From happy memories of road trips to frustrating memories of gridlocked commutes, your car is there for a considerable part of your life.
But what happens when it becomes the target of thieves? Use these car theft prevention tips to protect your automotive investment!
Park in safe areas
If you have a garage, use it! Parking your car in a locked garage adds an extra layer of security while hiding your car from prowling eyes. Some garages can also be hooked up to your home security system to further beef up your auto theft prevention plan.
If you live in an apartment, check to see if there is a large parking garage in which to keep your vehicle, as opposed to parking in an outdoor lot. Be sure that your parking garage has controlled access and that any windows or openings in the garage structure are properly secured from the outside. Always make sure the door to the parking garage is closed behind you before proceeding to a parking space.
If you do not have access to any type of covered garage, park in a well-lit and secure location. Often times, busy streets with considerable foot traffic are more secure for your vehicle than secluded side streets.
Make it difficult to steal
As in most life situations, low lying fruit is the first to be picked. If your car is easy to break into and steal, it may be the first target of a prospective thief. While it’s impossible to eliminate the possibility of a theft entirely, there are several preventative measures to make your car harder to steal:
- Lock all car doors
- Roll up all windows
- Use a steering wheel lock
- Install a hidden ignition cut-off system
Set up an alarm
While an alarm cannot prevent a theft, it can stop a thief in their tracks. Installing an alarm in your car means that anyone in the process of stealing your vehicle will be greeted with a blaring siren in their ears. An alarm also alerts passersby to your car, whether or not they notice the thief.
There are also a variety of preventative measures you can take to give prospective thieves the illusion that your car has an alarm system installed. Amongst others, these measures include applying alarm warning stickers to your car’s windows or having a single blinking red LED light somewhere near your car’s dashboard or steering wheel.
Advertise spare keys
The easiest way to steal a car is to find a pair of keys. If you have a spare key for your car, do not leave it in an obvious place, such as in your glove compartment or under the driver’s seat. This prevents thieves from simply breaking a window, turning on your car and driving away.
Taking a page from home security, do not store your spare car keys in an obvious place, and make sure they aren’t visible or near a ground level window in your home. This additional security measure could help prevent a break-in to both your home and car.
Leave valuables in your car
As a general rule, you should never leave visible valuables in your car. Visible valuables may not necessarily make your car an easy target, but they certainly makes it a desirable one. If you must keep valuables in your car, put them in the trunk or cover them.
High-value or sentimental items should never be left in your car, even in the trunk. If you have something in your car that is valuable, even if it is hidden, a theft would be that much more destructive.
Let your car fall into disrepair
Believe it or not, forgoing the upkeep of your car makes it a target for prospective thieves. A dirty or run-down car tells a thief that the driver has most likely neglected their vehicle, making it more likely to be an easy steal. A properly washed and cleaned car signals that the driver cares about their automotive investment and is more likely to have taken auto theft prevention measures.
These tips are provided for information and prevention purposes only. They are general in nature, and Desjardins Insurance cannot be held liable for them. We recommend using caution and consulting an expert for comprehensive, tailored advice.
In Quebec, Desjardins Insurance refers to Desjardins General Insurance Inc. In Ontario and Alberta, Desjardins Insurance refers to Certas Direct Insurance Company, underwriter of automobile and property insurance.