All around the world, auto theft has become a multi-billion-dollar industry. The high rates of car crime are a big worry for many motorists. Considering the fact that there are far more cars on the streets than police officers, there’s not much law enforcement can do to prevent this intrusive crime. But you can protect your car by following our simple advice – the following steps can help lower the risk of having your car stolen:
- When parking at home, always use your garage if you have one and lock both your vehicle and your garage. If you don’t have a garage, always try to park your car in an attended car park that is well lit and near high-traffic areas. Avoid parking your car in discrete and/or dark, shadowy areas. Look for a secure public/private car park which you can trust. (Remove the stereo if you can )
Windows, wheels and steering wheel
- Always lock your car and roll your windows up, even if parked inside the garage of your home, however long/short you are leaving it. Install a glass protection film to prevent a thief from shattering your glass.
- Tuck in wing mirrors and put the aerial down to discourage vandals.
- Have the windows etched with the car’s vehicle registration number (VRN) and make a note of its chassis number
- Secure your wheels using locking wheel nuts.
- Install a thick steel locking mechanism, such as a club or J-bar, to your steering column, steering wheel, or brake pedal. Not only will this prevent the steering wheel of your vehicle from being turned for driving, it will also act as a visible deterrent for thieves. An approved immobilizer or steering lock can help secure older vehicles
- Keep your car keys in a safe place, even in your house, so that someone breaking-in cannot steal your car too.
- Get an alarm fitted. Alarms can deter thieves not only from stealing your vehicle, but also from taking items from it.
- Never give valet parking attendants or auto repair technicians any other key other than the key to your ignition. Also, be sure that you do not leave any personal information attached to the key or key ring.
- Never leave your car unattended when it’s running or when the keys are in the ignition—even if it’s for just a few seconds. That’s all it takes for a thief to slip into your car and drive away! Don’t leave anything on display. Even an old coat or plastic bag can be a tempting target for a thief.
- Never leave money, purses, cell phones, GPS units, or any other valuables within plain view. If you have to leave something of value in your car, place it in the trunk. Additionally, don’t leave a cigarette lighter charger, GPS or cell phone cradle sitting on your dashboard, as it may be an indication to thieves you’re concealing valuable electronics hidden in your glove box or truck. Leave the glove box open to show there’s nothing inside )
- Never leave your car registration, drivers’ license, or insurance information in your car. Always take it with you.
- Never leave credit cards or personal documents that include identifying information in your vehicle. By following this step you just may prevent yourself from becoming an identity theft victim.
- Always take your parking garage pay ticket with you. Leaving it in your car provides thieves with an easy way out of the parking lot with your car.
- A car alarm can be effective if combined with other forms of auto theft-prevention devices. If you have a car alarm installed in your car, turn it on each and every time you leave your car. Also be sure to prominently display the alarm decal, as this will act as another form of deterrent.
- Write down your vehicle identification number (VIN) and license plate number on a piece of paper and keep this information with your drivers’ license. This information is crucial should you ever need to report your car as stolen. Mark all equipment, e.g. car stereo, with your car registration number.)
By increasing the layers of security of your vehicle, you’ll increase the time and effort required for a thief to steal your car, thereby increasing his risk of being caught. As a result, would-be thieves will view stealing your car more trouble than it is.