According to the Insurance Information Institute, the country records one stolen car every 40.9 seconds. In 2018 alone, the National Insurance Crime Bureau reported 81,911 thefts carried out with the car owner’s keys. This means that with the proper preventive measures, car thefts can be avoided and will generally require only a few seconds out of your daily routine. If you are looking for tips on how to deter a thief from stealing your car, here are some that will come in handy in the long term.
Lock Your Doors and Windows
Locking your door can seem like a no-brainer, yet it is one of the most forgotten deterrence tools for car theft. It can especially become a challenge when you are trying to get to your orthopedic specialist while juggling toddler responsibilities without any help. Before rushing to cross off items on your next to-do list, ensure that your car doors are locked.
In addition to this, remember to close your windows. An open window will leave room for thieves to fumble around until they unlock your car, making for a leisurely getaway. To avoid this, check that all windows are securely locked before stepping out to complete your day’s chores. If you are shopping around for repairable SUVs for sale, ensure that any cracks that could compromise your car are repaired or replaced.
Choose Well-Lit Parking Spots
Another tip of how to deter a thief from stealing your car is choosing well-lit parking spaces. Dark parking areas are incentives for thieves, as well as parking areas with few to no passersby. If your office parking spaces are limited and may occasionally leave you with a dark unmonitored spot, consider leaving a bit early to get the best parking area. If, on the other hand, you need to visit areas that generally have gloomy underground spaces, consider leaving your car in a more populated area and walk to your destination or take public transport to your chosen destination.
Avoid Leaving Expensive Valuables in Your Vehicle
Valuables such as customized jewelry, laptops, phones, and handbags are likely to attract opportunist thieves since they fetch the highest prices paid for gold and diamonds. Avoid carrying such items in your vehicle if your drives are only meant for running errands. If, however, you need these high-priced possessions for your work, consider keeping them out of sight in bags. Additionally, you can also leave them in your car trunk before leaving your home to lower car and possessions theft chances.
Do Not Leave Your Keys in the Ignition
Opportunistic car thieves will also be on the lookout for easy targets, and leaving your keys in the ignition provides them such an opportunity. As an added safeguard on how to deter a thief from stealing your car, avoid leaving your keys in the ignition even if you only need to rush back to the office to grab your bag. If, however, you have occupants in your car during such a scenario, ensure that they occupy the driver’s seat as they await your return.
Keep Your Spare Key Out of Sight
Lock-out scenarios can be a huge problem when there is no one around to help you get back into your vehicle, a factor that may have you leaving your spare key stashed away near your vehicle.
Nowadays, thieves are much more aware of such hiding spots, with numerous car owners opting for the glove box or areas under the car. While staying out of your car or house will come with some discomfort, it remains unmatched to the cost of replacing your vehicle and the hassles that come with trying to track it. Carry your spare key with you rather than leaving it in such spots.
Leave Your Tires Facing the Curb
Maneuverability is crucial in car theft, and thieves will lurk around vehicles positioned to provide easy movement. When you leave your car wheels facing the curb, this tends to take away the appeal of an easy getaway and will likely force would-be criminals to move on to the next vehicle. Complicated getaways are a deterrent for even the most daring opportunist, so ensure you leave your tires facing the curb.
Use Visible Warning Systems
The seventh tip of how to deter a thief from stealing your car is utilizing visible warning systems such as steering wheel locks and decals. The former option poses a challenge to thieves as they try to work their way around getting rid of the locks and discourage many. On the other hand, Stickers will alert any car thief that your car is protected by a professional company that will take all steps to retrieve your vehicle if it is stolen.
In addition to this, you can also fetch your vehicle’s registration number on your windows, lowering the value of your car significantly, and getting rid of these markings from your window costs time and money. This factor works in your favor in preventing theft from taking place.
Tug Your Spark Plug
Vehicles are rendered immobile without a functioning spark plug, meaning no amount of ignition will start such a car. Before going out on your daily routine, tug on your vehicle’s spark plug. Once the thief realizes what they are dealing with, they will likely leave your car and move on, as fixing it would mean checking the hood for faulty issues such as inadequate fuel oil, which comes at a risk of being caught. However, implementing this tip will require a technician’s assistance as vehicles with a coil plug may present challenges.
Wrap Your Car Keys in a Faraday or Aluminium Case
Numerous car keys are currently designed with signals that help them unlock cars, an aspect that can be a cause of concern when dealing with knowledgeable thieves. To avoid these signals getting intercepted, wrap your keys in tools such as faraday bags or aluminum foil. These materials act as signal blockers, keeping away any lurking thieves. For extra caution, avoid leaving your car keys in entranceways or near your door, as these are some of the most targeted areas for a signal interception.
