Friday October 4, 2019
Car thefts have risen rapidly in the last five years, putting a greater emphasis on ensuring you are doing all you can to keep your pride and joy secure and in your possession.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that “theft or unauthorised taking of a motor vehicle” increased again in 2018 to 113,037 from 103,493 in 2017 – an almost 9% rise.
The figure is an increase of 47% since the historic low of 70,053 vehicle thefts, recorded between April 2013 and March 2014.
As a classic car owner, you’ll be all too aware that your vintage motor is a valuable asset to thieves.
That might not be something you want to hear or think about – but it’s a better thought to bear than waking up to find your classic has been taken.
Although comprehensive classic car insurance will usually cover theft, the last thing you want to do is have to make a call to your insurer to inform them that your vehicle has been stolen.
So, it’s well worth putting the work into securing your classic car as best you can, as a way of deterring and preventing thieves from targeting your vehicle.
Here are our expert tips on keeping your classic car safe and sound where it belongs – with you!
1. Keep it locked
It’s almost too obvious to mention, but we all have busy lives which can mean we can sometimes forget to do the things that we would usually do automatically.
You might be surprised how much car crime is opportunistic, so don’t make it easy for thieves – lock your classic car every time you step away from it, until it becomes almost like muscle memory.
If you’re just popping back into the house to pick up something you’d forgotten, lock it.
If you’re at a car show and want to check out some of the other classic motors on parade, lock it.
Even if you’re just paying for petrol, lock it. It only takes a second and it could save you from a lifetime of regret.
2. Put your keys out of sight
Having access to your keys is the easiest way for a thief to steal your car, so keep them out of view and out of reach.
If you usually keep your keys in the hallway, within touching distance of your letterbox, move them into another room instead.
Car thieves have been known to go through the letterbox to grab keys with hooks and the like.
3. Fit a steering wheel lock
Steering wheel locks can be a bit of an eyesore, but if they do the job of deterring thieves, and don’t damage your pride and joy, does it really matter?
The answer to that, of course, is no.
For any opportunistic thief, a steering wheel lock can look like a lot of hard work to dislodge and takes some serious know-how.
We can’t say for sure that it will put them off, but they might be inclined to go and search out easier prey elsewhere.
Steering wheel locks are fairly inexpensive, too, at around the £100 mark – a small price to pay for a little extra protection.
Disklok has a circular design that comes with a cloth to protect the wheel underneath – particularly useful if you’ve got a wooden wheel.
4. Install an alarm/tracker
If you’re really put off by how a steering wheel lock or similar security device makes your classic car look – for those who want to ensure their antique car is always looking its best – you could always install a discreet alarm system or tracker instead.
High-end car alarm systems make a significant difference to car safety and security.
The main objective of a car alarm is to draw attention to your vehicle during an attempt at theft, more often than not scaring away the thieves.
Nothing sends a message quite like a bunch of flashing lights and high-pitched shrill.
5. Be careful what you share
Let’s bring our car security tips into 2019 now. Your use of social media might be making you at a greater risk of theft.
As a proud classic car owner, it’s only normal to want to show off your vintage motor to the world.
But be careful you don’t overshare in the so called “spotted” car groups by giving away your car’s location and security protocols.
If you did end up sharing those sorts of details and they were seen by the wrong pair of eyes, you could find yourself targeted by a thief.
6. Assess where you keep it overnight
Classic cars are most vulnerable when they are tucked away for the night. So think about whether your overnight storage location is as safe and secure as it could be.
Obviously, there is a balance to be struck – you don’t want to spend thousands of pounds on a CCTV system, motion sensor security lights and so on.
But you might need to spend a bit of money making your garage or lock-up harder to access for thieves. Just for your peace of mind, if nothing else.
That’s especially true if your vehicle is stored in a lock up away from your home, where you can’t have eyes on it all the time. Regular visits to the lock-up are a must.
Finding the right classic car insurance
Obtaining the right insurance is all part of a thorough protection strategy for your classic car.
It’s also possible that the more security measures you take to keep your classic car safe, the lower your premiums will be.
As we’re specialists here at Lancaster Insurance, we have access to competitive classic car insurance and vintage car insurance schemes in the UK.
As a leading, reputable provider of classic car insurance for over 30 years, we are committed to offering our customers a wealth of experience and exceptional customer service.
We work with carefully selected underwriters to enable us to offer both comprehensive and bespoke insurance solutions, with our customers in mind.
Using our great experience and knowledge of the industry, we are able to quote for virtually every classic car available, even those models that are hard to insure.
Get a quote and start protecting your classic today.