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How To Prevent Your Car From Being Stolen

Having your car stolen can be an unpleasant and overwhelming experience. Being vigilant is crucial, as recent data shows a 24.9% increase in vehicle thefts in England and Wales compared to the previous year. In some places, the numbers might be higher. Whether you’re in an area that hasn’t seen a surge in auto thefts, drive a less appealing car to thieves, or generally consider a theft situation less likely in your case, it’s vital to up your game in preventing car theft. Below are some smart tips to keep your car safe from theft. 

  1. Never leave your running car unattended 

Whenever you leave your car running, remember to keep an eye on it instead of leaving it unattended. Doing otherwise is like an open invitation for thieves, especially if your car is unlocked and the key is inside. Sure, sometimes you want to stretch your legs midway through a long road trip or warm up your ride for a few minutes. Whether you’re using a manual start or a remote starter system, be cautious. Only fire it up when you can keep an eye on it. As an extra tip, if you’re in an attached garage, don’t let it idle for too long, as carbon monoxide can sneak into your living space. Plus, idling is bad for the environment and also burns unnecessary gas. 

  1. Keep spare keys away from your vehicle

Keeping your spare key away from your vehicle is a simple yet important step. While it might be tempting to stash the key in the glove box or any other obvious place for those “just in case” moments, it’s an inviting signal for thieves. Getting locked out of your car can be a hassle, but imagine the headache of dealing with a stolen vehicle. Experts advise taking your keys with you whenever you step away from your car, and your spare key should definitely stay out of the reach of opportunistic criminals. 

  1. Keep your garage doors closed 

This is a basic tip, but it goes a long way. Although leaving your garage open may sometimes seem convenient, it may eventually attract thieves to your vehicle. Leaving them open longer than necessary could turn your vehicles and other valuables into prime targets for would-be thieves. While showing off your garage’s stylish floor coating is tempting, it’s better to keep your possessions out of sight and secure. This way, you avoid unintentionally inviting trouble.

  1. Install anti-theft features on your car 

If your car didn’t come equipped with an audible alarm system, consider getting one installed. These alarms are designed to blow loudly, usually using your car’s horn, when someone tries to break in. The attention-grabbing noise might send potential thieves running. Keep in mind that installing a car alarm might require a helping hand from a mechanic or alarm technician, especially if it involves tinkering with your vehicle’s wiring. 

Adding visible anti-theft devices can be helpful, too. Think steering wheel locks, window etching, or even a flashy light from an alarm system – anything that makes a thief hesitate and move on to easier targets. Remember, the goal is to make your vehicle less appealing for those up to no good. 

  1. Conceal items in your car

It’s not advisable to leave items in your car unattended. However, if you don’t have any other option, ensure you don’t leave your things in plain sight, as that might catch the eye of a potential thief. Loose change, phone chargers, or even items you might not consider valuable could be an invitation for someone to break in, especially as you never know their motives. They could be part of an organised ring or just someone looking for a quick score. Whether it’s valuable or not, keeping your items out of view can go a long way in keeping your car safe from unwanted attention. 

  1. Get a private plate 

This is a smart move, as private number plates don’t just add a touch of personal style to your vehicle but can also make it more distinctive and less attractive to thieves. That is because criminals are less likely to target a car that stands out with a unique registration as it can be easy to track. Plus, if your car or number is ever stolen, having a private plate makes it easier for both the police and the public to spot, increasing the odds of reuniting you with your cherished vehicle. 

  1. Keep your vehicle locked 

Make a point of always locking your car to discourage potential thieves. It might sound like a no-brainer, but this simple action is a highly effective way to safeguard your vehicle and everything inside it. Before walking away, develop a routine of double-checking that all doors and windows are securely locked. Whether you’re parked at home or in a car park, maintaining this habit lowers the risk of theft and provides an additional layer of security. By adopting this straightforward precaution, you’re taking a proactive step to protect your car from unauthorised access and potential theft incidents. 

  1. Stay vigilant 

Keep an eye on your surroundings when parking your car. If you feel uneasy about your car’s safety or spot someone hanging around the parking lot, it’s wise to find another spot. Experts suggest giving your vehicle a quick once-over, ensuring all windows and doors are securely closed before you step away. Also, if you’re stepping away from your vehicle for a while in an open place, a friendly request for extra eyes on your car can offer an extra layer of security. 

  1. Choose well-lit parking spots 

When parking your car, steer clear of poorly lit areas or spots that aren’t easily visible to passers-by. Go for well-lit areas and park under lights whenever possible. This strategic choice can act as a deterrent to thieves who might think twice if they know their actions could be easily observed. It’s best to park in well-populated or busy areas where there’s a high chance of people noticing any suspicious activity. Taking this precaution adds an extra layer of security to help keep your vehicle safe from potential theft. 

  1. Boost your garage security 

While parking in the garage provides excellent protection against car theft, it’s essential to ensure the garage itself is a secure fortress. Beyond the basic routine of always locking your garage doors and any access points, whether interior or exterior, consider enhancing your garage security. Upgrade the exterior lighting surrounding the garage, maintain bushes and hedges near the garage to eliminate potential hiding spots, replace an outdated garage door opener with a more secure model, and prevent a clear view into the garage through the windows. These practical steps fortify your garage, making it less inviting for potential thieves while adding an extra layer of protection for your vehicle. 

  1. Have a reliable vehicle recovery system 

While having a reliable vehicle recovery system may not prevent car theft, it significantly boosts your chances of recovering a stolen vehicle. Ensure your car is equipped with a dependable recovery system, often built into newer models. These systems use cellular technology and GPS to assist the police in locating a stolen vehicle. Additionally, discreet tracking devices like AirTags can be hidden in your vehicle to pinpoint its location if needed. Some companies offer professional installation of tracking devices. Certain automakers, like Audi, enhance traceability by discreetly applying unique and permanent tracking numbers in various locations throughout the vehicle. Investing in these tracking measures adds an extra layer of protection to your car. 

To conclude, it doesn’t matter when your vehicle is parked at home, or you’re spending time on the road; the above tips are practical for safeguarding your car and the valuables inside. You may likewise explore more ways to guarantee your vehicle’s safety from unsuspecting criminals. 

Last Updated on 7 months by Lavania Oluban

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