Superminis no match for thievesWe broke into some in just three seconds

06 July 2006

Some superminis are no match for thieves and can be broken into in just three seconds, Which? reveals today.

That's how long it took our testers to get into each of a Citroen C1, a Peugeot 107 and a Toyota Aygo - each time without causing any damage to the vehicles.

With the best possible score for vehicle security set at 100, the three models got just 14 points each for preventing theft from a car in our test.

It also took only three seconds for us to get into a Kia Cerato 1.6 LX, while it took just 18 seconds to get into a new Vauxhall Zafira.

The hardest vehicle to steal from was the Audi A6 2.4 SE, with a score of 85, while the Lexus LS 430 4.3 – with a score of 88 - is the hardest car to steal outright.

Sophisticated thieves

The easiest to steal from was the Suzuki Liana 1.6 GL - which had a score of just 8 – while the easiest to steal were the Hyundai Matrix 1.6 and the Fiat Doblo 1.2, both scoring 54 out of 100.

Which? Motoring Editor Richard Headland said: 'Car crime is falling, says the Home Office, yet thieves still attack 81 cars every hour, according to the latest official figures. So it seems the fight is far from over.

'Thieves are getting more professional, too. The measures they'll take to steal a car, change its identity and sell it on are more sophisticated and harder to spot than ever.'

'Meanwhile, portable satellite navigation (sat-nav) systems are also increasingly targeted by opportunist thieves - they're valuable, easy to steal and easy to sell.

'But manufacturer response to these new security threats is too slow. Makers of sat nav units need to adopt anti-theft measures, while car makers can still do much more to protect our cars and belongings.'

Security tips

If you want to avoid becoming a victim of car crime, you should:

  • Use your garage – a securely locked garage will deter virtually all thieves
  • Park between other cars when leaving your car on the street. This makes it much harder for thieves to tow away
  • Never leave your car keys where a would-be thief can reach them. At home, try to store them in a lockable container away from doors and windows
  • Use secure car parks and never leave valuables on display, especially portable electronics and sat-nav units
  • If your car has an alarm and deadlocks (secondary door locks), make sure you set them every time you leave the car