Why are so many motorists leaving their cars unlocked?

Abarth key

Halfords has revealed new research showing a quarter (25 percent) of drivers admit to leaving their car unlocked – yet one in two Brits also worry about having their car stolen.

Presumably, the respondents in the 25 percent camp didn’t overlap with those in the 51 percent group. “I won’t lock my car, but I hope it won’t be ‘half-inched’ in the middle of the night,” said one respondent. Probably.

Interestingly, Halfords also revealed that sales of old-fashioned steering locks have increased by 50 percent in the past year, as drivers seek to ward off the threat of keyless car theft.

So-called ‘relay attacks’ have contributed to a rise in the number of car thefts, and old-school methods of car security are seen as a visual deterrent in an age of electronic wizardry.

Pavan Sondhi, Halfords’s car security expert said: “In-car security systems can only do so much to prevent a car being stolen. It seems that many anti-theft systems can be easily bypassed and using a simple device like an RFID wallet can prevent your fob being hacked.

Keyless car theft

“We’ve seen sales of our wallets soar in the last few weeks. Classic steel steering locks are also an extremely effective – and visual – way of deterring thieves, and we’ve recently seen a huge increase in sales of these as car owners turn to old school solutions.” 

Park your car in a garage

To prevent thefts Pavan Sondhi also advises: “You should park your car in a garage with an alarm system and CCTV or you can make sure the area around your car or garage is well lit.” Common sense, yes, but if 1 in 2 drivers isn’t even locking their car, perhaps a timely reminder. 

As for the punishment for stealing cars, the Halfords survey adds that around half of drivers think the maximum sentence of six months in prison isn’t harsh enough.