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Fleets warned of growing threat from car parts thieves

The warning comes from Allianz Insurance, which says that such vehicle crime is causing considerable cost to UK businesses.

The insurer says that not only is the current trend for rising metal prices increasing the instances of catalytic theft – the BBC reported last November that thefts of catalytic converters from motor vehicles have more than doubled over the past three years – but also warns that the value of detachable devices from vehicles doesn’t stop there, with thieves also removing tyres and aluminium door panels.

For fleets, the cost of the repairs is only one part of the problem, with the affected vehicle’s time off road also hitting the balance sheets. Allianz also says that repairs can often be more costly due to thieves’ hastily removing parts and causing more damage.

Sarah Mallaby, head of motor claims at Allianz Insurance, said: ‘We know that criminals are targeting fleets of vehicles to capitalise on the value of catalytic converters and the increasingly valuable metals they contain. Businesses need to consider how secure their premises are to avoid becoming a victim of this crime and facing thousands of pounds worth of damage, as well as the difficulties of operating on a reduced number of vehicles.’

In response, Allianz Insurance offers the following advice to businesses:

  • Whether you’re parking a fleet in a garage, car park, or on the street, try to leave vehicles in well-lit areas.
  • Consider investing in security lights to react to any movement and ensure these are tested regularly.
  • CCTV can act as a deterrent and is most effective when monitored off site. For further security, businesses could look to implement perimeter security.
  • Mark expensive removable items such as catalytic converters and spare tyres with security etchings to deter criminals.
  • Fleet managers could consider removing catalytic converters where possible, or invest in catalytic converter protectors.
  • Store valuable goods in alarmed and locked buildings, and know where the keys are at all times.
  • Think smartly about parking, positioning the most expensive vehicles surrounded by those that are a lower risk.
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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.