Wheels, mirrors, headlights… Insurers fear increasing car theft

Back to USSR


The shortage of spare parts was known to motorists of the Soviet era. Then the cars in the night yards were “undressed” in a matter of minutes. They ‘took’ everything that could be unscrewed or torn off: wipers and belts, door mirrors, hubcaps, wheels, windshields and batteries.

The car owners of those years escaped as best they could: they removed the windshield wipers and mirrors at night, put the locks on the caps, and placed a protective device resembling a huge thumbtack in the rubber seal of the windshield.

Shouldn’t we think of the vigilance of the “grandfather”?

Insurance companies: although we do not notice the increase in theft…


The press service of the VSK Insurance House reassured us: “The number of objections related to the theft of spare parts does not exceed last year’s figures. To date, attackers are mainly interested in premium segment wheels with prices starting from 80,000 rubles.”

The insurance company Energogarant registered just one precedent last week: the rear-view mirror was removed from the customer’s car.

But the optimism of insurers is rather restrained. The calm situation today is mainly due to dealers and retailers having stock of components that will last about a few months – until the summer.

The most common target for thieves are original wheels. In addition, they are not only chasing premium cars, but also relatively cheap brands.

The most common target for thieves are original wheels. In addition, they are not only chasing premium cars, but also relatively cheap brands.

… But by the summer the situation may deteriorate

If in the coming months the market does not have enough time to saturate the market with a sufficient number of spare parts (and in Russia, spare parts for foreign cars are practically not produced), cars will be “stripped” and stolen much more often.

First of all, attackers will “hunt” for brands and models whose design features allow you to quickly remove expensive parts from them. Thus, the owners of Volkswagen Touareg, Porsche Cayenne and Volvo XC80, XC90 will lose their headlights more often than others. Mirrors – owners of Mercedes-Benz and BMW.

The shortage of electronic components, which arose before the sanctions, is forcing thieves to explore new areas. Vehicles equipped with active safety systems are at risk. They can lose “easily removable” sensors, cameras and radars.

Expert Commentary

Wheels, mirrors, headlights... Insurers fear increasing car theftTatyana Vilchevskaya, head of the advertising and marketing department of the insurance company Energogarant

Tatyana Vilchevskaya, head of the advertising and marketing department of the insurance company Energogarant

“There will certainly be an increase in theft of spare parts, while it is difficult to predict in what volumes. It is hardly possible to speak of a multiple increase in such crimes – simply because most new foreign cars are regularly well protected against theft by secrets, alarms and other devices. Parts for which the greatest shortage is predicted and which have risen sharply in price (for example doors or windscreen) cannot be removed quickly and without the use of special tools. Therefore, we are much more threatened by the growth of car theft – for further disassembly and sale of spare parts. In fact, we run the risk of ending up in the 90s situation.

Another thing is that in our country there is a large fleet of 10-15-year-old cars, right-hand drive cars – they are spare parts that are “taken away” from them.

Demand creates supply


How much the criminal situation in the car market will deteriorate also depends on how quickly the prices for parts rise. Today, many auto parts have almost doubled in price. The most important additions were the left front doors (+92.8%), windscreen (+91.85%), rear doors (+91%), rear fender (+90%), airbag (+89.3%), rear-view mirror (+ 88.4%), wheels (+88.2%), hood (+87.15%) and radiator grille (+85.95%).

If prices continue to rise, many car owners will not be able to afford spare parts. This means that some of them will go to the dismantling markets to buy stolen parts. Which fueled the enthusiasm of thieves.

Expert Commentary

Wheels, mirrors, headlights... Insurers fear increasing car theftAlexander Shumsky, Head of the Probok.net Expert Center

Alexander Shumsky, Head of the Probok.net Expert Center

“This crisis will be characterized by the fact that all brands of cars that cannot enter the country, from premium to mass-market, will be attacked. And European, and American, and Japanese. Owners of Korean cars will feel more or less safe, although with a Hyundai Solaris price of 3 million rubles, there will certainly be people who want to buy a stolen car (or parts from it) 2 times cheaper.

The gray market and the black market


Filling the market quickly with non-genuine, ‘grey’ spare parts can prevent the growth of crime. For example, components for Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Skoda, BMW, Audi, Opel, Ford, Fiat are produced by the Turkish factory Begel Germany, the Chinese company Ningbo Motors makes enough high-quality spare parts for Porsche, Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Volvo, and the UAE produces parts for American cars.

Carservices are already working out various arrangements for the delivery of original parts via countries neighboring the Customs Union. After all, the conditional Kazakhstan and Armenia have not imposed any restrictions on our country, and it is impossible to ban the import of European or American spare parts through them. Over time, such “logistics” will improve, although the services of intermediaries will add 10-20% to the final cost of parts.

How to protect your car from thieves? (recommended by insurers)

  • Store vehicles in protected areas and garages.
  • When you go on holiday, do not leave the car unattended for too long.
  • Put locks on wheels, do not neglect additional security systems.
  • Do not carry your car keys with your alarm key fob.
  • Check the functionality of the alarm. Sometimes when checking, it is necessary to adjust the sensitivity of the shock sensors and motion control in the passenger compartment of the car.
  • Lock the central locking while driving.
  • Install a mechanical lock (on the handlebars, pedals or brakes).
  • Install a search beacon on the vehicle.
  • If possible, insure the car against theft or expand the existing insurance for the current value of the car.

If the item is still stolen

a. Be sure to call the police and file a complaint. Without a certificate from the police, insurance companies will not pay out benefits. (Scammers who take advantage of the volatile situation try to cash in on insurance companies.)

2. Do not forget that it is necessary to contact the insurance company in time – read the contract carefully.

Source: Z R

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