While vehicles and their technology systems have become smarter over the years, vehicle crime continues to be one of the most well reported instances of police recorded crime in the UK.

Along with calling for a taxi home, there are a whole host of inconveniences to consider when it comes to having your car stolen: extra time and expense for excursions, loss of personal possessions and identity fraud could be among the worst outcomes.

Thankfully, there are lots of ways to keep your vehicle safe. Here’s our pick of the most effective.

Park securely

At home

Driveways and garages are the most secure places to park your car. However, there are plenty of extra measures you can take to ensure your vehicle is safe:

  • Drive forwards onto your driveway or garage. This deters criminals looking to get away speedily.
  • Park as close to the house as possible. Criminals are less likely to approach a car that can be seen easily.
  • Park in line with a large window. Open spaces are likely to deter criminals.

In a car park

It may take longer to manoeuvre, but try to park close to other cars. When you isolate your vehicle, thieves are less exposed to passers-by and, in turn, are more likely to take their opportunity.

Another parking top tip is to turn your wheels towards surrounding vehicles in a car park, or to turn them towards the kerb if you are parked on the road; this deters criminals looking for an easy getaway.

On the road

If you are leaving your vehicle on a main road, try to park it under street lamps. This way, if the sun dips or you are away from your car for longer than expected, the area is well lit and criminals are less likely to linger.

If you are parking outside a café or restaurant, try to park where there is a window. You don’t necessarily need to be the one keeping an eye on it, but criminals may be more hesitant to approach your vehicle if customers are in view.

Can’t decide where you should be parking your car? Try using Park Smart, the easy way to find car crime rates in areas nearest to you.

Hide valuables

It may seem obvious, but many car thefts occur when belongings are left in view. Valuables, such as satnavs, mobile phones, wallets and cash, should be tucked out of sight. This also includes any ‘residue’ left over from valuables, including ring marks from satnavs, mobile phone packaging, or coins.

It is also a good idea to keep bags and coats out of sight, as criminals could mistake them for concealing valuables. Also remember to remove any paperwork including your name and address, as criminals could use this information for identity theft.

Place car keys wisely

When you are at home, avoid leaving keys near doors, open windows, or in a place they can be seen easily. A top tip is to keep them out of reach of the letterbox, as criminals can fish through with hooked wire and snatch the keys from the inside.

Show signs of security

Extra signs of security are a good idea if you are leaving your vehicle unattended. Installing a tracker will help police locate your car if the worst should happen. Additional measures, such as adding steering wheel locks and warning stickers, will help deter criminals looking for an easy ride.

How do you keep your car safe? Do you have any tips we’ve missed out? Join the conversation over on Facebook and Twitter.

We do not guarantee that by following these steps vehicle owners will not be a victim of crime, nor is it likely to reduce their insurance premiums.