4 in 5 vehicle-related thefts happen at night

esearch shows four out of five vehicle-related thefts happen during the hours of darkness. Car crime peaks between October and December.

Vehicle-related thefts increase by 10 percent during longer nights. That’s according to UK car insurance theft claims data for 2019.

The report found that around 80 percent of vehicle-related thefts happen during the hours of darkness. Alarmingly, 79 percent of vehicle-related thefts occur at the driver’s home, with vehicles parked on the street (39 percent) most at risk. Despite this, around a quarter (23 percent) of drivers don’t always lock their vehicles.

Indeed, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Crime Survey show that in cases where a vehicle was taken, 14 percent were unlocked. Of the total vehicles stolen in England and Wales, 72 percent were not returned, but of those that were, 48 percent were damaged.

Aviva says it receives more claims for theft between October and December when the days are shorter. The difference is as much as 29 percent compared to June, when the insurance provider receives the lowest number of claims.

Sarah Applegate, risk and governance lead at Aviva, said: “Criminals take advantage of the cover of darkness. Sadly this means there can be more opportunities for vehicle crime when nights are longer. We’ve seen this trend in our home insurance claims and the same appears to be the case for vehicle-related thefts.

“But there are simple steps people can take to reduce their risk. Simply locking vehicles and not leaving items on show inside reduces the risk, while items like steering locks, parking posts and garages put physical barriers in the way of a possible theft.

“Only around a third of drivers with garages store their vehicles in them all the time — and almost the same percentage never put their vehicles in their garage. Taking a few extra minutes to lock up and secure a vehicle can make a big difference in the eyes of a thief.”

How to reduce the risk of vehicle-related theft

Aviva has issued the following advice to reduce the risk of vehicle-related thefts:

  • Always lock the doors, even if you’re leaving the vehicle unattended for a few minutes. Close the windows and sunroof.
  • Keep your vehicle keys in a secure place. There is specific advice for combating keyless car theft.
  • Don’t leave anything in your vehicle. Valuables are the most commonly stolen items (39 percent), followed by exterior fittings (19 percent), electrical equipment (13 percent) and tools (10 percent).
  • Consider additional security. Only 16 percent of people use a car key protector to prevent keyless car theft. A car alarm is the most common deterrent (54 percent), but 13 percent of motorists use a physical device, such as a steering wheel lock.
  • Park on a driveway or in a garage. This will reduce the risk of theft or a break-in. Locked gates are used by 10 percent of motorists, while 6 percent use a parking post or retractable bollard.

Source: https://www.motoringresearch.com/car-news/vehicle-related-thefts-happen-night/