Volkswagen rated top in security awards

* Insurance industry votes VW top make * Thefts of cars have dropped from 600,000 * Motorists urged to take action...

Volkswagen rated top in security awards

Volkswagen has again been judged the best car maker in the British Insurance Vehicle Security Awards.

Its the second year running that the German company has picked up the top award, and comes courtesy of it having 11 entire model ranges that meet the criteria set by the judges.

Three Volkswagens the Sharan MPV, Tiguan crossover and Phaeton luxury car were judged top of their class, while sister company Audi also did well. The A1 supermini, A4 compact executive, A5 cabriolet and Q5 compact 4x4 were judged top of their classes helping Audi to be rated second-best manufacturer.

A full list of the winners is available on the website of the Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre, better known as Thatcham

Speaking at the awards ceremony, Mike Briggs, vehicle security manager at Thatcham, said, The standard of security across the ranges of all the major vehicle manufacturers continues to impress.

The motoring public should take great confidence from the efforts of manufacturers, who are making a tremendous contribution to the fight against vehicle crime.

The number of car thefts has fallen dramatically in recent years. However, although the industry recognises the car makers efforts in achieving this, it called on car owners to do their bit.

Andrew Miller, director of research at Thatcham, said, Twenty years ago, nearly 600,000 cars were being stolen each year. Last year, the figure had fallen to around 107,000, which is mainly due to the incredible improvements to security systems. Now, motorists themselves have to take measures to keep that figure falling.

With this in mind, Thatcham has published a 15-point checklist of simple ways in which owners can keep their cars and their contents safe.

Among the advice, it says that motorists should take their valuables with them, and if thats impossible, they should be left out of view. When locking the car using a key fob, owners should always check the car has actually locked, too.

It also says that, when on the road, drivers should keep the doors locked and the windows closed. At home, the car keys should be kept in a safe place, away from doors, windows or the letterbox.