Direct Line magazine

Anti-theft locking devices for your car

Updated on: 4 April 2024

A disklok car security tool on a steering wheel

There’s no doubt about it, car theft is on the rise. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), there was a 48% increase in vehicle thefts in 2023 – 106,000 reported incidents compared with 72,000 in 2022.

That’s the equivalent of a car stolen almost every five minutes.

If you’ve ever had your car stolen or even broken into, you’ll know how upsetting it can be, not to mention costly.

So, here are some devices that can help keep your car safe:

Lock your steering wheel

Thieves are opportunists. If you put a barrier in their way, they’ll think twice.

Sometimes, just the presence of a wheel lock is enough to deter some would-be thieves. But if you’re worried, there’s a great range of steering wheel locks rated Gold by Sold Secure, meaning they’re a significant deterrent.

Stoplock Pro Elite

The Stoplock Pro Elite is about as convenient as a steering wheel lock gets, which means you’re much more likely to keep it in the car and fit it whenever you leave your motor unattended.

Auto Express magazine tested it against four other steering wheel locks, and it came out on top. It took five minutes to defeat - just make sure you don’t keep the key to your Stoplock on the same keyring as your car keys!


Disklok on steering wheel

When the maker claims 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 almost impossible for a thief to cut through to the wheel – as they could with the Stoplock Pro Elite. Its relative bulk is a downside though, as it’s more of an effort to set up. 

Milenco High Security Steering Wheel Lock

Another Gold rated wheel lock that boasts it’s the ‘toughest on the market’, the Milenco High Security Steering Wheel Lock is easy to fit around the spoke of your steering wheel, so it can’t be rotated. Even with power tools, it’s hard to remove (not to mention, a little conspicuous).

One look through the window and thieves will know it’s not worth the effort.

Are keyless cars more secure?

You might think that modern cars are better equipped to combat thieves, but think again. Tech-savvy criminals have been targeting keyless cars using a technique known as keyless theft, or relay theft, where they intercept the signal from your key fob and trick your vehicle into unlocking and even starting the ignition. Learn more about relay theft, or keyless theft, here.

A determined car thief can be difficult to stop, but if you take all the right precautions, park in a sensible, well-lit location and make sure you’ve locked up, your motor will have the best chance of being passed up for an easier target.

And, if all else fails, a security camera or doorbell camera can offer more peace of mind. You’ll be alerted to any movement outside your home and should be able to report a theft to the police with clear video evidence.

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