June 1, 2023

How Easy is it to Steal a Classic Car?

When it comes to classic cars, one thing that owners are often concerned about is how to protect themselves from theft. While modern cars are more likely to be the focus of thieves, certain vintage vehicles may well be ripe for stealing to order, especially if they are in fantastic condition.

Car theft is actually on the increase, unfortunately. According to This is Money, thefts were up 29% over the last year and the rising cost of living crisis may be a significant cause. If you think that older cars are more at risk, there has been a significant increase in high-tech relay thefts in modern vehicles. 

One of the problems with classic vehicles is that they don’t often have the updated, state-of-the-art security that many modern cars have. While the latest luxury vehicles are usually targeted by professional gangs, older cars are more generally the victims of ‘smash and grab’, and spur-of-the-moment thefts. 

Of course, a lot will depend on where you keep your car when it’s not in use and how safe you can make it when you park up. Here’s our quick take on how to avoid having your car stolen. 

Classic Car Theft

The ease of stealing a classic car can depend on several factors, including the security measures in place, the specific make and model of the car and the location where it is stored or parked.

Classic cars, particularly much older models, generally don’t have the advanced security features found in modern vehicles, making them potentially more vulnerable. For instance, they often have simpler ignition systems and less sophisticated alarms. They may also lack tech such as immobilizers or GPS tracking devices. This can make them easier targets for thieves who have the relevant skills and knowledge.

Some classic cars are often seen as valuable and desirable compared to others, which can make them targets for thieves who steal to order. Some thieves will target these cars for their resale value or even to dismantle them for valuable parts. 

Our Top Tips to Protect Your Car

To protect a classic car from theft, it is advisable to take appropriate security measures. Here are some steps you can take right now:

  1. Store your classic car in a locked garage or a secure facility that limits unauthorized access. Most owners do this as much to secure their vehicle as to protect it from the elements. 
  2. Replace old locks that may have worn down. In some old models, you can take any key, jiggle it around and open it with little or no skill or knowledge. It’s relatively easy to update the locks in any car. 
  3. Install an alarm system and an immobilizer to deter potential thieves. While this won’t deter someone who has marked your car for theft, it will certainly put off smash-and-grab merchants who are looking for opportunities. Opt to spend a little more on this type of security to give yourself peace of mind.
  4. Use physical deterrents such as steering wheel locks or wheel clamps to make it harder for thieves to drive away with the vehicle. These are also visible signs that your car is protected which can certainly put off a passing thief who will have to weigh up the time it will take to remove the lock and get the car going. 
  5. Consider installing a GPS tracking device in the classic car. These devices can help locate and recover the vehicle if it is stolen and they are not as expensive as you might think. 
  6. When parking your classic car in public spaces, choose well-lit areas and preferably those with visible surveillance cameras. You shouldn’t leave your car in a secluded or unprotected area overnight
  7. Keep proper documentation of the car, including registration, title and any unique identification marks or numbers easily to hand. This can aid in recovery efforts if the car is stolen and someone tries to sell it on. 
  8. Ensure that you have appropriate insurance coverage for your classic car, including theft protection. Consult with your insurance provider to understand the coverage and take necessary precautions if you need to up your security.

Making Your Car More Secure

When it comes to vehicle security, it’s important to get advice from the experts. There are several things you can do to update your vehicle and make it more difficult for someone to steal. 

At White’s Bodyworks, we’ve got a long track record of restoring and repairing classic cars of all types. That can often include introducing new technology to vehicles to make them more secure. 

The good news is that, with a few precautions, you can greatly reduce your risk of having your pride and joy stolen. If you’re looking for advice, contact our amazing team to find out more


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