THE ISSUE

The theft of Catalytic Converters, Diesel Particulate Filters and Exhaust Systems has increased significantly over the past 3 years throughout Europe. The UK experienced 25,000 reported incidents of Catalytic Converter thefts since 2010. With multiple thefts being recorded as one incident, the actual number of Catalytic Converters stolen is therefore much higher.

Those vehicles deemed to be at most risk include LCVs (light commercial vehicles/vans), Motor Homes, People Carriers, 4x4s and Pickup-Trucks. The factor that links all of these vehicles is their high ground clearance which makes it easier to access the vehicle from underneath

The BBC ran a report at the end of 2013 highlighting this problem that affects the ordinary motorist, the small business owner, fleet operators and just about anyone who has a vehicle with high ground clearance. As part of their report, they identified Jonathan Elvidge's fleet of delivery vans which was targeted by thieves just before Christmas.

Fifteen vehicles were stripped of their catalytic converters when his depot was raided one night.

Mr Elvidge commented "We're all about gifts and gadgets, we're all about Christmas, so it was a massively busy time for us."

He added the thief managed to saw through and remove all 15 catalytic converters within 45 minutes.

Mr Elvidge continued "The cost to the business was significant. I mean keeping the vehicles on hire and bringing in new vehicles would have cost us £15,000 to £20,000.

"But the real cost is the lost revenue in the stores, which we estimate will be in excess of £100,000. So the real risk to the business was going out of business.

"We employ 600 people at that time of the year and all those jobs could have been at risk because we couldn't get the stock out to the stores."

Along with business' such as Jonathan's, ordinary motorists like John Prescott and his wife Marjorie from Dorset are being targeted.

John and Marjorie take their Motor Home on a tour of the South East each year, but 2013 was the first time they had ever been the victim of Catalytic Converter Theft.

Whilst holidaying in Kent John recalls what happened

"We had been out walking the day before and had left the Motor Home at the site for the whole day. I started the engine to leave and it sounded like a very noisy tractor. On looking underneath to see what was wrong, I realised that someone had stolen most of the exhaust system which I later found out that this included the Catalytic Converter. We called our breakdown service who recovered the Motor Home to a local garage. Replacing the exhaust system and Catalytic Converter cost over £2,000. We also lost the use of the Motor Home for 3 days whilst we waited for the parts to arrive and it meant that I had to pay for a local hotel which defeats the point of having a Motor Home. It ruined our holiday and I'm still paying the cost of replacing the Exhaust system back."

In Partnership with
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • Renault
  • Ford
  • VW
  • Halfords Autocentres
  • FORS
  • CAT1004 Fitted
  • CAT1007 Fitted
  • CAT1006 Fitted
  • CAT1018
  • CAT1017