Since the 1990s we’ve seen increasingly sophisticated vehicle security devices, such as alarms and engine immobilisers, while stolen cars and their main components have become much easier to identify.
However, the last few years has seen the rise of organised, tech-savvy criminals targeting cars with ‘keyless’ technology, a feature that allows drivers to start their car without inserting a key.
According to UK crime figures, 112,000 cars were stolen in 2017/18, up from 77,000 in 2013/14.
It’s no wonder, then, that drivers are turning to after-market security devices. Here are two steering wheel locks which have been approved by security specialists Thatcham.
1. Stoplock Pro
The idea of fitting a steering wheel lock is that it will deter a thief and they’ll move on elsewhere. Stoplock Pro is about as convenient as a steering wheel lock gets, which means drivers are much more likely to keep it in the car at all times and fit it whenever they leave their motor unattended.
Auto Express magazine put it to the test in a comparison with four other steering wheel locks and it came out on top. It took five minutes to defeat (compared with five seconds for the most basic Stoplock), which is a significant deterrent to professional thieves.
When the maker claims that this is the “UK’s toughest steering wheel lock” it isn’t exaggerating. In independent tests, including ones by Thatcham, nothing tops the Disklok.
Its secret is to enclose the steering wheel in a tough reinforced steel case, which makes it impossible for a thief to cut through to the wheel – as they could with the Stoplock Pro. Its relative bulk is a downside.