Mr Bean used to immobilise his Mini by removing the steering wheel. Luckily, there are easier ways to avoid having your car nicked that doesn't involve removing parts. Devices like steering locks are a safe bet, but an equally good option is a wheel clamp.
Wheel clamps will render your car immobile when attached and are nearly impossible to remove without making a big noise and using some seriously powerful tools. In short, unless you've locked up a very expensive car, a would-be thief will more than likely give up.
We've put together a list of the best wheel clamps currently on the market to give you total peace of mind that your car will be where you left it when you return.
What you need to know about wheel clamps
What different types are there?
All wheel clamps that work with cars will attach to the tyre, and so are called tyre clamps. These wrap around the wheel and prevent the car from moving. Axle clamps are available for trailers and caravans, but they will not work with powered vehicles.
What features should you be looking for?
The best wheel clamps will cover the wheel nuts giving you extra protection. That'll make it harder to remove the wheel if a persistent thief tries to take the car by removing the wheel. With any clamp that covers the wheel nuts, make sure it has a rubber pad to protect your wheel from scratches.
Make sure that the lock is weather-resistant if you're planning on leaving it outside. The last thing you'll want is your car permanently immobile because the lock has seized.
The final thing to look for is a Sold Secure approval. This means that the wheel clamp has gone through independent testing giving you the ultimate peace of mind.
The best wheel clamps
Maypole MP9065 Wheel Clamp
A solid choice for most cars, this Maypole car clamp includes a tyre clamp and wheel nut coverage, too. Designed for everyday use, this wheel clamp is manufactured to be corrosion-proof and has a rubber pad to prevent scratches on your car's wheel.
Pros: Wheel nut protection, tamper-proof lock weather-resistant
Cons: Not suitable for larger wheels (17"+)
Goodyear Claw Wheel Clamp
Best claw clamp
Possibly the simplest option to clamp your wheel, this tyre clamp from Goodyear is an ideal budget option for cars fitted with larger wheels. The lack of wheel nut protection means it's not the most secure option, but it'll still keep your car safe from potential thievery.
Pros: Fits a wider variety of wheel sizes soft-coated jaws prevents damage to the wheels can even be used on motorcycles
Cons: No wheel nut protection, not the most obvious visual deterrent
Attach and lock this clamp in under 10 seconds and protect your trailer, caravan or motorhome. As it's only a tyre clamp, it may not offer as much protection as other clamps, but it's brilliant for light use.
Pros: Easy to attach, lightweight option
Cons: Not designed for cars, no wheel nut protection
Nemesis Wheel Clamp
Best wheel clamp for caravans
Looking more like an industrial angle grinder than a wheel clamp, the Nemesis wheel clamp makes for an imposing theft deterrent. Designed for caravans, it'll protect your wheel nuts while protecting your wheel trim with rubber pads.
Pros: Ultimate protection including wheel nuts Protects wheels from scratches, cool name
Cons: Designed for caravans, expensive option
Stoplock Wheel Clamp
Best budget over-wheel clamp
On the surface, this clamp may not look like the biggest crime deterrent. Covering wheels from 13" to 15", it won't fit all cars but will be a good choice for smaller cars, trailers and caravans. The wheel nut protection will be welcomed and it'll be one of the easiest clamps to attach.
Pros: Offers wheel nut protection, good value option, two keys supplied
Cons: Only suitable for up to 15" wheels, not ideal for SUVs
Bulldog Wheel Clamp
Best for larger wheels
Perfect for more modern vehicles with larger wheels, this wheel clamp from Bulldog will keep your car safe. Designed for wheels from 18" up to 25", this wheel clamp will stop your car from moving and keep your wheel nuts covered, too. This clamp also comes with Sold Secure approval, meaning it's gone through independent testing to prove it's a tough clamp.
Pros: Wheel nut protection Fits larger wheels, Sold Secure approval
Cons Pricy option