Insurance claims for stolen catalytic converters increased tenfold last year, according to new AA data. The motoring organisation said it had just eight claims in January of 2019, but by October this had risen to a whopping 79 claims per month. In the last year, there were only 23 catalytic converter thefts overall, compared to a total of 255 in 2019.
The exact reason for the increase in catalytic converter thefts is unknown, but commentators believe that some car dealers have struggled to get hold of a stock of new catalytic converters in recent months due to supply chain issues. As a result, many drivers have had to turn to the online black market, which drove up demand for these expensive parts.
Traditionally, this has not been the common reason for catalytic converter theft. Until very recently, stolen units were generally shipped overseas to be stripped of the precious metals within them, which includes palladium, rhodium and even platinum.
Victims of catalytic converter theft will be faced with a massive repair bill. They will not only have to spend hundreds of pounds for a replacement cat, but the damage done to the car means that repair bills can spiral to £2,000 to £3,000.
In order to avoid catalytic converter thefts, drivers are recommended to park their cars in a locked garage or – if they do not have one – in a well-lit, populated area, keeping the rear of the car close to a wall, fence or even the kerb. It’s a good idea to have a serial number etched onto your catalytic converter – and this is now standard practice for new cars.
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