Shop for your next used vehicle at!
View inventory

What is Intensive Anti-theft Marking?

Published on October 28, 2021 in Pre-owned vehicles by The Car Guide

In partnership with

One of the main solutions adopted by the auto industry to counter vehicle theft is to mark parts. It’s common practice for car manufacturers to mark approximately ten different components directly at the factory, but sometimes it's just not enough to stop burglars.

You might’ve heard of Sherlock: a company that specializes in what we call anti-theft intensive marking. This process was recently recommended by the Automobile Protection Association (APA).

In total, more than 50 different parts of the vehicle are marked with an alphanumerical code in the process, including the windows, wheels, headlights, as well as the rear bumpers and multiple interior parts. In addition, Sherlock marks mechanical components under the hood in order to make them less appealing to resellers.

Naturally, such a process is useless if the thieves only intend to steal the vehicle to go on a joyride. On the other hand, it constitutes a deterrent to professional thieves looking to steal an automobile so they can swap VIN numbers or even sell the stolen vehicle for parts.

Photo: Sherlock

Current owners of collectible or high-end vehicles could be less tempted to use this marking process for aesthetic reasons, but since such cars are often big targets for burglars, the pros of the marking process might outweigh the cons.

According to the APA, it is reasonable to estimate that intensive anti-theft marking reduces the odds of a marked vehicle gettiing stolen by professional burglars by about 30 to 50%. Sherlock even goes as high as proclaiming 80%.

Another reason for which the APA recommends Sherlock’s process is that no other marking company in Canada keeps a complete and reliable database of marked vehicles for the past 20 years. This database is solely accessible by the police forces, insurance claim agents, and border agents.

How much should you expect to pay? An intensive anti-theft marking process like this one will run just over 250 $. On the other hand, because the risks associated with theft would be much smaller, your insurance company can offer you a rebate on your monthly premium, usually ranging between 10 and 85 $ per year.

Lastly, note that marking isn’t mandatory when purchasing a vehicle, used or new. Beware of people telling you otherwise: Canadian law prevents retailers from forcing consumers to buy one product because they bought another.

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare by emailShare on redditShare on Pinterest

ℹ️ By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the use of cookies as described in our Privacy Policy. ×