We’re proud of our cars, and even prouder of the work we put into them. Modding is much more than a simple vanity project: countless weekends spent researching and tuning up, whatever the weather, is testament to the passion and pride that comes with perfecting your ride.
It’s an unfortunate fact of life, though, that the more attention-grabbing a car is when cruising down the street, the higher the chances of it being grabbed when it’s parked off the street. Classic and tuned vehicles are prized targets for thieves, with the mods adding onto the resale value (while also making the car more recognisable to its original owner). It’s always recommended that victims of auto theft immediately report the crime, and keep an eye out in the local area. Modern technology, however, has made it easier than ever for anyone unlucky enough to be targeted to take matters into their own hands. Don’t delay in taking advantage of technological trends – check out how Audi are working with Apple tech – as they’ll radically increase your chances of being reunited with your pride and joy.
1. Owners’ Clubs
Most Fast Car readers will be connected to at least one owners’ club, communities where enthusiasts meet – online or in person – to discuss and show off their cars. Equally, most clubs will assist in providing any potential leads in your search. With excellent knowledge of specialist cars and parts, club members are more likely than most to be able to spot your vehicle, whether in the classifieds or on the streets. Posting on our forum would be a great place to begin!
Twitter has changed the way we consume news and current events, all over the world. With the ability to post instantly even when on the move, there’s a realistic chance that you’ll receive relevant info almost immediately, while there are countless profiles dedicated to helping aggrieved owners get their wheels back. It’s easy enough to perfect your personal approach too – uploading clear images of the car and any mods, tag regional and local clubs wisely, and hashtag intelligently. Twitter offers limitless potential towards mobilising your search.
Facebook has changed the world, moving much of our social lives online. Its business potential is also extraordinary: so many British businesses communicate with their customers through the site. A lot of these same tactics can be used to help with your efforts. Create a page, provide clear photos and contact information, and share with as many groups as possible. It’s worth providing as much information as possible – people love a good story!
4. The classifieds
There’s no place more old-school than the classifieds. Browsing the adverts, online and in print, is a great method of reconnaissance. Should you come across a potential lead, collect as much information as possible and contact the authorities immediately. It’s against the rules on some classifieds sites, but where allowed it’s worth posting a listing asking users to keep an eye out. It’s worth noting that we’ve found the classifieds to be more effective for finding stolen modifications than full vehicles, but there’s never any harm in trying!
Motoring blogs reach tens of thousands of readers around the world each day. Many are specific to local areas, and/or particular vehicles. Many bloggers and site owners will be happy to help you out if you contact them about the problem. Even better, most will be tech-savvy, and know the best ways to mobilise social media. Make sure you target the blogs wisely, however – a missing car in Doncaster is unlikely to be of much concern to American readers!
There’s unfortunately no guarantee in any method. Sometimes a stolen car is gone forever. Nevertheless, contemporary technology allows so many more opportunities than before. We’ve personally seen many leads, and even some convictions and arrests. We also recommend that readers ensure that they provide comprehensive information to insurers to pre-empt this worst-case scenario, as undeclared modifications may jeopardise potential payouts. At the end of the day, it’s worth doing everything possible to help your search – and should you meet some friendly faces on the way, all the better!