Recent figures show that, after many years of steadily declining, vehicle theft claims have risen by a third in the past 3 years, with most of that increase being in London and other major cities and surrounding areas. It seems that the light-fingered have caught up with technology and are now able to bypass security systems quite easily.

We dealt with a claim a few months ago involving a fairly new Range Rover which had the standard factory-fitted alarm/immobiliser plus a top-of-the-range tracker. This was stolen from the driveway, the  tracker disabled and removed – that is the first instance we have heard of that happening – and taken out of the UK. After the claim was settled for £60,000+, the car turned up in Bulgaria. It now belongs to the insurance company so it is for them to decide what to do with it. It is now becoming very difficult to insure this type of vehicle unless it is kept overnight in a garage or other secure building.

Generally, it is high-end vehicles that are targeted by thieves so claims costs are on the high side and this affects insurance company profits so inevitably premiums rise, especially in the areas worst affected.

Steering wheels locks such as Krook-loks are making a comeback. I use a sort of baseball bat shaped one that clamps to the steering wheel. None of these will necessarily stop a determined thief but if the effort involves makes them move on and target your neighbour, that’s a win for you.

And please do not forget that if you park your car and don’t make sure that it is properly locked and any alarm/immobiliser is set, your insurer are entitled not to pay a theft claim.