For many, a luxury SUV is the perfect family car, combining space, comfort and in many cases a combination of off-road ability coupled with performance that might be considered surprising for bigger vehicles. indeed, many of our clients choose these cars as their daily transport.
Unfortunately, statistics released by the DVLA for 2022 revealed that this type of car is a growing target for thieves, with the Range Rover in particular suffering higher theft numbers versus units produced and second only to the Ford Fiesta.
So why are criminals targeting high end SUV's and what can you do to prevent your household becoming another statistic?
To start with, these vehicles are an accepted symbol of wealth and success globally with enviable levels of luxury and capability. Whilst most of us who aspire to own a nice car will achieve this the right way, unfortunately there remain some who, quite simply, don't.
Many cars stolen find their way overseas, often well outside Europe. This makes tracing them difficult and recovery almost impossible.
You might also question why such a high-end car would be cannibalised for its parts, but this is increasingly the case, with cars being dismantled and their engine, transmission and electrical system removed before the bodies are cut up and destroyed.
As with many other luxury assets, their value makes them a target for theft and clearly their components are considered equally valuable to criminals.
It's also no secret that delivery times of almost all new cars are considerably longer than normal at present - this means that should you suffer a theft, it may take some time for your car to be replaced.
The means by which car criminals are increasingly stealing vehicles are becoming ever more sophisticated, particularly as car manufacturers and firms providing aftermarket security devices work to make theft harder.
Therefore, what can you as an owner do to reduce the risk of your luxury SUV (or indeed any expensive car) being stolen? We've highlighted below a few things that are relatively straightforward and, versus the cost and inconvenience of losing your car, not massively expensive.
- Protect your keys. The simplest way for a thief to steal most modern cars is to use the key and, failing this, scan your home to try and clone the key using the signals it sends the vehicle to unlock, deactivate any security system and enable it to drive away. You can protect your keys using either a Faraday pouch or box. It's also good practice to leave them well away from the vehicle, so not too near the front or back doors for example.
- Make sure that your tracking system is both the right type and working. Insurers will usually insist on a Thatcham Approved Category 5 tracking system so you need to make sure that this is what is fitted. Tracking systems usually also work on a subscription basis, so you need to be sure that your payments are up to date. Some manufacturer's factory fitted vehicle location and tracking system need to be set up properly to work correctly, so make sure that you've done this or seek assistance from your dealer.
- Consider fitting a Ghost style immobiliser. These systems bolster what is fitted as standard and typically create a “starting sequence” by using other vehicle functions such as heating, audio and steering wheel controls to start the car. Without inputting this sequence, the vehicle cannot be started at all, even with its key.
- Physical security. Whilst we wouldn't want to advocate turning your home into a fortress, some basic things to consider include:
- Blocking more expensive cars in with other vehicles.
- Consider telescopic anti-ram bollards.
- Improve gate security – use keypads and remote control access.
- Consider external lighting and cameras to make your property less desirable to criminals.
- Be vigilant and aware of strange vehicles and people in or around your neighbourhood.
Implementing even a few of these measures could reduce the risk of a theft and the inconvenience and impact that it will have on you and your family. The team at Lockton are here to provide any further guidance you may need, therefore please don't hesitate to talk to us today should you have any questions.