Long gone are the days when criminals could break into your car with a bent coat hanger. Thatcham’s Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre is responsible for much of that, because its work exploring and exposing the best and worst in car security has driven some manufacturers to turn their cars into fortresses.
That’s why, for the fourth year, What Car? has teamed up with Thatcham to present the leading manufacturer with the Security Award.
It’s Volkswagen that wins overall, narrowly beating VW Group stablemate Audi. Both manufacturers have 10 models in their respective ranges that satisfy the incredibly tough standards required by Thatcham.
All of these cars have great locks, a top-notch alarm and plenty of marked parts to dissuade thieves from breaking into and stealing your car. Criminals will also know the stereo won’t work if they rip it out of the dashboard and that there is also a host of extra features to keep them out of the glovebox and boot.
So why has Volkswagen won when Audi also had 10 qualifying models with an equally strong security package? In these circumstances Thatcham looks at sales to see which manufacturer provides these benefits to more buyers. Amazingly, it came down to a difference of just 414 sales over 12 months.
Consider that the Audi A1 qualifies and has only just gone on sale, plus the fact that it’s almost guaranteed to be a massive seller, and Audi will have a good run at the crown in 2011.
Then again, the list of qualifying Volkswagens has a couple of noticeable omissions in the shape of the company’s two top-selling models, the Polo and Golf.
All Volkswagen needs to do is beef up these cars’ security slightly and it’ll be nigh-on unbeatable, both on the number of models that qualify and on sales.