We all cherish our classic cars. That’s why we spend so much time, money and affection on restoring and maintaining them. For many of us, they’re our pride and joy — so it’s important to make sure we keep them safe and secure.
Understandably, classic car theft is a real concern. But what can you do to make sure your motor is safe from unwanted attention?
To help you out, we’ve put together our top 10 tips on securing your classic car.
It might sound painfully obvious but making sure you keep your keys safe is one of the most important — and easiest — things you do to protect your car.
Criminals are going to find it a lot easier to steal your keys than hotwire your classic, so think about where you keep them at home.
A lot of motorists leave their car keys next to the front door, which makes it easier for an opportunistic thief to get hold of them. Keep them somewhere out the way, or in a lock box.
Some classic car owners might be surprised to find out that most of the older, more popular models have try-out keys readily available for anyone to buy.
If you’re worried a new lock will mean less authenticity, why not consider using an automotive locksmith? These experts can often re-pin the lock cylinder to help fight against any would-be thefts.
Where do you keep your car? If it’s stored in a garage then make sure the garage is properly secure and add on some extra locks if needed. If you have another car, it’s always a good idea to park it up in front of the garage door for extra protection.
If you are parking your car outside, make sure that it’s left somewhere well-lit and overlooked if possible. Thieves are less likely to try and steal your classic if there’s a chance that they’ll be seen.
A car alarm might sound like the most basic protection you can get for a vehicle, but a lot of classic owners shy away from these. The idea that flashing lights and alarms will ruin the aesthetic of your motor is a fair concern, but it needn’t be.
These days there are plenty of ways around these issues. Installing a ‘covert’ alarm means that it won’t be seen by any would-be thieves, while modern systems can notify you via smartphone instead of the classic flashing lights and blaring sirens.
A lot of modern cars come fitted with an immobiliser as standard, but such technology didn’t exist when a lot of classics were manufactured. But fitting a basic immobiliser isn’t too difficult, and can make your car a lot more secure.
On older vehicles, you can often remove the rotor arm from the distributor to stop the engine from starting. If you’re putting your car into long-term storage, you could always remove the battery completely and store it somewhere safe.
This will be a throwback to the 80s and 90s for some of you, but steering wheel locks are a highly effective visual deterrent for anyone thinking about stealing your beloved motor.
Steering wheel locks are available at a number of price points, but the most effective ones are those that encompass the entire wheel, meaning potential thieves can’t cut through it.
Make the most out of modern technology when it comes to protecting your classic by investing in a GPS tracking system. As well as warding off potential robberies, if your car does get nicked then it’ll be a lot easier to track it down with one of these attached.
Although it might sound like a big investment, these days GPS tracking systems can be an affordable option, particularly when compared to the cost of hunting down your motor by yourself. Some options even require little to no wiring.
Changing the windows in your classic car from standard glass to security glass will strengthen the windows and make it a lot more difficult for someone to break into your car. But if that’s not going to sit well with you aesthetically, why not try security films that can be placed over the glass.
Forensic marking has been championed by UK police forces and in the classic car market. As such, it is becoming an increasingly common method for protecting classic motors and is not going to break the bank, either. Do-it-yourself kits are available online for under £100, meaning your car can be DNA-ready quickly.
You'll have to forgive us for mentioning this as our final tip, but it is really important to have a car insurance policy that caters to the specific needs of you and your vehicle should the worst happen. If you want to find out more about Footman James' insurance policies, visit our Classic Car Insurance page.