Catalytic converter theft doubled
Thefts of from parked vehicles have more than doubled over three years with reports of almost 25,000 stolen in the UK since 2010.
Catalytic converters are used to reduce the poisonous gases from vehicle exhaust systems; they are an important, but often very expensive, part and drivers can be faced with having to pay thousands of pounds for replacements. Some businesses are even facing severe short term financial difficulties after catalytic converters have been stolen from entire fleets of vehicles; luckily this type of theft is normally covered by vehicle insurance. The global rise in the price of precious metals is linked with the increase in thefts. Catalytic converters contain a mixture of these metals, including platinum, palladium and rhodium. It seems that vans and 4×4 vehicles are particularly at risk as they have a higher ground clearance, making it easier for thieves to crawl underneath.
Vehicle owners are advised to get catalytic converters marked with a unique ID number, this is done with a type of acid, or make it more difficult for the thief by arranging to have your catalytic converter welded in place. More obvious deterrents are to park in a locked garage if possible, install CCTV with warning signs and use security lighting – but at the very least try and park in a well lit area.
The Department of Transport say it is not illegal to drive without a catalytic converter but it is illegal to produce harmful emissions and most vehicles will need a fully operational catalytic converter to pass an MoT test.
Special thanks ‘sidewalk flying’ for providing the image.