Unfortunately, vehicle thefts are still a reality for car owners everywhere. According to recent research, vehicle thefts have risen by an astonishing 30% in just three years. RAC, the company behind the study, revealed that it was criminals’ better use of technology that was the primary cause. The news comes despite the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) saying “new cars have never been more secure”. Knowing what to do in the event of vehicle theft is an important part of the puzzle for car owners, it’s also equally essential for those hiring a vehicle.
As leading providers of vehicle hire for all occasions, we aim to provide our customers with not just the best service and vehicle models but the best protection. In this blog post, we explore what to do when you become a victim of vehicle theft and how you can take steps to prevent such an unfortunate incident.
Get the right insurance
When renting a vehicle from us, you’ll be pleased to hear that your rental quotation gives you all you need to meet your safety and legal requirements throughout the term of your rental. The quote we give you for vehicle hire includes the hire cost, insurance, breakdown cover and VAT, extras that many rental companies don’t provide as an all-inclusive package. Thanks to the included insurance, you and your vehicle are covered across a wide range of circumstances, including if your rental vehicle gets stolen.
Park safely and securely
As well as being insured against vehicle theft, where and how you park your vehicle, not just overnight but in the day makes a huge difference to the likelihood of you becoming a victim of theft. At home, your driveway or garage is the most secure location for parking. Driving forwards into your driveway or garage will also deter vehicle thieves as the prospect of a quick getaway is less likely. If you don’t have a driveway or garage, parking as close to your house as possible will make it less likely that criminals will approach. Parking in line with a large window also helps.
It’s not just at home where your rental vehicle is at risk. Car parks are common pick up points. Don’t leave your vehicle isolated when parking in a car park. Try to park close to other cars and aim to park in a well-lit area for extra assurance. When parking at the roadside, parking under street lamps will also make it more difficult for thieves to work discreetly. Wherever you park, make sure all valuables are hidden from view. Thieves don’t need extra ammunition to break into your rental vehicle. Keep bags and coats out of sight, even if you don’t have anything of value in them.
Know what to do next
If you do return to your rental vehicle to find that it has been stolen, don’t panic. Inform the police and your rental company immediately.
Your local police station can be contacted by calling 101. Be sure to have your rental vehicle’s registration number, make and model, and colour handy to ensure the police have all they need to track and identify it. You’ll receive a crime reference number in return. The police will inform the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) about the theft so there’s no need to do that. Making our team your second call will ensure that we can process an insurance claim on your behalf. If possible you should provide us with the theft report and the keys of the stolen vehicle if they too haven’t been taken.