According to the Insurance Information Institute, in 2020, 810,400 vehicles were reported stolen in the United States. This accounts for 7.4 billion dollars lost due to motor vehicle theft during that year alone. Motor vehicle theft is a gigantic business in the US, and January is the worst month for auto theft.
Although many upmarket vehicles come with extra security, they are still susceptible to being hacked by tech-savvy thieves. You may think that if you own an older vehicle, no one would be interested in stealing it; however, this may not be the case. Here are a few ideas to help you keep your vehicle safe.
Always Ensure You Lock Your Car
This may sound like something from elementary school; however, if your car has got remote locking, sometimes you may not know whether the car has locked. Also, avoid leaving your car unattended and open, even for short durations such as taking the shopping trolley back.
During winter, frost jacking can expose your vehicle to theft. This is when an individual leaves the car running while it is defrosting and goes indoors. While they are away, the opportunist thief gets in and drives off. So, while defrosting your car, avoid such an instance by keeping your car in sight.
Always double-check to ensure you have locked your doors and windows. Many car owners often forget this basic security measure, thus leaving their cars at risk.
Garages and driveways are the safest places to park your vehicle. However, there are many extra actions you can take to make sure your automobile remains safe.
- Park next to a large window. Criminals don’t like open spaces.
- Drive forwards into your garage or driveway. This averts criminals hoping to get away with your car quickly.
- Park near the house as much as possible. Thieves are less likely to come close to a car that can be seen easily.
- In a car park, park near other cars. Isolating your vehicle means the thieves are less exposed to passers-by, and so they are most likely to take advantage.
- If you park on the road, turn your wheels towards the curb, and in a car park, turn the wheel towards the surrounding vehicles. Doing this forestalls thieves hoping for an easy getaway.
- If you’re parking outside a restaurant or a cafe, always try to park next to a window. It doesn’t mean you should be the one watching it, but it deters criminals from approaching your car if customers are in view.
Don’t Display Your Valuables
Hide any phones, devices, wallets, or purses in a lockable place, such as the boot or glove compartment. Also, remove your satellite navigation system and make sure you don’t forget the cradle. An empty cradle on the dashboard or windscreen is a sign that the satellite navigation is hidden in the vehicle.
Buy a Steering Wheel Lock
Steering wheel locks were a common sight in the 1990s, and now they are resurfacing as a way of employing old-school mechanical devices to prevent hi-tech car crimes such as relay theft.
There is a good deal of excellent steering wheel locks, including Halfords Double Bar steering wheel lock and the Disklok Steering Lock.
Keep Car Keys Wisely
While you are at home, don’t leave your car keys near open windows or doors, or in a place, someone can see them easily. Also, don’t keep them in the letterbox because criminals can snatch the keys from inside using a hooked wire.
Never leave your key in the car, and never keep a spare key under a bumper or in the car. Instead, keep your spare keys inside the house. In case you lock yourself out, ask someone to bring the key to you.
Use GPS and Alarms
If your car has an in-built alarm, use it. You can also install a GPS tracking system that sends alerts to your computer or smartphone. This enables you to give the police the exact location of your car in case it is stolen.
Choose a Secure Car
When shopping for a vehicle, ensure you purchase one that has the approved safety requirements and has been inspected by a certified product safety and conformity representative. So, check with your dealer to ensure that the vehicle you are purchasing has the approved safety standards.
Your car needs regular checkups besides oil change and tire pressure checks, to ensure it remains safe and not prone to theft. To get your car checked for all the safety requirements, contact a car expert near you.