5 Handy Tips for Keeping Your Car Safe and Protecting it from Theft
We’ve heard the phrase over and over, ad nauseam, we live in “strange times,” or “unprecedented”, but in reality we always have, it’s simply a bit extreme at the moment. More and more people are scrambling for ways to get by and that means that more and more people are prone to dubious acts in order to survive. Crime is on the rise. There has been an increase in break-ins as of late and perpetrators are more brazen than ever. One of the easiest targets, when it comes to theft, is your car.
Nothing is foolproof, but there are steps you can take to protect your car from either being stolen or simply rummaged through to find loose change and the odd phone charger.
1. Don’t Keep Anything of Value in Your Car
A simple rule really, but given that your car is somewhere outside your home and vandals are more keen to not deal with people, don’t treat your car like a storage facility. Bring your sunglasses with you, don’t leave computer bags in the car when going for a flat white and even clean up paper work or anything that might signal that you’ve left any valuable inside. Criminals will pop trunks randomly, so even that’s not a safe place. If there’s nothing in your car, they can steal anything. While, most car insurance companies will pay you for what is in your car, keeping anything of value inside a vehicle is a beacon for a thief.
2. Don’t Park in the Dark
It’s like finding a tree to park under on a hot day. If you need to park overnight, and it’s not always easy, seek out a spot close to a street lamp. In garages, high traffic areas that are well lit are somewhat of a deterrent. Criminals look for opportunity and dark, quiet places provide just that. Parking in a dark alley to go have a beer with mates is not the smartest move. They look for the easy mark. So, do what you can to make it less likely for them to even look at your car as an easy target.
3. Lock It Up
Most criminals like it easy. An unlock car is one less barrier to getting what they want. There are plenty of ways for them to get passed a door lock, but the harder they have to work, the less likely they are to try. Some suggest that if you’re simply trying to avoid petty theft and you don’t have anything in your car, leave the car unlock. You won’t wake up to a broken window or a key hole mangle by a screwdriver. But, that’s a personal choice.
There are a number of vehicles that are more in demand in terms of being stolen and stripped for parts. So, best bet is to check twice that your key fob did its job and the car is locked. Don’t leave the keys in while running into the shop to grab a few items. There have been more and more instances of thieves waiting for you to go into pay for petrol or buy a soda while filling up and nabbing a purse or something while your car is unlocked while filling up.
4. If You Have a Garage, Use It
Maybe your garage has on old couch or some boxes of your kids schoolwork, but finding another place for those items and using your garage to park your car is a very good way to protect it from being stolen. Again, the easier it is to access your car the more likely a criminal is to have a go at seeing if they can get away with theft. If you can make room for your car in your garage, it’s a safe place to keep it and it’s much more valuable than that old sofa.
5. Take Advantage of Tech
In the old days we had steering wheel locks that we kept in the back seat and locked up our steering wheels when leaving our cars at the shop or overnight at home. But, a bit of Freon and a hammer and they break like glass. They still make it harder, and they would have to carry around some canned air, but there are lots of options when it comes to technology that will track your car if stolen or deter criminals from looking at your car as an option for theft.
We’ve all had a bike stolen from a porch or items taken from a backyard. There’s no way to totally deter someone from taking what is yours. But, there are easy steps and things to be aware of that make it harder for criminals or less likely that your car will be stolen or broken into. It takes a bit of diligence and forethought, but keeping these few ideas in mind when leaving your car, whether it be overnight or just for a few moments, you can keep your treasured four-wheeled friend safe.