If you’ve just bought a new car, or even if yours has seen better days, we’re sure you’d rather have it stay on your driveway than be whisked off by someone unsavory. Unfortunately, in the United States, a vehicle is stolen every 44 seconds. While half of those cars are recovered and returned to their owner, they’re often in less than optimal condition. You know what they say – prevention is infinitely better than cure, so you all need to protect your car.
Here’s how to stop your car from being stolen:
Keep hold of your keys.
We’ve all been there – running around the house first thing in the morning screeching ‘where are my car keys,’ and wishing you could call them like a cell phone. But then, if your car is stolen, one of the first things the police will ask is if you know where every set of keys is located. Don’t hide your keys anywhere someone might guess you’ve stashed them, like under a doormat. Keep them somewhere safe, even if that sometimes means it takes you a bit longer to find them. It’s a lot less inconvenient than someone stealing your car! If you think your keys have been stolen, change your locks immediately.
Buy an anti-theft device.
Anti-theft devices are pretty much as their name describes. They physically prevent your car from being stolen. Immobilizers, which stop your vehicle from being hot-wired, are a great pick, or a steering wheel lock that prevents the wheel from being turned and the car being driven away. Install an anti-theft device, and you might also get a discount on your insurance, too. For more ideas on anti-theft devices and wheel locks, click.
Always park in a well-lit area, as this will help deter criminals. Leaving your car in a shady spot means they might be able to steal it without being seen. Other locations that work well as deterrents are spaces near building entrances, or in the sight line of a security camera. Parking garages also work well, but do be careful, especially if you’re alone late at night. They’re not always the safest of places.
Remove your valuables.
Visible valuables can tempt opportunistic car thieves. Don’t leave your purse, or laptop case, somewhere visible if you’re leaving your car in a public place. Even loose change can be enough to get your car broken into, so don’t leave anything out in plain sight. Even if the thief doesn’t make off with the vehicle, smashed windows and stolen credit cards are no fun. If you absolutely must leave something in the car, lock it in the trunk. But then, be aware that someone may be watching you while doing so.
Close the windows.
This one seems really obvious, but it’s so easy to get complacent, especially if your car is parked on your driveway or home parking garage. Close and lock all windows and doors, and make sure your trunk is secure. In summer, it might make the first few moments when you get back into the car a bit stuffy and uncomfortable. However, thieves can get in if you leave the windows even slightly cracked.