Never leave anything on display when you park your car. Even an old coat or a plastic bag can tempt a thief.
Electronic engine immobilisers prevent your car from starting and are the best way to stop thieves. They should be professionally fitted by an approved installer.
When parking at home always use your garage if you have one. Always lock both your car and your garage. If you don't have a garage, always try to park in a well-lit, open place.
When parking outside always try and park your car in an attended car park. Try to look for a public carpark which is part of the police-approved Secured Car Parks Scheme - www.securedcarparks.com.
Use a steering wheel lock every time you leave your car.
Car alarms can deter thieves from not only stealing your car, but also taking items from it. They need to be fitted by a professional.
These are cheap, easy to fit and stop thieves from taking your wheels.
Have your car registration number or the last 7 digits of your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) etched onto all windows, both windscreens and your headlamps.
Mark all your car equipment, like your car stereo, with your vehicle registration number.
Get a commercial database such as HPI Group Ltd (www.hpicheck.com
), Carwatch UK Ltd. (www.carwatchuk.com
) or CCN Motorfile to check out the car you've got your eye on - has it been reported stolen or written off by an insurance company?
You should only buy security devices or services that are approved by either Thatcham (the Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre 0870 550 2006, www.thatcham.org)
or by Sold Secure (01327 264 687 - www.soldsecure.com)
- or that meet the standards referred to in the particular sections above. Fitted devices should be installed by a professional - either your car dealer or by an installer approved by the Vehicle Systems Installation Board. Check out www.vsib.co.uk
or visit www.rmif.co.uk
to find your nearest approved garage or dealership.