We all work hard to afford a reliable car to keep us going. However, as this link on car theft statistics worldwide shows owning a car and keeping it safe from theft can be quite a challenging feat.
Thankfully, there are measures you can take to keep your automobile safe and save yourself the subsequent insurance claim headaches.
With that in mind, here are five simple tips to prevent your car from being stolen:
Always Be Alert to Your Surroundings
Going from place to place and appointment to appointment, we sometimes tend to get muddled up. In the rush of it all, we tend to absent-mindedly do things like leave our car keys in the ignition or forget to shut the windows. Between January 2016 and 2018, 229,339 total thefts with keys occurred in the US.
The rate of car theft is also increasing with the rise of keyless start technology. This is caused by car owners either intentionally or unintentionally leaving key fobs in the car, which of course, makes for a clean escape for burglars.
You might be wondering how someone can be so careless. All it takes is one forgetful moment and a lucky car burglar, though. So, always remember to be privy to your actions and your surroundings. Find a non-secluded spot to park your car, remember to take your key or key fobs with you, close the windows, and lock the doors. If you ever think you could be going to a high theft area, bringing a car jack will also be useful. Finally, never leave your car running with nobody in it!
Immobilizers are small electronic security devices attached close to your engine and prevent it from running unless the correct key is in range. Think of it as a second level of security to your car. Now, you not only need to start the ignition to get the car running, which could be achieved without a key, but you also need the correct key (or transponder) to be able to use the engine at all.
In Germany, the UK, and Finland, immobilizers have been mandatory for new cars since 1998, so they have long become standard. Australia also made them mandatory in 2001, and Canada followed in 2007.
But there are still many countries out there where they are not mandatory, so carmakers often avoid including them. If you’re in one of those countries, it’s definitely a wise decision to make the upgrade because it works!
Immobilizers have proven to decrease car theft by up to 45 percent. In Australia, they are fitted to a total of 40 percent of cars, but only count for seven percent of stolen cars, very much proving their efficiency.
Install a Tracking Device
While regular alarm systems can be of some use, experienced thieves will routinely disable them within 30 seconds. One of the best ways to protect your vehicle is to install a GPS tracker. This way, even if somebody finds a way to steal it, they will not be able to get away with it.
Preventive measures are good, but if push ever comes to shove and your car gets stolen, you will want to be able to track it. GPS trackers have become more common, and you can purchase some at a relatively low price. However, many of them come with a subscription model that will require you to pay a monthly fee.
Install Auto Safety Devices
To make your vehicle even more secure, equip it with warning devices such as alarms, steering wheel locks, etc. Using a steering wheel lock is a simple yet effective option, as it is known to deter thieves from stealing a car. The steering wheel lock increases the theft difficulty, which tends to discourage potential thieves. And since this is one of the more obvious safety measures, most thieves will not even attempt to steal a car with a steering wheel lock, as there are probably much easier targets around.
The security tire clamp offers the same concept. It is essentially a scaled-down version of what you really don’t want police putting on your car. Cheaper ones are available for $25, and they will prevent anyone without the key from taking your car anywhere!
Do not Leave Valuable Items in Your Car
Leaving valuable items in your car might be the reason why it’s being targeted, as thieves are attracted by shiny, high-ticket items that can get them a quick score. The best idea would be to keep valuables out of sight by putting them in the trunk or hidden under your seat.
At the same time, it would be best if you can move your valuable items before parking, as some thieves might also be watching out for people moving their items into the trunk and attempt to break in when the time is right.
There you have it—five crucial yet straightforward tips that can prevent your car from being stolen. For the most comprehensive line of defense, it is advisable to equip your car with at least two of these to keep car thieves uninterested in stealing your vehicle. By following these tips, you will keep yourself and your car safe. Plus, stepping up your security game will save you the hassle of filing auto-insurance claims!
Andriana Moskovska is a Community Manager at TheHighCourt.co and has a passion for engaging people in and out of the workplace. Outside of work, she is a documentary junkie and one of the biggest Lord of the Rings fans you’ll ever meet.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.
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Here are some additional NMA resources on protecting your vehicle from theft: