Security of cars not reflected in price

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The Independent Online
EXPENSIVE cars are no safer from thieves than cheap ones, according to a report by the Consumers' Association today, writes Danny Penman.

To assess security, the association tried to break into a range of test cars, from a Rover Metro to a Mercedes C180, and estimated the value of any standard security features.

The Rover Metro was more secure than a Mercedes C180 according to the study. In general, Rover and Ford cars were given the highest security rating.

Kevin Jones, spokesman for Rover, said: 'It isn't a surprise to us. We've worked hard on security - it's our number one priority.'

Doug Wallace, spokesman for Mercedes, said he accepted the reports findings but added: 'It is our policy to give the buyer the choice on such things as the kind of radio they have.' He said that some of the models used in the test did not have radios fitted as standard and were therefore less likely to be broken into.

A Ford Granada 2.0i was the only executive car that the association failed to break into.

Paul Kitchen, senior editor of Which?, the Consumers' Association magazine, said: 'A nice shiny car is a tempting target for thieves - but it is still possible to break into some new models in less than 10 seconds. With car crime running at record levels all manufacturers must stop looking at security devices as added extras and instead provide them as standard equipment.'