Car-jackings are surging in the UK.

Car thefts are sadly on the rise in the UK, and much of that increase has been put down to the increase in car-jackings.

According to statistics from the Home Office, vehicle thefts are at a 10-year high, with over 110,000 reported incidents in the 12 months leading up to March last year.

While keyless car crime is often the reason given for an increase in car thefts, AX, provider of vehicle protection technologies and replacement vehicles says that the rise in car thefts correlates with a recent rise in car-jackings.

Thief wearing balaclava is robbing phone from woman driver

"In my experience criminals are often unimaginative and sometimes the tactics go no further than simply dragging people out of nice cars," said Neil Thomas, Director of Investigative Services at AX and a former Detective Inspector for West Midlands Police. "However, as vehicle thefts rise, we’ve noticed new methods being used that are much sneakier than using physical violence alone. We urge drivers to remain vigilant and, most importantly, if you are threatened with violence, give up your car – your life is far more valuable than any vehicle."

To help protect against the threat of car-jackings, AX has prepared a hand list of tips, which can be read below:

  1. Remain vigilant and trust your instinct

It may sound obvious but try to remain vigilant when driving, parking or returning to your car- most people say they had a feeling that something just ‘seemed wrong’ before they were attacked. Don’t ignore your senses, as they are often right.

  1. Walk around your car before starting up

As you approach your car in the car park, try to have a quick check around it - thieves sometimes push door mirrors in the hope you will start the car and then get out to move them back into place, leaving the engine running.

  1. Don’t remotely unlock your car from a distance

In a busy supermarket car park, when you have heavy bags to carry, you may be tempted to remotely unlock your car as you walk towards it. This could help a thief pinpoint your car and make it easier for them to approach you without appearing too obvious.

  1. Manually lock doors before pulling away

Most modern car doors lock automatically when you drive off but, while you are getting ready to pull away, the doors will be open – manually lock them.

  1. If concerned call for help and sound the horn

If you are driving and become concerned you are about to be attacked, try to call for help on your mobile and attract attention by sounding your horn; most thieves don’t want to be filmed by witnesses because it increases the chances of them being caught.

Carjacker aggressively attacking a car owner with a gun