- Rating: ★★★★☆
- Price: £100-£115
- More info: disklokuk.co.uk
SINCE 2011, Driving has been highlighting the issue of hi-tech thieves defeating keyless car security systems. The problem is growing as more car makers fit these systems, which allow the driver to start a car’s engine with the push of a button, and more thieves work out how to crack them.
In London about half of all car thefts are carried out without the use of any original keys, according to the Metropolitan police. Some drivers have taken to locking the car’s diagnostic port, the socket mechanics – and thieves – plug devices into to gain access to the car’s computer. But it’s not enough: criminals will now remove dashboard panels to reveal circuitboards.
The only way to stop them is a mechanical vehicle lock of the sort last seen in widespread use at the height of opportunist car theft and joyriding in the late 1980s and early 1990s. And one of the toughest of the lot is the Disklok.
Thatcham, which does testing for the car insurance industry, recommends only two aftermarket locks for cars — one of which is the Disklok. To win that endorsement, which should be recognised by any car insurer, it must be capable of withstanding a two-minute power-tool attack and a five-minute assault by a thief armed with hand tools.
The Disklok is a circular steel case that opens up like the mouth of a Pac-Man, closing around the steering wheel and locking in place. It’s simple to fit and to remove.
Once in place, it spins freely around the steering wheel until the reinforced steel arm hits the windscreen or the driver’s knees, making it extremely difficult to drive the car should a thief get it started. The arm folds away inside the circular case when the Disklok is not in use.
It is available in a chrome finish, subtle silver or more visible yellow. Part of the appeal of a product such as the Disklok is that it’s a visible deterrent, and in that respect the yellow stands out most.
Each one comes with three keys, which should be kept separate. An optional stretch-fabric cover costs £5 and is a wise choice as it prevents the leather on the steering wheel from being scratched. There’s also a robust carrier bag for the Disklok, with a Velcro underside, which can attach to the boot floor’s carpet, say, or be kept under the front passenger seat.
Prices range from £100 to £115, depending on the size needed. Most cars require a small or medium size, which fit steering wheels with a diameter of 35cm-39cm and 39cm-41.5cm respectively. A van or motor home may need the large size, which works with 41.5cm-44cm steering wheels.
If you drive a car with a keyless entry system, or even an old classic car that could be vulnerable to theft, and have any concerns about security, the Disklok is money well spent.