The majority of vehicles on UK roads will have a catalytic converter fitted so the rise of thefts will be of real concern to many of us – whether we own a personal vehicle, commercial vehicle or operate a fleet of vehicles.
Why are catalytic converters being stolen?
Catalytic converters contain a number of metals; rhodium, platinum, and palladium for example. The value of which have risen in recent years. They are therefore valuable if sold on once stolen – it may be possible to get as much as £500 for a catalytic converter.
Catalytic converter theft is also relatively straightforward – some reports suggest they can be removed from a vehicle in less than a minute. This article offers signs to look out for which may suggest catalytic converter theft is being committed.
So, we have two key factors at play – ease of theft, and the high resale value of the catalytic converter. We are also currently facing a rising cost of living issue which may exacerbate instances of theft. As well as supply chain issues which may play a role in increasing the amount that stolen catalytic converters can be sold for.
What can catalytic converter theft cost your fleet?
The costs of having a catalytic converter stolen can be significant to fleet owners.
Not only is there the issue of having to replace the catalytic converter and repair any damage that may have been caused during the theft. But there is also the issue of fleet downtime if this then means that your vehicles will be off road and unusable for a period of time.
The cost of replacing a single catalytic converter can be as high as £1,300.
What to do if your catalytic converter is stolen
If your catalytic converter is stolen, then it will be important to report this to the police. You should also notify your insurer if you plan to claim for the repairs on your insurance policy. Most insurance policies will cover you if your catalytic converter is stolen.
Tips for catalytic converter theft prevention
With instances of catalytic converter theft at a high, it will be important to take steps to protect your fleet vehicles and try to prevent this happening to any of your vehicles.
Here are some steps you could look to take to prevent against catalytic converter theft.
- Ideally keep your vehicle in a secure garage overnight
- If is not possible to park your vehicle in a garage, then be mindful of where and how you do park. Try to park in a well-lit area for example
- Park in an area where there is plenty of CCTV. This may act to deter thieves. You could also look to install your own CCTV if you keep your vehicle on a driveway overnight
- Parking your vehicle half on the pavement/half on the road can provide thieves with easier access to your catalytic converter so try to avoid this wherever possible
- Ask your garage to mark a serial number on your catalytic converter. This can make it harder for stolen goods to be sold on
- Consider protecting your catalytic with a product such as the Catloc – these can be provided by some car manufacturers
- If you have vehicles which are higher from the ground, it can be easier for thieves to get under them and remove the catalytic converter. If you have vehicles like this in your fleet be mindful of how you park them – you could park lower vehicles close by for example to restrict access
As well as catalytic converter theft, the risk of your fleet vehicles being stolen themselves remains an ever present risk, so you will want to take the necessary steps to prevent vehicle theft as well as catalytic converter theft.
It is important to manage risk as instances of theft rise and take steps which not only protect your vehicle but deter thieves from making you a target in the first place. It’s also important to ensure that you have adequate insurance in place whether you own a car, van or a fleet of vehicles and that you keep your insurance policy details updated. Get in touch with Anthony Jones today if you are reviewing your insurance and need some expert advice.