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Why parking by a fence will help stop your car’s catalytic converter from being stolen

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Thefts of the exhaust emission control device peaked in March 2021, with 3,245 recorded in the UK, but have steadily declined since. Less than 1,400 thefts were recorded in July, which came after a surge in price of precious metals saw theft booming at the start of the year.

A joint effort between the police and risk management company Smartwater Group, resulted in a strong decrease in thefts.

They utilised forensic technology, which is invisible to the naked eye, but glows yellow under UV light, unlike the etching of serial numbers, which can be clearly seen by the criminals and removed easily by simply scraping with a screwdriver.

Experts from heycar have compiled a list of other methods that can be used to help prevent thefts of catalytic converters.

One of the best tips is for drivers to always park cars close to fences, walls or kerbs, to make the thefts more difficult.

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It is set to cost a few pounds and can be applied when the car is taken for an MOT.

Whilst at the garage, if the catalytic converter is bolted on, drivers can ask to weld the belts to make it more difficult to remove.

Road users can also install security systems to help cut down on the chances of having their possessions stolen.

When parking on their own driveway, security cameras or doorbell cameras could be used, or even wildlife trail cameras.

If parking on the street or away from their home, drivers are advised to park in areas which have CCTV systems.

If a vehicle does not have an alarm, it may be time to invest in one, especially in areas like London where theft cases are on the rise, with the noise alone being enough to scare off most would-be thieves.

Drivers could also invest in products like CatClamp which ‘clamps’ to the exhaust pipes, not the converter, allowing different sized and shaped converters to be protected.

This eliminates the risk of damaging the converter, heat shield or oxygen sensors and can make it very difficult for a thief to steal the catalytic converter.

A more specific device is the Catloc, although this is only for owners of Toyota vehicles.

The Catloc has over 45 bespoke fittings, so the device should fit a number of Toyota’s models and significantly reduces the chances of having the converter stolen.

Whilst some of these solutions are not cheap, replacing a catalytic converter can cost more than £1,000. 

Toyota offers this because of the precious metals used to make the cars, especially in hybrid models, like the Toyota Prius.

If motorists operate a small fleet of vehicles, they are advised to obstruct access to vehicles with high ground clearance by parking lower vehicles close by.

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