Avoiding South Africa’s latest car wash crime trend

 

How many times have you driven to your car wash up on a Saturday morning, handed over your keys to the smiling attendant and left your car unattended for a couple of hours while you do your weekly errands? Well, perhaps you should think twice next time.

Many motorists consider their vehicle to be more than just a mode of transport – they consider it to be their badge of pride. As cars become more complex and systems reach new levels of innovation, criminals will find new and creative ways to steal cars. As crime rates continue to soar, South Africans are well aware of the perils of car theft and while we remain vigilant when it comes to hijacking and remote jamming, vehicle theft can still occur when we least expect it.

A recent report by MiWay Insurance revealed that car washes have become increasingly popular targets for criminals who  falsely identify themselves as the owner of the vehicle – and drive off in plain sight.

It’s important to remember that the next time you hand over your keys and leave your vehicle at your favourite carwash, there are a few things you need to consider:



Take the necessary precautions

Leaving your car to be thoroughly cleaned while you shop and run errands is an irresistible plan, but checking your car in on a busy Saturday morning creates easy opportunities for criminals. A busy car wash means a flurry of customers, making it less easy for car wash owners to remember the identity of every vehicle owner. So, it may be a good idea to go on a different day during the week.

If you’re unable to check your car in during a less crowded time, be sure to let the car wash owner know that you will be collecting your vehicle and that you will never let somebody else do so on your behalf.

Make sure you’re covered

Many car wash businesses don’t have their own insurance in place to cover damage or theft which means that you leave your car at your own risk. It’s also important that you understand the terms of your own vehicle insurance and check with your provider whether your cover extends to car washes.

We have you covered with Matrix’s online vehicle tracking platform which allows you to view the exact location of your vehicle via your smartphone or computer from anywhere in South Africa.

Each Matrix device incorporates multiple vehicle positioning technologies to ensure that your vehicle has the best chance of being tracked in the event of theft or hijacking. Our 24/7 operations centre will ensure we react to stolen vehicle reports in the shortest time possible.

For more information, visit www.matrix.co.za or call us on 0800 33 99 88