Help stop thieves! Tips to avoid classic and prestige car theft and insurance claims

Your clients love their classic and prestige cars, but unfortunately, they’re not the only ones. Car theft is a fact of modern life and the motivations range from opportunists looking for temporary transport or a joyride, to organised criminals looking to steal cars for profit.

But the good news is there are some simple things your clients can do to help avoid having their pride and joy fall victim to car thieves, and at the same time, help avoid having any subsequent insurance claim denied.

Security differences between classic and prestige cars

Nathan Dyke, motor underwriter at Dawes, says thanks to the improvement in factory standard security features, modern prestige cars are a lot more secure than classic cars.

“Classic cars have older-style locks and keys, and can be more easily jimmied with tools, whereas newer prestige cars have immobilisers and much more complicated key designs, in some cases even keyless entry with coding,” he says.

“So with classic cars, your security measures need to be a bit better because they are easier to steal.”

How to help secure your classic car

Mr Dyke recommends classic car owners consider having the locks changed after purchasing their vehicle and installing the following in-car anti-theft devices to improve security:

  • An immobiliser
  • An alarm
  • A GPS tracker

Displaying windshield stickers that advertise these security measures can also act as a deterrent to would-be thieves.

Parking and storage of classic and prestige cars

Where classic and prestige cars are parked can also go a long way towards reducing the risk of theft.

“Some of our insureds keep their vehicles at their business premises so they need to consider the security at that site, who has access to the premises, and how publicly the vehicles are stored. Security measures to consider would include a back to base alarm and motion sensors,” Mr Dyke says.

Generally, cars parked at home are considered safer as they can be more closely monitored. But Mr Dyke says the best place to park a classic or prestige car at home is in a fully enclosed and locked shed or garage.

“Ideally it will be somewhere that’s not accessible by someone just walking past on the street,” he adds.

Key security and classic or prestige cars

According to the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council, 70% of cars are stolen with their own keys1, so ensuring vehicle keys are secure is a vital theft prevention measure.

Mr Dyke says that when it comes to where keys are kept, out of sight is best.

“Your clients should ensure their keys are kept somewhere that isn’t too obvious or accessible, so a hook near the front door that says ‘keys’ probably isn’t the best place,” he says. “Storing the keys in a safe can provide an additional layer of security.”

Insurance claims and classic or prestige car theft 

When it comes to making an insurance claim in the event of the theft of a classic or prestige car, Mr Dyke says it’s important that the car has been parked where the insurer was told it would be.

“If the insured says the vehicle will be parked in a garage and instead it’s parked in the driveway or on the street without a good reason and then stolen, their claim could be denied,” Mr Dyke explains.

It’s a similar situation when it comes to a vehicle that’s been stolen when the keys are left in the car.

“A claim can be denied if they’ve left their keys in the car and it’s stolen. This is because our policy wording states that the insured must ‘take all reasonable care to prevent loss, including theft or damage to your motor vehicle. This includes, but is not limited, to ensuring that the keys are not left in the motor vehicle when no one is in the vehicle’,” Mr Dyke adds.

First class insurance with Dawes

At Dawes, we understand the risks and realities of insuring prestige and classic cars. Visit our website or call us on 1300 188 299 to learn more about our first class insurance for first class vehicles.

Dawes Underwriting Australia Pty Ltd t/as Dawes Motor Insurance (an AR of SGUAS Pty Ltd) acts for the insurer, Allianz Australia Insurance Limited. Consider the Product Disclosure Statement, available at before deciding if it is right for you.

1 National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council