It’s a sad fact of life that, despite all the modern technology ranged against thieves, very many car owners still experience the horror of returning to their car only to find it is no longer where they left it. In the event of ever seeing their car again, it may be returned to them damaged or with windows smashed and it is like a form of personal insult; some drivers say that they never feel the same about the car in the aftermath.
All we as car owners can do is to ensure that the vehicle is securely locked and that nothing is left on display to attract the criminals in the first place. If possessions must be left in the car then they should be in the boot, even under the boot floor which is a feature on some cars. Some thefts though cannot be prevented. The theft of parts in particular is a concern with, notably in this day and age, the catalytic converter being very popular.
In these times where our smartphones can record high quality video, it is now commonplace to see a clip of brazen thieves quickly jacking up a parked car in a suburban street, scrambling underneath, and removing the catalytic converter. It only takes them a matter of minutes. The unsuspecting owner then returns to the vehicle, starts it up and is assailed by raucous engine noises. The catalytic converter in your exhaust system has been removed and taken.
Theft of these devices is on the increase, especially on vehicles like SUV’s with their extra height, simply because they are easy to crawl under. In recent years cat theft has doubled. This is because as expensive items they can be sold on for reuse or for the value of the scrap metal content. Cat converters contain small, but valuable, amounts of precious metals like platinum, rhodium and palladium and a whole converter can fetch ready money from unscrupulous buyers.
The Insurance Claim
Replacement costs the owner much more than the illegal sale achieves but these people don’t care about that. They also don’t care about owners’ insurance premiums after a claim. It’s expensive to insure a motor but, although it is traditional to moan about the price of rip-off premiums, we have to understand that the theft of parts and indeed whole cars has a knock-on effect. It’s the same with the blight of cash-for-crash insurance fiddles.
There’s not much a vehicle owner can do to deter a determined thief. It is possible to ‘alarm’ a converter with a garage fitted kit, although alarms tend to get pretty much ignored these days unfortunately. It’s an extra expense too but perhaps a window sticker advertising the fact might deter some. It’s also possible to tag the cat with a reference number; it won’t stop the theft but it might make it harder to sell it on.
Car thieves never consider their victims. They don’t give any thought to personal feelings or circumstances; that car might be a lifeline for someone. Sadly, it’s a fact of life in the modern world. The only thing to do is to make sure insurance is bang up to date and providing full cover. Protect that ‘no-claims’ bonus too. Unfortunately we can’t help our buyers protect their precious purchases but at least our customers know that here at eCars247 all our cars
are fully AA inspected and HPI-checked