 10% of all vehicles stolen in 2022 were Range Rovers, with 5209 cars reportedly stolen. But though 2022’s figures make for grim reading, JLR chief executive Adrian Marshall is confident improvements have already been made.
“The theft record was much worse in 2022 than it is today,” he said.
“Engineers have been working on a significant number of interventions to counteract, avoid, and get ahead of the ways vehicles can actually be taken.”
How to stop your car from getting stolen
Though car thefts may be on the rise, there are a few extra security measures you can take at home. Here are a few suggestions we think are worth considering:
Apply a wheel lock
For some cheap extra security, invest in a steering wheel lock. These metal bars prevent steering wheels from making full rotations, making quick getaways much harder. They may be a bit old school, but in the age of keyless entry theft, having a big metal deterrent can put off would-be thieves and at least slow down the more determined.
Keep your keyless entry key in a Faraday pouch
Faraday pouches are small key storage pouches that block the signals emitted from your keyless entry key so an electronically literate thief can hijack it to open your car doors. They’re small, affordable gadgets and a must have for anyone who parks a keyless entry vehicle on their driveway at night.
Improve your garage security
If you’re lucky enough to have a garage in which you can store your car at night, your car will be far safer there than on the road, but that’s not to say garages are impenetrable.
Cars have been stolen from within garages before, so we recommend upping your garage security for some extra peace of mind. There are plenty of products out there to make your garage harder to break into, from industrial-strength locks to garage alarm systems.