Car theft might not seem that common, but one motor vehicle theft was reported every 40.9 seconds in the United States in 2017, and that number is on the rise. Luckily, there are several security measures you can take to deter car thieves and keep someone from stealing your car.
Lock your doors
This should be obvious, but sometimes it’s all too easy to hop out and walk away without making sure your car is locked. A thief is far more likely to be deterred up front if you simply lock your car. Leaving your car unlocked is a surefire way to put your valuables and your vehicle at risk. A good practice is to keep your car keys nearby as a reminder to double check your locks rather than trusting your smart key to automatically lock up once you’re out of range, or using the interior buttons to hit the lock before you get out.
Pro tip: If your car doesn’t have an electronic key, using the external lock and key to lock it before you leave it will also help prevent locking your keys in the car (hey, it happens to the best of us).
Install a steering wheel lock
Gear shift locks and handbrake locks work just as well, but the principal is the same: make it so a thief can’t drive away with your car even if they manage to break in. These locks work by immobilizing the car. Most car thieves can’t slyly carry the heavy duty equipment required to break the locks.
Test your car’s alarm
Yep, the sound, the flashing lights, and even the automatic emergency dialing, if applicable. Knowing that your alarm is functioning as intended can give you peace of mind and helps ensure that it’ll draw attention to any funny business even if you’re not around. If you hear your car’s alarm go off and it’s out of sight, don’t rush to deactivate the alarm with car’s key fob; make sure it’s not a legitimate break-in before silencing the alarm.
Invest in a car tracker
Car tracking won’t prevent theft, but they’ll make it much easier to find and retrieve your car once it’s reported stolen. The tracker will send out a signal that you can then access with your cell phone to find your car.
Pay attention to where you park your car
If you’re lucky enough to have a personal garage that you can lock your car up in when you’re not driving it, that’s great, but if you’re traveling or live in an area where a private garage isn’t an option, you can still take preventative measures to help protect your car. If you have to park on the street, be sure to park in a well-lit area, preferably near a home or business that stays pretty active. A secluded car on a dark, quiet street is essentially bait for anyone looking for an easy target. Regardless of where you park, be sure to store your valuables out of sight and lock your doors!
Keyless entry is pretty common on most contemporary car models, but many cars today come equipped with smart keys that can unlock and even start your car simply based on your proximity to your vehicle. While this can be a convenient safety feature, it can create quite the snafu if you happen to break or lose your smart key.