Motorists may see their AXA car insurance premiums fall following the launch of new technology that is designed to reduce vehicle thieves’ ability to sell on their stolen goods.
HPI has announced the launch of a new service designed to make it easier for second-hand car buyers to check whether a prospective purchase has been reported as stolen, which could make it harder for criminals to sell on stolen property and render stealing cars less attractive.
The new HPI Theft Guard pack is designed to reduce the likelihood of the successful theft of an owner’s car and to serve as a deterrent to potential thieves.
How does the system work?
The HPI Theft Guard features a series of microdots that provide the vehicle’s full 17-digit Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). This will allow investigators to provide a positive ID for the car if it is stolen and later sold and serves to prevent thieves from making changes to hide the identity of the vehicle.
It also provides a window etching kit that likewise will mean that the car’s windows make the VIN apparent and further reduce the ease with which the car’s heritage can be concealed.
Buyers of the kit will etch this number onto each of their windows and place microdots along the inside of the vehicle, covering it in identification markers and making it substantially more difficult for thieves.
It is also intended that these measures make it more challenging for stolen vehicles to be disguised as another. The practice of ‘cloning’, in which the plates of a similar vehicle are used by a criminal to mask their identity, can see innocent people receive speeding fines or become implicated in crimes committed using the vehicle. By using the kit, it makes it more difficult for a stolen car to be succesfully disguised as another – reducing an owner’s chances of being a victim of this type of incident.
What deterrent effect will these kits offer?
These kits will also provide customers with a number of stickers warn potential thieves about the heightened security of these cars. As they will be aware of the fact that these vehicles are covered in identification markers, the owner is less likely to have their car stolen or targeted by these crooks.
“By combining delivery of the HPI Theft Guard with the HPI Check process, potential to abuse the system has been minimised, adding further integrity to the product,” the company has claimed.
Nicola Johnson, the company’s consumer services manager, has highlighted the fact that in the majority of cases criminals want to steal the easiest vehicle with the minimum of risk.
She said that a car that will evidently be difficult to steal and which would require an extended period of time before it could be sold on will be a far less attractive prospect.
By highlighting the fact that the vehicle has been marked, HPI will make it clear that there are easier cars out there to break into and reduce the risks facing the owner, Ms Johnson claimed.
“This poses a big hurdle [for] thieves, who will probably already be planning to change the registration and VIN plates,” she explained.
Ms Johnson said that the effort of exploring every inch of the car to remove the microdots and changing the windows to remove the etching will be a “step too far” for many criminals and consequently they will not make the effort.
Advice site Parkers recently advised those looking to buy second-hand cars to conduct a history check, comparing the mileage with that of the vehicle itself. A discrepancy at this stage should set off warning bells, as while criminals search for similar vehicles to mask a car’s identity they will often differ in this respect.