Quantum Car Security Guide
Anyone who owns a car has either experienced car crime or knows someone who has. Quite apart from any financial losses incurred nothing can prevent the shock, distress and inconvenience caused to the victim.
What can be done?
Well, below are some simple precautions that may help to improve car security.
For cars without a security system or alarm installed:
- Whether the car is left in a car park or the drive at home, consider these simple car security measures.
- Remove the ignition key, lock all doors and ensure windows and sunroofs are closed.
- If possible try to place all belongings including mobile phones out of sight. Consider storing items in the boot or under car seats. If the boot space is visible, e.g. a people carrier, use a blanket or sheet to cover the items concerned.
- Some cars will have a cover fitted to hide the car radio system. This is a useful precaution that is often forgotten.
- At night, unless the car is parked in a locked garage, consider parking the car in a well-lit area.
- Most paying public car parks will advise car owners never to leave the car park ticket in the car. This is sensible advice and may deter would be car thieves.
- If your car does not already have a car alarm, immobiliser or tracking device fitted, please read our helpful guide on car security systems.
What are car alarms?
These are devices that are highly visible and usually audible. Generally they work with switches that detect the opening of doors, boot or bonnet, and possibly by use of infra-red or ultrasonics to detect movement inside the car. The presence of some devices is advertised through the use of small flashing lights mounted on the car dashboard and/or window stickers. In the event that the car is broken into either the car horn or alarm will sound before the ignition is turned on. More sophisticated car alarms will cause car lights to flash and disable the ignition or petrol pump. Investigate whether the car alarm is powered by a separate battery as this prevents the car thief disconnecting car alarms that operate on the main car battery.
What are immobilisers?
There are many types of immobiliser sold on the market, most of which can be categorised into two types; mechanical (do it yourself) and electrical. Mechanical devices disable the steering wheel, handbrake or gear-stick. They are relatively cheap to buy, highly visible, key operated and generally do not require expert fitting. Electric immobilisers disable the engine by switching off the ignition or the petrol pump thus preventing it starting. Some are operated by the use of a hidden switch inside the car or by infra-red remote control from a key ring supplied with the alarm.
What are tracking systems?
A tracker system is regarded as the most expensive car alarm system. The tracker is a hidden device installed on a car and operates using satellite global positioning technology to signal its location after being triggered by being being stolen. Once the car security system is activated the Police are able to track the car to its exact position.
If you are unable to decide what is the best car security system for you the Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre (MIRRC), also known as Thatcham, publishes a list of approved products and car security systems.
Please note. Always check with your Insurance company whether any car security systems installed will qualify for premium discounts.