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HomeIndustry NewsCar theft is on the rise in South Africa – Here’s how to protect your vehicle
Presented by Santam

Car theft is on the rise in South Africa – Here’s how to protect your vehicle

There has been a major rise in car thefts and hijackings in South Africa over the past year, making it important for South Africans to have affordable, comprehensive car insurance.

According to Santam’s 2022-2023 Insurance Barometer Report, there was a 32% increase in vehicle hijacking claims in 2022 compared to 2021, while vehicle thefts escalated by 92% over the same period.

Santam’s research also found that car thieves are no longer focused on older, low-value vehicles.

They now target newer, pricier vehicles – such as double cab bakkies and SUVs.

This should be concerning for any South African car owner and serves as encouragement to invest in car insurance that provides extensive cover against these criminal acts.

Keeping your car safe

To help car owners stay a step ahead of hijackers and car thieves, Santam has put together several tips for protecting yourself and your vehicle.

It starts by stressing that the best way to protect your vehicle against criminals is by being vigilant.

Even when you’re in an area you consider safe, you should remain alert – especially when arriving or leaving your destination.

This is because the easiest way to hijack a vehicle is when it is stationary, as the owner cannot make a quick escape.

Vehicle owners should also make smart, active choices to protect against criminals – such as installing a vehicle tracker, having lights on your driveway, and installing a home security system that covers where your car is parked.

Wheel locks or clamps are a tried and true security method, too – and while they are not impossible to beat, criminals are more likely to avoid stealing vehicles that prove to be a “hassle”.

Keyless safety

Furthermore, criminals are increasingly targeting vehicles with keyless security systems, and owners of these cars must adopt new mindsets to protect their vehicles.

Santam recommends the following:

  • Double check your car is locked – Always ensure your car is locked. Sometimes a press of your remote does not register – either due to human error, a malfunction, or signal jamming tools.
  • Fobs with a sleep mode – If your fob has a sleep mode, it will automatically deactivate when not in use – improving resistance to external relay signals. It is therefore a good idea to buy a car that has a fob with a sleep mode.
  • Disable unused fob signals – Certain car brands come with an option to disable a fob’s wireless signal when not in use.
  • Buy a signal-blocking pouch – Often called Faraday bags, this pouch blocks signals from your fob. This protects against criminals who have devices that can amplify your fob’s signal, fooling your car into unlocking itself because it thinks you are close by.

Choose Santam

Prevention is better than cure, but even the most vigilant vehicle owner is not completely protected against crime.

This is why Santam offers comprehensive car insurance products at affordable prices.

Click here to learn more about Santam’s car insurance products.

Click here to read more about risk prevention