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How to Protect Yourself from Fuel Theft

Posted on 18th January 2023
How to Protect Yourself from Fuel Theft

Fuel theft is something that collectively costs drivers millions of pounds each year. With petrol and diesel prices higher than ever and the cost-of-living crisis already stretching people beyond their limits, it is feared that this crime will keep rising over the coming year.

Back in 2018, it was reported that in London alone, over £1 million worth of fuel was stolen from vehicles and only 1% of those crimes were prosecuted. Nationwide it is thought that £9 million worth of fuel was illegally taken in the same year. But with such a low rate of prosecution, what hope do drivers have when the value this year could be so much higher?

We looked at some of the ways you could protect your fuel.

What is fuel theft?

This is not as crazy a question as it seems. Some people aren’t aware that the fuel is literally being taken out of your car with many people envisaging large oil tanks being emptied in rural areas instead. In fact, fuel theft refers to the stealing of any fuel from a vehicle, forecourt, or fuel tank. More common in winter due to the darker hours but still prevalent all year long, fuel theft is fast becoming a crime that goes largely unpunished.

How does the fuel get stolen?

Depending on where it is being stolen from, the thieves may use varying methods. The more basic thefts involve a tube to decant the fuel into a container whilst more advanced techniques include pumping fuel into tanks mounted onto the back of a thief’s vehicle. This can be fast and allows for more fuel to be stolen as well as a quicker getaway.

How will I know if my fuel has been stolen?

Most thieves aren’t delicate with their methods; as a result, damage is often caused to the pipes which then causes fuel to leak out. You may notice traces of this under or by your car when you next go to get in it. Aside from that, you may not notice at all until you try and start the engine.

How can I prevent fuel theft?

You can do several things to help prevent this offence from being carried out on your vehicle. Whilst we cannot guarantee your vehicle will not be targeted, these steps will go some way to minimise the potential theft.

Park tactically

We don’t often like to park too close to other vehicles or walls, but this method can deter thieves. They are unable to get themselves in a position to access the part of the car they need and then cannot steal your fuel. In addition, where possible, park with the fuel cap facing the road and not the pavement.

Use a lockable filler cap

This may sound obvious, and it isn’t foolproof but it does act as a deterrent and potentially lead to a thief reconsidering their actions. Always ensure it is kept locked though!

Get an alarm

A car alarm is of great benefit and even though we all hear them go off and many people choose to ignore them, a thief may not always be willing to take the risk of thinking it will be ignored. You could even double up by having your car parked on gravel. The noise of the criminal may alert you before they notice how much noise they are making.

Security lighting and CCTV

Another obvious addition to the list of potential security options is installing security lights and CCTV. The lights act as a deterrent whilst the camera acts as not only a deterrent but also a way to hopefully capture a good image of the criminal and help see them prosecuted.

Park near enough your security lights so they activate when somebody is near your car and look to have more than one camera so multiple angles are easily caught.


Should you be in the market for a more secure car to deter thieves, look no further than Euphoria Finance. Our experts specialise in securing finance for drivers that require either new or used car finance deals. Being a direct lender means that whether you are a new driver, or somebody looking for the best car finance for bad credit we can help! Each case is assessed individually meaning you do not have to fear being turned away. Enquire for quick car finance today and drive away tomorrow!

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