SmartWater forensic protection: How is it applied?

Smartwater Forensic Protection

In May 2021, Toyota announced plans to covertly mark more than 100,000 catalytic converters with SmartWater forensic protection as part of a campaign to combat theft. The application of SmartWater is a quick, free and simple process which can be carried out by your local Toyota centre.

Smartwater Forensic Protection

Although you can contact your Toyota centre to arrange a visit, existing Toyota customers can have SmartWater forensic protection applied to their cars free of charge at their next scheduled visit.

What is the point of SmartWater forensic protection?

In the first instance, forensically marking catalytic converters this way serves as a valuable deterrent against would-be thieves. Additionally, should the catalytic converter be stolen, it enables the police to trace back the stolen item and link it to a specific crime. It also raises the risk to all those handling the devices along the criminal chain, from theft to eventual disposal and recycling.


Toyota has worked with police and SmartWater to develop the initial batch of kits. Earlier this year, 20,000 kits have been supplied to police forces to support their local anti-catalyst theft initiatives. We are also working with the AA, our road-side partner, so its patrols can point customers to where they can get a free kit.

How will the product be applied to my Toyota?

1 Registration

The first step is registering the product on a national database. Vehicle registration and basic customer details are all that is required to link the unique code within each SmartWater forensic protection product to your vehicle.


2 Inspection

The Toyota technician working on your vehicle will ensure the ignition is off and the components under the car have cooled. Then they will clean the area where the SmartWater forensic protection is going to be applied.

Ignition off

3 Application

Application of the SmartWater forensic protection could not be easier. The product is contained within a tube and the lid contains a small applicator brush. Your Toyota technician will apply the product to your car’s catalytic converter. Once the SmartWater is dry, it is invisible to the naked eye and is guaranteed to last for 5 years.


4 Awareness

The SmartWater kit includes stickers stating that the exhaust system is forensically protected, as a deterrent to would-be thieves. Your technician can apply these stickers to your car. The suggested placement is on the rear bumper just above the exhaust pipe and on the windows.


British Transport Police Superintendent and metal crime lead, Mark Cleland, said: “Thanks to our joint working with SmartWater, Toyota and other industry partners, and the drive by enforcement partners across the UK, we have made a real impact in tackling metal and catalytic converter crime.

“While arrests continue to be made, it is the preventative approach through the forensic marking of catalytic converters that gives motorists the opportunity to protect their property and stop the crime in the first place.”

Smartwater Forensic Protection

So, to take advantage of this free of charge service and the added protection for your vehicle against Catalytic Converter theft, please contact your local Toyota Centre who can arrange for the forensic marking to be applied.


  1. I had my Auris 2015 serviced yesterday at RRG Macclesfield and Smart-water marking was pre-arranged. However, as the Catloc was fitted before the Smart-water initiative, the garage say they were unable to carry it out. I can see their point, but raise this to forewarn others.

    1. Surely, the Catloc being already fitted shouldn’t make any difference to Smart forensic marker being applied. Thieves can still get at these Convertors if they are so determined, even with locks on would have thought.🤨

  2. I have just spoken to my local Stephen Eagle Toyota dealership after having the cat. converter stolen from my Prius a few days ago and have been quoted £300 to fit a catlock , no mention was made of the free smart water application service (nor has it been mentioned by the local police, or my insurers) Is it still available and if so why was I not told about it today or indeed offered the application at my last service just a few months ago!

    1. Hi Sarah, thanks for your comment.

      We are very sorry to hear that you’ve been a victim of this horrible crime.

      Our CATLOCs are developed and supplied at zero profit to Toyota. Please contact your Toyota Centre to find out whether a smart water marker is available for your vehicle.

      Please contact our Customer Relations Team to discuss this further. You can contact them here:

      Once again, we are sorry that your vehicle has been targeted by thieves and for the distress this crime may have caused. We hope you are back on the road soon.


  3. Greetings – I recently (April 2023) purchased an approved Toyota C-HR from a Toyota dealer. Do you know if the smartwater marking is already done on the C-HR (since this is after 2021)? How do I verify this. Thanks.

    1. Congratulations and thank you for choosing Toyota, Raghu!

      Your local Toyota Centre will be happy to check this for you.


  4. Question for Toyota UK. Is the SmartWater forensic protection available for my daughter’s Aygo X (22 Reg), at the time of purchase in 2022 when querying protection available for the Catalytic converter we were only offered the £300 Catloc option, which seemed a bit pricey.

    1. Hi John,
      Thanks for your question.
      You can have SmartWater forensic protection applied to your daughter’s Aygo X free of charge.
      Please contact your nearest Toyota Centre for more information.

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