The ultimate new car security checklist
Buying a new car is always an exhilarating experience, yet every search for the perfect vehicle also carries an overwhelming responsibility to acquire all the best features.
It takes weeks or sometimes months to find a car that boasts an impressive fuel economy, ample boot room, the most up-to-date safety technology and an array of performance-enhancing gizmos. That's without counting custom specifications like a roomy passenger area for kids' car seats, a running board for short legs or that glowing shade of orange that seems to make every car sporting it go faster, somehow.
Yet in amongst all of these 'nice-to-haves', new car buyers so often forget a crucial 'must-have' in the form of car security. They make the ill-fated assumption that standard-level windows, locks and doors are all they need to ensure their £15,000+ investment will fend off advances from criminals around their local area.
Home Office stats show a mere 39 per cent of cars stolen making their way back to their owners, evidence to suggest that criminal gangs are becoming increasingly sophisticated and ruthless in their acts. Continuing to ignore such findings could easily come back to bite them when they discover their new purchase has disappeared.
Protecting a new car doesn't require the driver to make huge investments or sweeping changes to their habits behind the wheel. Most criminals see gaping windows of opportunity for them to pursue, which causes them to target one car out of hundreds in their area.
The first step towards ensuring the safety of a new car is to park it in a safe place, both at home and in public. At their house, the motorist should consider placing it in a garage. This not only puts the vehicle out of sight - the garage also protects it from bird droppings, sap, leaves and anything else that can cause damage to the exterior. Contrastingly, visibility can actually be a better thing when taking the car into town or to work. Going for the spots closest to the destination will put it in full view of passers by and should deter any criminals from moving in.
Their bright yellow appearance might not do much for the interior's 'wow factor' but steering locks are this colour for a reason. The striking shade makes it easy for any criminal to spot a lock from some distance, encouraging them to look for another car to target (unless they fancy a struggle).
Most modern vehicles have an engine immobiliser, so locks are no longer completely necessary. However, it's impossible to spot these systems from the outside, which means steering locks can still cover visual security requirements. Using a lock and key system, the device restricts the removal of the steering wheel and airbag when put in place. It's also compact enough to be placed under a seat, making it convenient to store and use.
New car buyers can't afford not to think of worst case scenarios when it comes to protecting their vehicle. Envisaging how much of a target their factory-fresh purchase could be to passing criminals should help them realise exactly what they need to do to guarantee it stays safe. However, they can be forgiven for wondering exactly what they would do in the event of their car getting stolen.
In a small, badly-lit car park, one smash of a window and the picking of a steering lock could see the criminal making off with a brand new set of wheels. What every new car in this situation should have is a tracking system which tells their owner where they can be found. Through the use of Very High Frequency (VHF) technology that is unique to TRACKER, the device should cancel out the attempts of GPS signal jammers in highlighting its presence to the product supplier. This information is then passed on to the police, who use the information to recover the vehicle.
The technology is so powerful it can transmit signals through virtually anything - from steel containers to underground car parks - making it near on impossible for criminals to keep hold of their takings. The devices are available through a year-long subscription service, which more than earns its worth by delivering peace of mind.
Finally, putting highly advanced technology to one side, it also pays to apply a little common sense when looking out for a new car.
The owner should offer thieves zero temptation by ensuring any items of value are hidden from view when the car is parked. Gloveboxes are often the first thing a criminal will choose to raid when they get into the vehicle. Due to this, it's always worth finding secret storage compartments for sat navs, mp3 players or anything else that needs to be kept safe.
Having these objects in full view only encourages criminals to get at them, so hiding them away or (at the very least) covering them up is paramount to a security system.