Reduce the chance of your catalytic converter being stolen
If you’re worried that thieves might target your car’s catalytic converter, there’s still hope.
Our tips below could prevent a would-be criminal from completing their next dodgy scrap metal deal.
1. Choose where to park your car carefully
Where possible, park your car in a locked garage.
If you don’t have the luxury of off-street parking or you’re not at home, you should park with the side of the car closest to the catalytic converter near to a fence, wall, high kerb or other vehicles, and avoid mounting the pavement on two wheels. In most cases this is the side where your exhaust pipe is.
Catalytic converter thieves need to get under your car to get a hold of their loot. You should make this as difficult as possible and give them limited space to use a jack and to slide beneath your vehicle to unscrew bolts or cut parts away using power tools.
Some brazen criminals will work in broad daylight, but parking in well-lit areas
to prevent the thieves from working under the cover of darkness can help.
For more info on the in's and out's of parking in different places, read our guide to parking
2. Boost your home security
To boost your home security, you can invest in sturdy garage doors, CCTV systems and even alarms for your driveway. Kit out your property with three things in mind:
Try fitting reinforced garage doors or adding a motion-triggered security light overlooking your drive. A combination of both will help to deter would-be thieves before
CCTV cameras will help you to gather evidence during
a theft. Look out for weatherproof models with an IP66 rating or higher, and options that capture footage in low light conditions.
Some driveway alarm systems will alert the police immediately when they detect an intruder. The automated technology can make all the difference after
a crime and may help the police catch a fleeing criminal.
For true peace of mind, consider products approved by Secure by Design (SbD). The police-owned initiative provides a recognised standard for security products that can deter and reduce crime.
Not all security features
have to involve top-of-the-range technology. You can try adding gravel or other loose material to your drive to deter intruders from stepping foot on your property.
You should also ensure that fences, bushes and walls at the front of your garden are no more than one metre high.2 That way you give intruders less opportunity to hide and can keep an eye on your car if it’s parked on the street outside your property.
3. Add a lock, guard or alarm to your vehicle
Locks and guards for the underside of cars are also available. However, you should declare the security features with your insurance provider
and check if adding one might affect a future claim.
Some manufacturers are offering locks to slow thieves down if they try to remove your catalytic converter.
Toyota, for example, will fit a 'Catloc' for the Prius (3rd generation) and Auris (2nd generation). You can contact your Toyota dealership for more information.
Elsewhere, mechanics have started fitting makeshift ‘cat cages
’ as an extra layer of protection. Alternatively, you could ask a trusted garage
to weld bolts shut to make them more difficult to loosen.
There is one more option; a Thatcham category alarm
. Category 1 devices
use tilt sensors to detect if your car is being lifted by a jack before it sounds an audible alarm.
You can check if your vehicle is fitted with a Thatcham device by visiting the Thatcham Research
4. Mark your catalytic converter
You can ask a garage
to add a serial number to your catalytic converter too. The Scrap Metal Dealers Act requires that dealers check the identity of sellers against the unique code.
Although illegal sales have continued since, trusted dealers should check the combination of letters and numbers to identify which car the part belongs to and improve your chances of retrieving it.
You’ll also receive a window sticker indicating that your catalytic converter has been marked – another way to deter potential thieves.
5. Report suspicious activity to the police
It may seem obvious but contacting the police is one of the best ways to prevent catalytic converter theft.
If the situation isn’t an emergency, try calling the police on 101
. Alternatively, you can report an incident using an online form
Whatever you do, you should gather as much information as possible, including any vehicle registrations.