Around 100,000 cars stolen every year and more than half of these are never recovered
It pays to apply a little common sense and some basic precautions when you leave your car.
The number of cars stolen each year has fallen significantly as cars have become more secure. Much of the car crime that remains is believed to be organised and planned rather than opportunist.
Around 100,000 cars stolen every year and more than half of these are never recovered.
Theft from cars - around 300,000 reported cases every year - is more likely to be opportunist.
Park somewhere safe – your garage, a well–lit, busy street or a car park displaying the 'Park Mark' sign.
Reduce theft – Set the alarm/immobiliser and consider fitting a tracking device on high value cars or those likely to be targeted by thieves.
Obvious targets – remove mobile phones and sat navs.
Tempt no-one – Loose change, music CDs and similar items attract thieves and the cost of repairs may be more than the value of the items taken.
Every time you leave the car – close the windows and lock the doors, even at petrol stations.
Car keys are precious – remove them whenever you get out of the car and don't leave them on display at home. Thieves do break into houses to steal car keys.
Take time – make these simple security checks whenever you leave the car.
Home Office figures (England and Wales) show that your car is more likely to be stolen at night - 50% of cars stolen are taken between midnight and 6am - than in the morning (6%), afternoon (13%) of evening (18%).
37% of thefts are from private drives and 29% from the street outside owners' homes. 7% are from a private garage at home.
Cars parked at home on the drive or on the street are most at risk from being broken into as well. 28% of 'theft from' occurs at home on the drive and 45% on the street.
Away from home, car parks (including car parks at work) account for around 10% of stolen cars, and on-street parking around 14%.
Where possible, keep your car in a locked garage (this may bring car insurance discounts, too), and never, ever, leave your car unattended with the keys in it. Cars still disappear from drives, filling stations and car parks while the owner is distracted.
(updated 4 May 2012)