Install an Alarm System
Alarm systems are also highly recommended for anyone looking for ways to deter a thief from stealing your car. An audible alarm linked to your car’s horn is one example to consider as the noise goes a long way in chasing away any thieves. Some alarms also come as standalone systems complete with control modules, indicator light, sensors, and a siren. Flashing lights can also be another option to use with audible alarms, and its visibility will generally be enough to deter any opportunist. Depending on your chosen selection, make it a point to have your technician regularly check that your alarm’s wiring is still operational, with any upgrades coming in handy to keep up with tech-savvy thieves.
Install a Tracking System
GPS systems may come in handy after your vehicle is stolen, but they can also help deter a progressing theft in its track. With most thieves being tech-savvy, they can tell when vehicles have tracking systems, most notable when they are placed in visible areas. Rather than rack up lawyer fees or expenses for monitoring your GPS’s server resources after it is stolen, ensure that you get efficient tracking systems that are within viewable distance.
Use a Vehicle Immobilizer System
If you are also looking for additional systems of how to deter a thief from stealing your car, a vehicle immobilizer system is another go-to safeguard for your car. Immobilizing systems often incorporate wireless ignition systems, smart keys, and battery cut-off switches in your vehicle. With these tools in place, you can disable your vehicle’s functions and activate them only when you need to use them. These systems will also help you track any malicious activity in real-time, acting as foolproof evidence when you need to file any criminal law investigations.
Carry a Baby Monitor with You
Baby monitors may be your eyes and ears when you are at home, but they can also double up as a deterrence tool when you need help on how to deter a thief from stealing your car. Just like you would use a baby monitor to listen in or see what your baby is up to, you can also use it to keep track of everything that happens in your car. You can, for instance, place it on your dashboard to alert any would-be intruder that you are monitoring your vehicle at all times.
Keep Your Vehicle in Top Condition
Vehicles that appear clean and well-maintained show that the owners care about them and often have security systems. This means that if they are stolen, they are likely to be retrieved with ease, creating a problem for thieves. Ensure that you maintain your vehicle in pristine condition to enjoy this deterrent measure. But keep in mind that it also pays to have other safeguards in place as primary security tools.
Keep Your Car in a Secure Garage
Keeping your car locked in a garage means thieves cannot get to it unless they tamper with your home’s security, making for another safety tip of how to deter a thief from stealing your car. But to enjoy this, you need to ensure that your garage comes with the proper safeguards. Examples include locks on your garage doors and automatic alarm systems. But as you take care of these factors, remember to keep your cost of garage doors within your budget to allow you to spare some money for other car security details. Ensure that other costly items such as wood barrels are also stored away from your garage to minimize the risk of car theft taking place.
Carry Your Steering Wheel
This may be an unconventional technique, but if the other options are unforthcoming, consider utilizing this. It especially comes in handy for high-risk areas or if you park your car outside. Install a release hub to get the best out of this tip.
Pick a Vehicle That Is Not Popular With Thieves
Whether you want to drive your chosen brand’s latest model to appear fancy or simply love it for its features, it may be ideal to consider preventive mechanisms even before your purchase a vehicle. Some vehicles generally fall prey to theft due to easy hacking equipment, putting you at greater risk than the average car owner. Before purchasing a vehicle, research how often the particular brand falls victim to car theft. If the numbers work against you, consider switching to another brand or model whose features are close to your first selection. This will save you the agony of dealing with the hassles of car replacement which could have been prevented beforehand.
Install Outdoor Security Cameras
If your home does not come with a garage, consider installing security cameras around your parking lot. Make it a point to place it where you can view your space’s angles since a blind post may cause interference for your security measures. Where possible, install two cameras, with one placed at a visible spot and the other hidden from view. This is another ideal trick of how to deter a thief from stealing your car that will allow you to have backup when your initial camera is compromised.
Use a Tire Clamp
Tire clamps are easy to spot from far, with their red and yellow colors being enough deterrents for car thieves. A tire clamp securely holds your car wheel in position, restricting it from any movement until you unlock it. In addition to this, tire clamps are also adjustable, allowing you to utilize them any time you need to switch up vehicles. They also come with spare keys, meaning that you can use the other without damaging the clamp or your car wheel whenever you lose or break one.
Use a Dash Cam
Last on our guideline of how to deter a thief from stealing your car is a dashcam. Performing the same role as a home security camera, dash cams can also help you deter car theft. They will, for instance, record everything that is happening in your car, helping identify any would-be thieves who get access to the interior of your vehicle. This makes it possible to get footage even in dark conditions, so if your favorite parking spot is occupied, you can still use parking spaces in another part of the lot without fear of car theft. Numerous dash cams also come with sensors, alerting you if any of your car windows are broken and when there is suspicious activity that could result in car theft.
If you are looking to deter any car thieves from getting to your car, the above will come in handy for this. Also, in case of any car damage, consult the best lawyers in your area.