Theft is a common problem facing car owners globally. Studies show experienced criminals can steal a vehicle in less than thirty seconds.
This experience is stressful and expensive; you may have to sacrifice convenience when running your errands. It’s even more painful if you haven’t completed the payments on your car purchase.
Therefore, stay vigilant and take preventative measures to protect your valuable ride. Here are some effective tips to outsmart thieves.
1. Don’t leave the engine running unattended
Avoid the temptation to leave your car idling while you are at a considerable distance from the automobile. Understandably, drivers sometimes leave their engines running because they plan to grab something and get back inside quickly.
Unfortunately, this practice makes you vulnerable to carjackers. When you leave the car running unattended, you simplify the task of stealing your car.
It would be best if you took the time to turn off the ignition and remove the keys before stepping away. Those extra minutes it takes you to return are worth keeping your ride safe.
2. Always lock the doors
Many car thefts occur due to careless mistakes, like not locking the doors – in this situation, all a thief needs to do is jump inside and start operating. Fortunately, modern cars now come with remote keyless entry; some can auto-lock as soon as they don’t detect signals from the key.
Remote keyless entry is a convenient feature, but it has security disadvantages as well. The technology makes it easier for criminals to steal a car if the driver leaves the keys inside. One report cites that one in eight car theft cases results from car owners leaving key fobs in their vehicles.
Additionally, many people forget to lock their cars in the garage. However, such a habit can increase your risk of experiencing car theft, especially in warmer months. It’s worth noting that hiding your spare key is important. In the case of burglary, a key in plain sight will provide easy access to your car.
3. Invest in an audible alarm
If your car lacks an audible alarm system, install one. These systems can emit loud noises with the car’s horn when an intruder attempts to enter the vehicle. This unwanted attention can frighten a potential thief.
There are several kinds of vehicle alarm systems, but remember to get a mechanic or alarm technician to install the device correctly.
If a thief is not sure they can move your car quietly, they probably won’t want to steal it.
4. Get a private car number plate
There are numerous ways to discourage criminals from stealing vehicles, but one overlooked security advantage is personalised number plates.
Cars with private number plates are easy to identify as they stand out at any location.
They should be road-legal and readable, so work with licensing authorities when customising them.
5. Use an immobiliser
Smart thieves can bypass the ignition by hotwiring a vehicle. One strategy to prevent this risk is to deploy an immobiliser.
According to NICB, these systems use smart keys, kill switches, and wireless ignition authentication to protect automobiles.
The security technology disables a vehicle so that thieves cannot use fake keys to make off with your ride.
6. Install a tracking system
Another strategy to protect your vehicle is to install a tracking system, also known as a vehicle recovery system.
As with other auto security systems, you may have to get a professional to install this device.
When you lose your car to thieves, the tracking system will use wireless technology or GPS to transmit the vehicle’s location to the monitoring system or the police. This may help law enforcement retrieve a stolen vehicle faster.
7. Safeguard your driveway
Parking your ride at home doesn’t make you 100% safe from thieves. The majority of car thefts take place in the owner’s driveway or along the street near their home. That’s why safeguarding your driveway and garage is essential.
Consider installing good lighting systems to brighten the driveway, and invest in garage door control systems. This security tool can alert you whenever the door is open; you can close the garage from your smartphone.
Security cameras use proprietary tech to identify lurkers on your property. It can play an audible tone to let thieves know you have spotted them.
8. Don’t park in dark areas
Parking in dark areas can be risky since thieves often take advantage of poor visibility to operate.
Try to park your car in well-lit, busy, and exposed areas as much as possible. Criminals are less likely to target a car in highly visible locations as they fear the risks of getting caught.
One best way is to park in multi-level car parks, near security cameras, and places with regular foot traffic.
9. Hide valuables in your car
One way to motivate a thief is to leave items like phones in highly visible areas in your car. It would be best if you leave valuable belongings at home. However, if this is not possible, place them in hard-to-reach areas in your car.
Consider putting high-value materials in the trunk before heading to your destination as thieves scope parking lots.
Since there is nothing to motivate them, they won’t be enthusiastic about stealing your car and going to jail for nothing.
10. Turn the steering wheel towards the curb when parking
This is another smart strategy to prevent car theft. If you turn your car’s steering wheel toward the curb, potential thieves will require a bit of manoeuvring and extra time to get away.
By making it harder for criminals to move the car quickly, you are protecting your ride. This idea is especially effective when integrated with other theft deterrent mechanisms like audible alarms and tracking devices.
The security tip is also recommended for parking safely in parking lots. If leaving the parking space is easy for the car owner, it will be much easier for a thief, too.
It’s not fun when your car is stolen, so taking the steps to prevent this is prudent. Hopefully, the tips discussed above will help you out.