Opportunistic Car Theft Increases By 25% In Winter

By: James Ruppert
Thief arrested after stealing a car - car theft GAP Insurance

Car theft involving the use of stolen keys appears to increase by a whopping 25% during the winter months, according to stolen vehicle recovery provider, TRACKER. This comes as an important warning and reminder to all car owners as the nights draw in and the temperature drops. In the last year 25% more vehicles were stolen using keys in the Autumn and Winter months than Spring and Summer.

Protect your car value in the event of theft or writeoff with GAP Insurance

Andy Barrs, Head of Police Liaison at TRACKER stated that “Whilst the majority of vehicles we recover have been ‘stolen without the keys', often by organised gangs with the skills to bypass sophisticated key-fob security technology, it appears from our data that there has been an increase in the number stolen ‘with keys’ in the darker months, probably by the more opportunistic thief”.

There are two factors at work here, firstly the longer winter nights means that darkness offers ideal cover to break into houses and steal car keys.

Secondly, the frosty mornings can mean that drivers who are ‘warming up’ their cars will often leave them unlocked, unattended and therefore vulnerable.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Here's TRACKER's ten point plan of action to prevent your car being stolen.

  1. On the last point above, don’t you dare ‘warm up’ your vehicle and leave it unattended when de-icing.
  2. The most obvious thing not to do - never leave the keys in the ignition. Ever. No excuses.
  3. Another obvious one - always lock your car. Even when it's outside your house, in a quiet area, or somewhere you think is safe. Always lock it.
  4. Nothing should be on show in your car, no bags, clothes or anything remotely valuable. Take them with you, or put them in the glovebox, cubbyhole or boot.
  5. Back to that remotely valuable point, sat navs and mobiles telephones should never be left on display.
  6. There's no reason to carry vehicle documentation around with you. Thieves would like nothing more than all the relevant paperwork to help them sell the car more easily.
  7. Try and park in busy areas, or designated parking areas where there is more likely to be CCTV cameras.
  8. Got a garage? Put your car in it, what can’t be seen can’t be stolen.
  9. Same thing with keys, don’t leave them on show. In a pot by the front door is not ideal.
  10. Fit a TRACKER. They would say that wouldn’t they? However, if your car is stolen the chances of getting it back are hugely increased.

Don't forget that MotorEasy's GAP Insurance will protect the value of your car if it is stolen or written off. This means you'll recieve the invoice or new value of the vehicle (depending on when the GAP Insurance is taken out), reimbursing you for any depreciation and meaning you won't need to downgrade for a replacement vehicle.

If you're additionally interested in protectiong your car against repair costs our fitC car warranty you can locate your vehicle even if it is stolen - as well as early fault warnings, instant diagnostics and market leading car warranty protection.

 

Further reading

Stop your car being stolen in 5 easy steps

9 Ways to keep your car insurance valid.

Buy a classic car that will go up in value

View all articles

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