Is your vehicle secure?

The surge in theft rates is a pressing concern across Ireland. 


The rate of theft increased by 12% in Q4 2023, according to the latest figures released by the Central Statistics Office.[1]

Unlike other offences, such as burglary, theft in Ireland has now increased beyond pre-pandemic levels. The regions that experienced the largest increases last quarter were the North West (22%) and East (19%). Theft from a vehicle also increased by 23%.

According to recent reports, vehicle thefts had already increased by almost 60% since 2019 at the end of last year.[2] Cars parked outside homes, especially second-hand cars with older or no security systems, are primary targets, but modern cars with keyless entry systems are also being stolen by criminals who can acquire devices to circumvent complex security systems.

Many stolen vehicles are sold for profit or stripped for parts. The Garda Síochána states that a proportion of stolen vehicles do not conform to EU specifications. Since 1998, immobilisers have been installed in all new cars sold in the EU. These devices work by restricting a crucial engine component unless the correct key is used to start the car, and this measure has been highly effective in reducing car theft.


Theft Prevention

As a vehicle owner, it’s important to prioritise the security of your vehicle. Here are 10 safety tips to keep in mind:

  1. Check the security features of your vehicle and make any necessary adjustments
  2. Install an alarm and immobiliser, or use a physical lock to enhance security
  3. For cars without an immobiliser, use an additional steering wheel lock or chain
  4. Do not leave key fobs by the door, place them in a Faraday bag to block the signal
  5. Avoid leaving expensive belongings or equipment in your vehicle if they are not required
  6. Never leave any valuables on display. Leaving an empty glove box open can show potential thieves that there’s nothing to steal
  7. Always lock doors and fully close windows
  8. Install a tracker and catalytic converter lock for added protection
  9. Park under streetlights, spots where there is CCTV coverage or in a secure car park whenever possible
  10. Use theft-resistant number plate fittings to prevent tampering


What Should I do if my Car is Stolen?

The first step is always to report the theft to your local Garda station immediately. The quicker you make the call, the more likely your car will be found. Ensure you note down your vehicle’s registration number, make and model, and colour prior to the call to make the process as efficient as possible.

If your car has been stolen from outside your house, the next step is to check your property for forced entry and to locate your keys if they have not been stolen.

Your next step is to contact Gallagher to start your car insurance claim promptly. As a policyholder, you are entitled to our complimentary claims service, and we will assist you in getting back on the road as soon as possible with minimal hassle.





[1] Recorded Crime Q4 2023, The Central Statistics Office, 25 March 2024

[2] Conor Gallagher, Gardaí blame almost 60% surge in car thefts on less secure imports, The Irish Times, 26 December 2023