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Legal guide to UK motoring, sections for law enforcement, Driver licensing, learner and new drivers, buying and selling, speeding fines, owning a vehicle, wheel clamping, traffic information.

Vehicle Insurance

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Insurance Information

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How to beat the thief

The financial loss of a stolen car is bad enough and although insurance will compensate for this, nothing can help with the shock and inconvenience.
Walk around any car park. You'll see cars with windows open, ignition keys in the lock, sun roofs open, valuable property and clothing on display on the rear seat.

Be sensible. Follow the checklist below every time you leave your car.

Take Care of Your Property

Remember - if you are careless when leaving your car then your claim for theft may not be paid at all. Your insurance policy requires you to take care of your property at all times. Have all the windows etched with the registration number of your car. This deters car thieves.

Many insurers allow a special premium discount if your car has a professionally-fitted alarm/ immobiliser system. The Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre checks on vehicle security devices to see if they comply with the criteria of the Insurance Industry Vehicle Security Scheme. The list of those products that have passed is used by insurers as a basis for premium discounts and required security. Ask your insurer what systems they approve or require. They may also require the system to be fitted by a member of the independent Vehicle Security Installation Board. Your insurer can advise you about this.

Check List

Where to leave your car
At night, park in a well-lit place. Thieves like working in shadows. In a ticket-exit car park, take the ticket with you. Remove Car Ownership Information
Don't leave your certificate of insurance and registration document in the car.

Hide Property
Leave property in a locked boot. In a hatchback the rear shelf should be in position. In an estate car cover up property with a sheet or blanket.

Remove the Ignition Key
Don't leave the key in the ignition - not even for just a few seconds to go into your home, a shop or pay for petrol.

Close All Windows
When you leave the car, close windows. Don't forget the sun roof.

Use an Anti-Theft Device
Thieves are opportunists. They will probably move on to a car without a device fitted.

Always Lock Doors and Boot/Tailgate
Even when the car is in your own drive or garage, lock it and take the keys with you.

Children and Animals
Never leave young children or animals alone in a parked car. With windows or sun roof open you run the risk of theft. With windows closed there is a grave danger of suffocation.

Source: Association of British Insurers

Top Ten safety tips


Never leave anything on display when you park your car. Even an old coat or a plastic bag can tempt a thief.

Electronic engine immobilisers prevent your car from starting and are the best way to stop thieves. They should be professionally fitted by an approved installer.

When parking at home always use your garage if you have one. Always lock both your car and your garage. If you don't have a garage, always try to park in a well-lit, open place.

When parking outside always try and park your car in an attended car park. Try to look for a public carpark which is part of the police-approved Safer Parking scheme - www.saferparking.com

Use a steering wheel lock every time you leave your car.

Car alarms can deter thieves from not only stealing your car, but also taking items from it. They need to be fitted by a professional.


These are cheap, easy to fit and stop thieves from taking your wheels.

Have your car registration number or the last 7 digits of your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) etched onto all windows, both windscreens and your headlamps.

Mark all your car equipment, like your car stereo, with your vehicle registration number.


Get a commercial database such ask HPI Group Ltd, or CCN Motorfile to check out the car you've got your eye on - has it been reported stolen or written off by an insurance company?

Approval
You should only buy security devices or services that are approved by either Thatcham (the Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre 0870 550 2006,) or bySold Secure (01327 264 687). - or that meet the standards referred to in the particular sections above. Fitted devices should be installed by a professional - either your car dealer or by an installer approved by the Vehicle Systems Installation Board. Check outVehicle Systems Installation Board or visit The Retail Motor Industry Federation to find your nearest approved garage or dealership.

Security Products


The best ways to secure your motor are:

Immobilisers prevent your car from starting and are the best way to stop thieves.


Remember to use them every time you leave your car. You should only buy one that is approved by Thatcham or by Sold Secure.

Car alarms need to be fitted by a professional - either ask your car dealer or an installer approved by the Vehicle Systems Installation Board - .

Locking wheel nuts are cheap, easy to fit and stop thieves from taking your wheels. Look for products that are approved by Thatcham (the Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre 0870 550 2006, http://www.thatcham.org/) or by Sold Secure (01327 264 687 - http://www.soldsecure.com/).


Have your car registration number or the last 7 digits of your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) etched onto all windows, both windscreens and your headlamps.

Mark all your car equipment, like your car stereo, with your vehicle registration number.


If your car is expensive or has sentimental value, you could buy an in-car tracking device. A stolen vehicle recovery scheme.


Approved
You should only buy security devices or services that are approved by either Thatcham (the Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre) or by Sold Secure - or that meet the standards referred to in the particular sections above. Fitted devices should be installed by a professional - either your car dealer or by an installer approved by the Vehicle Systems Installation Board. Check out http://www.vsib.co.uk/ or visit http://www.rmif.co.uk/ to find your nearest approved garage or dealership.


Complaints
If you have a complaint about a service or product you can contact any of the trade associations below:


Vehicle Systems Installation Board
Bates Business Centre
Church Road
Harold Wood
Romford
Essex
RM3 0JF
Tel: 01708 340911
Website: http://www.vsib.co.uk/


Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders
Forbes House
1 Halkin Street
London
SW1X 7DS
Tel: 020 7235 7000
Website: http://www.smmt.co.uk/


Retail Motor Industry Federation
210 Great Portland Street
London
W1W 5AB
Tel: 020 7580 9122
Website: http://www.rmif.co.uk/


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