In a survey of the top 10 most stolen cars in the UK the Audi TT is proving to be more popular to thieves every year.
In 2009 The TT was listed as number 6 behind the A4 and RS4 but last year it rose to fifth place.
All Audi TT's have transponder immobilisers built into the keys making it almost impossible to steal one without them. Although a welcome feature to reduce car crime in principal, in practice what that means is the increase in car jacking and home invasions in order to obtain the ignition keys.
As the driver of a prestige car you're much more likely to be the victim of a violent crime than the owner of a Ford Focus for example.
So what should the TT owner do?
Here are some tips provided by UK insurance company Esure
- Never leave your car keys visible in your hallway: It is too easy for a thief to see them through the letterbox and then decide to break in or use a 'hook and cane'.
- Never leave your keys in the ignition when buying petrol, opening the boot or popping into a shop: An opportunistic thief can easily drive an unlocked car away so long as the keys are there.
- Never hang up your jacket with the car keys in it: Keep them on your person and out of view at all times - whether you’re at work or in a public place.
- Be careful with your car keys at the gym: Thieves have been known to follow car owners into a gym and then target their locker. Hand them to a member of staff, use a gym with CCTV, or just keep them with you at all times rather than in your locker. Consider a neck chain, put them in a zipped pocket, or buy a waterproof case for them if you’re using the swimming pool.
- During winter months, never leave a car engine running to 'defrost' it: This is one of the most common causes of car theft using the original keys.
- If you have a garage - use it: Consider clearing out your garage to use for your vehicle rather than storage space to draw less attention to your car from passing thieves.
- Bolster your home security measures: With more car keys being stolen as a result of break-ins, consider reviewing your home security to include: a burglar alarm, window locks, a bolted-down domestic safe, and light timers.
- Drive with your doors locked: to reduce your risk of being a victim of a car jacking incident, keep all of your doors locked when driving your vehicle - especially when in slow moving traffic or town driving.
- Carry your car keys securely: Don't carry your car keys in a trouser pocket. Use a zipped jacket pocket or a neck chain. If using a handbag, put keys on an inside key clip if possible, zip or fasten your bag securely at all times, and a carry it close to your body using a diagonal strap if possible.
If you do happen to find yourself challenged for your car keys either in the street or at your front door then the advice from the UK Police is don't be a hero and hand them over. Not even a Bugatti is worth risking your life for, and in any case if you've had a tracker fitted then handing over your keys is unlikely to be the end of the story.
According to insurance assessor Euan Williams if you've taken the precaution to have a tracker installed then you're likely to get your car back quickly and undamaged.
"When someone steals a high value car nowadays it gets driven carefully (so as not to attract attention) for a mile or two where it is parked up somewhere discrete and then left for 2 or 3 days to see if it gets collected. If no-one recovers the car they take it to a breakers yard where it gets stripped for parts or in a container to be sold overseas. Put a tracker on your car and you'll get it back within a couple of hours in exactly the condition you left it, except with about a mile extra on the clock and a few drops less of petrol. Chances are it would have been driven more carefully than you drive it yourself.
You get you car back intact and as your insurance company may never need to know your no claims remains intact too. I’ve had a tracker fitted on every car I’ve owned in the last 5 years. With the insurance discounts alone it pays for itself in the first 2 years. My Audi TT was a bargain so I’d be lucky to get another one like it for what the insurance would give me if it went missing”