2020 saw 74,769 vehicle thefts in the UK, according to data released by the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA). This was 18,000 more thefts than were recorded in 2019.
And you might think that modern cars are better equipped to combat thieves, but you'd be wrong. Tech-savvy criminals have been targeting keyless cars, a relatively modern feature that allows drivers to start their car without inserting a key. The technique is known as relay theft.
It’s no wonder, then, that drivers are turning to after-market security devices. Here are two steering wheel locks which have been awarded Sold Secure Automotive Gold status.
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.