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Protect your vehicle against catalytic converter thieves

Protect your vehicle against catalytic converter thieves

28th October, 2021

Drivers are being encouraged to protect their vehicles from catalytic converter thefts as police work to tackle an all-too-common problem.

Catalytic converters (otherwise known as CATs), are fitted to vehicle exhausts in a bid to reduce emissions.

They’re usually targeted because the market price for the valuable metals they contain has risen sharply in recent years.

The National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) reported that thefts in the UK peaked at 3,245, in March 2021, but, as more people opted to take precautions, incidents have begun to decline, with 1,378 recorded in July.

Assistant Chief Constable Jenny Sims, said: “As the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) lead for Vehicle Crime we know catalytic convertor thefts are being committed by organised groups and I am ensuring that we across the UK are committed to tackling catalytic converter theft, and to disrupting the criminal gangs that are largely responsible for these offences.”


Here at One Call, we’ve seen similar patterns – particularly amongst hybrid cars which continue to be a common target amongst thieves. The reason for this is because they are less prone to corrosion and therefore more valuable.

Thieves can jack up a car in less than a minute – even in broad daylight - and sell the converters on via scrap yards and the internet.

Hybrid vans and Sports Utility Vehicles are also at risk, as their ride height makes access to the exhaust system easier.

With that in mind, here are three simple steps you can take to protect your vehicle.
1) Ask your car dealer for advice on locks or guards that are approved by the vehicle manufacturer and tested to a high standard.

2) Try to ensure your vehicle is parked in a garage overnight, or if this isn’t possible, park in an area that’s well-lit and overlooked.

3) You should also register your converter and mark it with a forensic marker, which are easily detectable by legitimate scrap yards and metal traders.

Once registered, the converters can then be traced back to their owners if they’re stolen, and stickers in the vehicle’s window act as a visible deterrent to would-be thieves.

It’s also worth noting that some police forces are offering free marking, in partnership with companies like Halfords and Toyota – so check with your local constabulary for more information.

By remaining vigilant and taking these preventative measures, you could save yourself time, hassle and money associated with your insurance claim.

If you’re an existing One Call Insurance customer and you experience a theft of this kind, please don’t hesitate to contact One Call Claims on 020 3738 7300 who will be happy to help guide you through the process.

You can also visit our customer portal to report a claim. 

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** Please note that the above information has been gathered through secondary research. The information provided is not based on our opinion. You should seek further guidance and information before making an informed decision.

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