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Five ways to keep your car secure

Find out how to deter the thieves and improve your car security

Somebody locking their car with an electric device

Having your car stolen or vandalised is not only hugely inconvenient but can cost you a pretty penny too. As your car is probably one of the most valuable things you own, it makes sense to take some simple steps to keep it secure.

Be careful which car you buy

If you own a BMW X5, a Range Rover Sport or a BMW M3, watch out! Your cars have the dubious honour of being one of the most stolen cars in the UK.

SUVs are a thief's favourite type of vehicle, but prestige saloons are also fair game with the Mercedes C and E classes and BMW's Series 3 and 5 models all in the top ten of most stolen cars.

With over 97,000 vehicles nicked from April 2016 to March 2017, it's not just the high-end cars that are a target for thieves.

Help secure your car with our top five car security tips.

1. Watch where you park

Park your car in a garage if you can. Out of sight can mean out of mind too. The more difficult you make it to access your vehicle, the less likely it is to get stolen. Parking your car off the road or in a secure garage can help reduce your car insurance as well.

If you can only park on the road, try to park where there are CCTV cameras, or in a well-lit street where there are plenty of other cars. Thieves don't like to be watched or have the possibility of being interrupted.

Even simple things like parking with your tyres turned into the kerb can mean it takes a thief longer to drive your car away, so they may choose to take a different car.

2. Keep your car keys safe

We've all put our car keys down for a minute without thinking who is around to steal them.

Another favourite is hanging your car keys near the front or back door, where a thief could lean in and fish them out. Then it's simple case of pushing the button to find out which car unlocks and they're off.

And most obvious of all – remember to lock your car. It's tempting if you're just dashing back to the house to collect something you've forgotten, but never leave your keys in the car and every time you get out of the car, lock it.

3. Keep valuables out of sight

There were more than 257,000 incidents of theft from a vehicle from April 2016 to March 2017. Much vehicle crime is opportunistic and if thieves spot something of value in your car, they'll take it.

Never leave valuables like your mobile phone, handbag or computer in the car, even in the glove box. If a thief suspects there is something of value in there, they'll break in to have a look.

Some car insurance policies will cover you if you have items stolen from your car with personal belongings cover, but there can be a limit to how much you can claim.

There were more than 257,000 incidents of theft from a vehicle from April 2016 to March 2017.

4. Use all available security devices

Some car security devices may already be part of your car's security. But if you don't use them, they're no good.

Make sure you activate your alarm when you leave the car and invest in a set of wheel locking nuts if they didn't come with the car.

You could also get your windows etched with your Vehicle Identification Number, invest in a car immobiliser and even fit a wheel lock as an extra deterrent to thieves.

However, if you make any security improvements to your car, make sure your insurer approves them first. Modifications can add to your insurance premiums if they're not of a sufficient standard or fitted correctly.

5. Fit a tracker

If you want to be able to recover your pride and joy even if it is stolen, a tracker will help you find out where it is.

GPS trackers are able to locate cars that are still on the streets, but VHF systems are able to locate cars that are even in underground car parks or ready to be shipped in a container.

A properly fitted and approved tracking device can also help cut the cost of your car insurance.

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