7 Smart Car Theft Prevention Tips
When you buy a new car, the last thing likely to be on your mind is car theft. Unfortunately, a recent study showed that close to 3/4 of a million car thefts get reported annually.
You don’t want to become the next statistic- so take steps today to make your car hard to steal. Here are some things you can do to keep your car safe and lower your anxiety about car theft.
- Hide All Valuables When You Leave Your Car Unattended
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s not always so easy to do. Don’t ever leave valuables in your car overnight! Not even in your own driveway! And no matter how tired you are after a road trip, bring everything inside before you go to bed.
Don’t leave your car unattended with shopping bags left on the back seat, either. If you’re out shopping and have more than one store to visit, hide your bags in the trunk and out of sight.
This is one of the most common-sense things you can do to prevent car theft, but also one of the easiest strategies to forget or overlook. Remember, it only takes a few seconds for a thief to steal a car- so you can never be too careful.
- Park in Well-lit Areas Near Other Houses
Some homes don’t have a driveway, and that’s okay. You can still do theft prevention by parking strategically. For best results, choose a well-lit area under a street light, near other homes, or right outside your own window.
Discourage would-be thieves from messing with your car by making the idea intimidating. The point is to park your car in an obvious location, where everyone in the neighborhood can see it. A car thief would have to be super brazen to steal a car from a well-it and well-watched spot on your street.
- Install an Alarm System
If you aren’t able to choose where to park because your apartment complex uses assigned parking spots, don’t worry. You still have options for protecting your car.
Many drivers use car alarms to enhance their vehicle safety, and they’re quite effective. Car alarms can be set to go off with the slightest touch, which can irritate the whole neighborhood. But you don’t have to be THAT neighbor with the annoying car alarm. You can put your car alarm on a less sensitive setting and still receive the benefits of using an alarm system.
Next to cameras, thieves hate car alarms the most. They scare them and let the whole neighborhood know someone’s out there and up to no good!
You can even install app-based car alarm systems that work with your cell phone to alert you to an attempted break-in. These are particularly useful if you live in a high-rise apartment or your apartment faces away from the parking lot.
- Use Cameras on Your Property and Post Warning Signs
Another great way to prevent vehicle theft is to use cameras on your property. Warn everyone that you’re using them with “SMILE, YOU’RE ON CAMERA” signs in your driveway or on your fence. Thieves fear getting caught on camera because a camera never lies!
You could hang cameras around your house inconspicuously, but making them obvious is probably a better idea. The idea is to let the would-be thieves know that you’re watching them and their movements will get recorded. Most have no interest in getting caught and will move on to a less protected area.
- Use a Steering Wheel Lock
Steering wheel locks keep thieves from driving a car even if they do manage to break in. The sight of one inside your car is usually enough to scare away any would-be thieves. They’re designed to be obvious, and their intimidation factor is one of their best design features.
Because they know a steering wheel lock would be almost impossible to remove, they’ll move on and look for an easier opportunity. Some steering wheel locks have built-in car alarms, which add an extra layer of security.
- Boot Your Car
You know about those car boots that cities use on cars with unpaid parking tickets or other violations, right? Well, you can use them on your car to prevent car theft. Booting one of your wheels is the perfect way to prevent a stolen car situation because car boots are very hard to get off.
Their main drawback is that they take some time to install and remove. But if you live in a high-risk area for car theft and want something that’s 99% effective, they may be the best option.
- Install a GPS Tracking Device
Using GPS to track your car is one of the best ways to prevent a stolen vehicle. Most GPS systems are easy to install and hidden under the car where they aren’t easy to see.
If you’d like to learn more about GPS protection for your car, check out this article for more information.
Prevent Car Theft With a Multi-Layered Approach
You can prevent car theft by following the steps in this article. Rather than choosing one or two strategies, use as many of these as you can afford.
It may take an investment on your part- after all, some of these theft deterrents cost a lot of money. But when someone else’s car gets stolen and yours is still in your driveway, you’ll be glad you did what you could to protect it.
For more tips and advice about all things related to cars and motos, check out the rest of our blog.