The number of cars that get stolen every year continues to rise, and it doesn’t seem like these incidents will stop anytime soon. As thousands of car owners fall victim to car theft, it’s important to take precautions to avoid being part of that statistic. Here’s what you can do to protect your car from theft:
Park in safe areas
Your garage is the best place to keep your car since you’ll be able to keep it safe from both damage and theft. For an added layer of protection, consider adding a security camera and a garage door installation to further deter criminals. If you don’t have a garage, make sure to park in well-lit areas with visible security cameras or nearby storefronts and building entrances.
Don’t forget to lock your car
This should go without saying, but always keep your car locked. You’d be surprised how many people forget. A majority of car thefts happen to unlocked cars because they’re easy targets. A potential thief only needs to open the door and get in the car to steal it. Before you leave, always double-check if your door is locked, but don’t be too conspicuous.
Avoid leaving your car running
When your car isn’t in use, turn it off. Leaving it on without you inside it is actually illegal in some states. You might think that leaving your car running to do a quick errand at a store or to wait for it to warm up on a winter morning is safe, but it only takes a second for a thief to get a hold of your vehicle and drive off with it. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so always keep the engine off if you’re going to leave the car unattended.
Don’t leave your valuables inside your car
A phone, a wallet, extra shoes, and even loose change is instant bait for a potential thief. Most of them won’t even have to pry your windows or car doors open, they can simply smash your window to get a hold of it. Always do a thorough sweep of the contents of your car to make sure you aren’t keeping anything worth stealing. If you need to leave a valuable item inside your vehicle, you can put it in the trunk, but make sure nobody can see you do so.
Install an immobilizing device
Immobilizing devices can prevent your car from starting unless a button is pushed or a hidden switch is flipped on. They come in the form of kill switches, fuse cut-offs, and ignition disablers. They don’t cost much and you can get them at just about any shop that sells car accessories.
Set up a GPS tracking system
Like your smartphone, you can track your car if it gets stolen by installing a wireless or GPS tracking device on it. Some devices are able to notify the police if you allow it to, which will help them track down and recover your car faster.
The money and effort you’ll invest in safeguarding your vehicle will be worth it in the event that your car actually gets stolen. Protecting yourself against auto theft requires you to use common sense and take proactive steps to protect it against criminals.