Theft of car

The theft of a car is distressing to the victim. It may be an opportunist crime or part of organised crime

The following advice can help to prevent a car from being stolen:

At home

  • Keep your car keys safe. Do not leave them inside your car or in the ignition.
  • Don't leave your keys in a coat pocket.
  • Always make sure your car doors and windows are locked.
  • Park your car in a garage.
  • If you don't have a garage, try to park in a well-lit, open place.

In public spaces

  • Make sure that your keys are not visible to other people.
  • Sports changing rooms can be targeted by thieves who look for car keys left in coat pockets.
  • Always make sure your car doors and windows are locked.
  • When using public car parks, choose one that is well supervised, has entry and exit points, good lighting and security. Avoid parking in dark spots. Look for Park Mark Safer Parking Award (opens new window).

Consider fitting security devices and tracking systems that are approved by either Thatcham Research Centre or Sold Secure. All security devices should be fitted by a professional.

Vehicle security advice

Tracking systems

Consider fitting a tracking device to your vehicle. The device will send out a signal, which will help identify its location if stolen. One such example is Sure-Track (opens new window), which is approved by Sold Secure and is Category 7 Thatcham Research Centre-accredited.

Glass etching

Consider identifying all the glass on the vehicle, including headlamps, etched with the vehicle’s registration number and/or Vehicle Identification Number.


Consider fitting an immobiliser, which will stops the vehicle from being driven away. There are two types:

  • Mechanical: These lock either the steering wheel, gear lever or pedals in position.
  • Electronic: These disable the vehicle’s electrical system and engine.

Keyless and fob access vehicles

Known by several names including Keyless Go and smart key, keyless and fob access is a new technology which is already offered by many vehicle manufacturers and is described as convenient for drivers. They can incorporate many features, including remote starting.

  • When locking the vehicle, test the vehicle door to ensure the locking instruction has been successfully transmitted.
  • Consider using additional Thatcham Research Centre-approved mechanical immobiliser locking devices.