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How can I protect my vehicle from being stolen?

4 min to readDriver safety
Vehicle-related theft had the second highest victim rate of any crime in England and Wales during 2022, according to the Office for National Statistics, but there are some simple steps you can take to stay safe.
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Although new technology has made cars and vans harder than ever to break into and steal, it hasn’t deterred thieves completely. The ONS’s latest Crime Survey for England and Wales shows of all thefts reported during 2022 were vehicle-related, despite the number declining by more than two thirds since 2003. With one in 31 vehicle-owning households experiencing a theft last year, only fraud had a higher victimisation rate.

Meanwhile, with specialist security firm Tracker reporting a rise of ‘chop shops’ as supply chain disruption affects parts prices and availability, it’s important to be extra vigilant if you’re leaving your vehicle unattended. Here’s why.

How are thieves stealing modern vehicles?

The era of breaking windows and ‘hotwiring’ cars or vans is pretty much over. Since October 1998, all new vehicles have had to have an engine immobiliser, which makes them much harder to steal without the key. It’s pushed thieves to adopt new methods, such as:

What can I do to protect my vehicle from thieves?

Unfortunately, the most determined thieves will usually find a way to get what they want. But you can take steps to slow them down and deter the opportunists. Here’s how.

If your business relies on a van, then it’s even more important to take precautions. LeasePlan offers built-in tracking devices which can help deter thieves and significantly increase the chances of your vehicle being recovered if it is stolen. To find out more, speak to our account team.

What should you do if your vehicle is stolen?

If the worst happens, don’t panic. Contact your local police station (dial 101) with your vehicle’s registration number, make, model and colour to hand. They will give you a crime reference number and notify the DVLA about the theft, including if the vehicle is recovered.

Once the police have been informed, you’ll need to pass your crime reference number on to your insurance company to begin the claims process. If the vehicle is leased through LeasePlan, then our customer service team can also guide you through the next steps.

Published at 18 May 2023
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18 May 2023
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