vehicle insurance

Navigating fleet insurance costs – and tips to keep your vehicles safe!

Over the last couple of years, there have been significant increases in premiums for wheels-based insurance.

Robin Glover, Account Executive at Howden Insurance provides some insight into what’s driving insurance premium hikes and tips you can pass on to employees to make vehicles less of a target to theives.

Private cars, commercial vehicles, fleets and the motor trade have all experienced price rises. Insurers evidence several reasons for these increases, and one that cannot be overlooked is the increase in vehicle theft, which is influenced by the lack of availability of certain vehicle parts and the demand for specific vehicles to be exported overseas.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), there were a total of 130,389 vehicles stolen in 2022. This was an increase of 24.9% from the previous year, which saw a total of 104,435 thefts. 

Many vehicles are stolen using technology to exploit keyless entry systems which are frequently installed on new cars. This is known as relay theft, which is surprisingly easy to do. Relays can be purchased relatively easily and cheaply, and enable criminals to bridge the gap between the key fob and the car by standing next to someone’s front door and having the car in reasonable proximity on the driveway.  The device will allow the perpetrator to open the door and start the engine. This is particularly effective because the car believes that an authorised key is being used, and hence immobilisers and alarms are not effective.

So, what can you do to stop this happening?

  1. Keep your car keys away from your doors and windows while at home.
  2. Look to purchase a faraday box or key bag, which can cost as little as £5. This is a simple storage box or pouch for your key that stops the signal passing through it. Some manufacturers provide these with new vehicles, so it’s worth asking if they can supply one if buying a new car. Don’t forget to store your spare car keys in a faraday pouch too. 
  3. Turn off your keyless fob’s wireless signal. This will only apply to some fobs depending on the manufacturer, so check the guides in your vehicle handbook or online.
  4. Fit a steering lock or other physical security device, like the tried and tested ‘crook lock’.
  5. When purchasing a second-hand car, you may wish to consider having the keys reprogrammed.
  6. Keep your vehicle in a garage if possible, and if you have a driveway you could consider gates or pop-up vehicle bollards.
  7. Consider the installation of a vehicle tracking device. This will greatly improve your chance of getting the vehicle back if it is stolen. 
  8. Certain manufacturers have motion sensor key fobs. This will send the fob into a deep sleep mode after 40 seconds, thereby preventing a signal being hijacked.

Howden always recommends using both physical and electronic tracking systems to ensure your vehicle isn’t a prime target on a car thief’s shopping list. 

When looking at purchasing a new vehicle, you may want to check the insurance implications prior to purchase. You might find there is a difference in the vehicle grouping and the ultimate insurance cost, which could have an impact on your decision when choosing between similar type vehicles.

In recent times, we’ve seen owners of vehicles from certain manufacturers experience issues when insuring. This subsequently has a knock-on effect on the resale value. Customers think they’ve picked up a bargain, only to experience shock when they find out the unexpected additional cost of insuring it. Find out how you can better protect your vehicle from theft by getting in touch with Howden on 01392 363111