What Will Help Keep Your Car Secure?

Here’s a question that you might get on your driving theory test:

What will help you keep your car secure?

  1. Joining a vehicle breakdown organisation
  2. Passing an advanced driving test
  3. Taking car maintenance classes
  4. Registering with a Vehicle Watch scheme

The answer they’re looking for is D: Registering with a vehicle watch scheme will help you keep your vehicle secure.

When they say “secure”, they essentially mean “safe from thieves”. Taking maintenance classes will help you keep your car roadworthy. Joining a vehicle breakdown organisation will ensure that help will be at hand if anything ever goes wrong. Passing an advanced driving test will help make you a safer and more conscientious driver. But of these four options, only a vehicle watch scheme will help reduce the risk of car theft.

cars parked on road

What is a Vehicle Watch Scheme?

Vehicle watch schemes are an initiative run by the police in some, but not all, UK counties. Basically, you put a sticker in your car’s front and rear windows, which allows the police to pull over your car under certain conditions.

In short, they act as a sort of “red flag” to police – if they see your car being driven in certain circumstances, then it might indicate that it’s been stolen.

Types of Vehicle Watch Stickers

There are two types of Vehicle Watch stickers:

  • Vehicle Watch – The standard sticker invites the police to pull over your car if they see it on the roads between the hours of midnight and 5am.
  • 25-plus – This sticker invites the police to pull your car over if they see it’s being driven by anyone aged 25 or younger.

If you’ve got a sticker, and if the police see your car on the road in the early hours of the morning, or if they see a young person behind the wheel, they’ll pull the car over. If you’re driving, then no problem! They’ll ask you a few questions to verify your identity, and they’ll send you on your way in no time. But if they find that your car has been stolen, then they’ll make an arrest.

Do Vehicle Watch Schemes Work?

Vehicle watch schemes are intended to act as a deterrent to thieves. The idea is that if thieves see a sticker on your car, they’ll be less likely to steal it.

Yet there are a couple of downsides to this. First of all, not a lot of people seem to be aware of the existence of Vehicle Watch Schemes. If members of the public don’t know they exist, then neither will would-be car thieves. This could make them less effective as a deterrent.

You could argue that joining a Vehicle Watch scheme means that, if your car is stolen, then it’s more likely to be found and returned to you. But even in this case, there’s nothing stopping a car thief from simply removing the stickers after breaking into your car.

Plus, the sticker’s won’t prove very effective at all if your car’s stolen by a thief who looks older than 25. Or if they steal your car during daylight hours.

Yet joining a Vehicle Watch scheme could give you a solid line of defence against car theft. If you live in a high-crime area, joining this scheme could give you some peace of mind that the police will know what to look for if your car gets stolen.

Learn more about Vehicle Watch Schemes in your area.

Other Ways to Keep Your Car Secure

  • Get a GPS tracker for your car, so you can get real-time updates on your car’s location if it’s ever lost or stolen.
  • Install an immobiliser – if your car doesn’t already have one fitted – and thieves will not be able to drive your car away.
  • Wheel clamps and steering wheel locks can also make life harder for would-be thieves.
  • Try and park your car in a well-lit area, ideally with CCTV coverage.
  • If possible, park in a secure garage protected with locks, cameras, and sensor lights.
  • If you’ve got a keyless entry car, take steps to prevent thieves from “hacking” your car.

As we mentioned above, if you live in a high-crime area, taking these extra steps to secure your car could help you save money on the cost of car insurance.

At Go Girl, we specialise in helping student drivers, young drivers, and new drivers get the cover they need, for less. Read our full guide to getting cheaper car insurance.


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