Classic car theft protection

Alarm system, GPS tracking, immobiliser: there are countless ways to protect your classic car from individual thieves and organised gangs of thieves. Vintage cars from Jaguar, especially the E-Type, and Porsche, especially the 911 or 964, are particularly likely to disappear, but Knudsen Taunus and BMW E30 are also at risk.

However, classic car theft protection is recommended for every model, as they are relatively easy to break into without retrofitted protective measures due to their age. You can find out what you can do about it here from the professionals at SC Parts.

Author: Terry Bennet
Position: Sales
Updated on: 21.11.2023

Classic car theft protection: the basic precautions

Before we go into more detail about what you can retrofit to your classic car to protect it from theft, we list here basic precautions that should be familiar to every vehicle owner.

First things first: If you own a classic car, make sure it has a secure parking space. Ideally, this should be a locked garage to which there is no public access and which only you use. In addition, the following points should be noted in order to protect your valuable classic car from theft in the best possible way:

  • Do not keep your vehicle documents in the car. Because without them, a potential thief cannot sell the car as easily and may refrain from stealing it. However, most thefts take place to obtain parts.
  • When parking outside, do not leave any obviously visible valuables in the car.
  • If you park outside, choose a well-lit parking space in a busy area.
  • When leaving the vehicle, always make sure that the steering wheel lock engages.
  • Close all windows even in summer.
  • Do not keep your spare key in easily accessible places.
  • Even if it is only a weary consolation if the car is stolen: Take out comprehensive motor vehicle insurance so that at least the financial damage is covered.

However, you can go one step further and retrofit your classic with an immobiliser, install an anti-theft device or equip it with a GPS tracker. Find out now how this works and whether these measures provide 100% protection.

Classic car theft protection: concrete solutions

When it comes to theft prevention, it is always worth making it as difficult as possible for the perpetrator. The more time a potential thief needs to commit to his crime, the higher the risk of being caught. That is why it is always worthwhile to invest in a classic car theft protection system. In the following, we will introduce you to the specific solutions available on the market.

Newer classic vehicles have electronic immobilisers where only a transponder in the matching ignition key electronically releases the ignition. However, this modern solution cannot be retrofitted with reasonable effort.

Mechanical immobilisers for classic cars

There are many ways to make it very difficult for thieves to move your car. Simple mechanical aids are particularly suitable:

  • For example, a bollard that is placed on a base sunk into the ground and locked can prevent theft from the parking space.
  • A solid chain secures a motorbike or even a small car.
  • Wheel claws and additional steering wheel locks may not be visual highlights, but they are ideally suited to deter thieves.
  • Pedal locks that lock the steering wheel and pedals at the same time have proved very effective.
  • Alloy wheels can be effectively secured with rim locks.

We have a wide range of practical anti-theft devices in our programme. Please ask your SC Parts consultant at +49 2683-9799-0.

Install alarm system

An alarm system that makes a real racket and draws attention to your collector's car and thief is always a good investment and should be part of your car's standard equipment. Because spectators and listeners will scare off any potential thief.

Car alarm systems are available in a wide range for every application. There are devices for interior monitoring that are plugged into the cigarette lighter or devices that react to movements of the vehicle. The type of the safest alarm system depends strongly on your personal requirement profile. The SC Parts sales representatives will be happy to advise you.

Apply adhesive and safety film

More commonly used on newer vehicles, thieves like to break the windows of vehicles to get inside. However, this is also worthwhile with a classic car, because any precaution that makes burglary more difficult is a good precaution.

Install GPS tracker for classic car

GPS trackers cannot prevent classic car theft, but they can be used to locate and recover stolen classic cars. In addition, the GPS tracker can be used to send an alarm directly to you, a service provider or the police.

In any case, you should opt for high-quality devices, because inexpensive models can even be disturbed by aluminium foil and easily be put out of operation.

Artificial DNA as protection against classic car theft

Artificial DNA as a classic car theft protection means that an artificial material is painted on individual components or components are sealed or etched. In this way, each car is given very specific characteristics that can only be recognised by means of UV light. This means that your car can still be identified even if the vehicle number is sanded off or replaced.

Thieves will be alerted to the artificial DNA by a highly visible sticker on the windows - and hopefully deterred.

Facts and figures about car thefts in Germany

Along with shoplifting and bicycle theft, theft from motor vehicles is one of the most common theft offences in Germany. In figures, 212,643 car thefts were recorded by the police in 2020. Of course, this does not only apply to classic cars.

Thefts of classic cars are also becoming more frequent, with the rate almost doubling in recent years. Premium brands such as Porsche or Jaguar and especially rare vehicles are unfortunately stolen particularly often. But also the T2 from VW enjoys a high popularity among thieves. In some cases, the vehicles are only stolen because of certain parts.

Especially at events where classic cars are left outside overnight, expensive models are often stolen. Underground garages also only offer supposed security. Especially in publicly accessible underground garages, someone can come in and out at any time and spy on the vehicle and its movements.

The Netherlands, among other countries, is increasingly becoming a hub from which the loot is resold. Investigating authorities assume that the stolen vehicles quickly find their way overseas or to Asia, as Die Welt already reported in 2015.

Why classic car theft protection makes sense

Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee 100 % protection against theft, because some thieves work in organised gangs with a good infrastructure and unfortunately also with sufficient know-how. However, you can still protect your classic car by investing in high-quality classic car theft protection, parking your vehicle in a private and locked garage and otherwise taking to heart all the tips we have compiled here.