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Thefts from vehicles

Leaving things in a parked car can make it more attractive to criminals. Even something as basic as a jacket can make your car more likely to be broken into. Find out what you can do to keep your car and its contents safe.

Top tips to keep your vehicle safe

The best way to protect your belongings is to lock your car whenever you leave it.

Other things you can do include:

  • removing everything from the car; don’t even leave a jacket where it can be seen
  • closing the sunroof along with the windows when you leave
  • not storing things in the boot; take them with you
  • storing car ownership information in your home, not your car
  • having a routine to make sure that you always take the keys out of the ignition
  • taking removable stereos and sat nav equipment with you

In addition, using secure (theft resistant) number plates can make your plates less attractive to thieves.

  • Theft resistant number plates

How to keep your car safe at home

Thieves sometimes break into houses looking for car keys. They can also use wires and hooks to try and drag your keys through the letterbox.

Keep your keys away from doors and windows, and tucked away out of sight.

Have your vehicle’s windows etched with its registration number or the last seven digits of the vehicle identification number (VIN).

This can put criminals off, as it makes your car more difficult to sell. It also makes it easier for police to get your car back to you if it is stolen.

Get help if you’re buying a car

If you’re thinking of buying a car, it’s a good idea to do a little research before you buy. Some vehicles are more secure than others. The insurance research company Thatcham allows you to compare the security of new cars, motorcycles and trucks. It gives each vehicle a point score. That score can show you how the car you’re thinking of buying compares to others on the market.

If you’re buying a used car, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) can also tell you what it knows about the vehicle. That information can include the make and model, the year it was built, and whether tax is owed on the vehicle.

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