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Car Theft Prevention

Car Theft Prevention

What is the best way to protect your car against theft? With the FBI reporting

721,053 thefts in 2012 alone, it’s a question that should be on every car owner’s mind.

Professional thieves make a living out of stealing cars because they know tricks that you don’t. However, taking certain precautions will reduce your chance of becoming a victim of car theft.

Layer Your Vehicle Protection

Layering anti-theft devices is a comprehensive approach to preventing auto theft. With the right combination, you guard the car in a number of ways and reduce your chances of theft.

Add an Alarm

A car alarm can stop a thief in his tracks before he even tries to steal the car.

As an added benefit, some car insurance providers offer a discount for owners that install an alarm system.

Consider an Immobilization Device

An immobilization device works as an added layer of protection by keeping a thief from hot-wiring your car.

Some model cars come equipped with a hidden button that the driver must push before starting it.

Similarly, smart keys have a chip installed, so the car will not start without the right key.

Install a Tracking System

This is a practical way to locate a stolen car. There are different types of tracking devices on the market.

  • A passive system is like the black box airplanes carry.
    • It sits in the glove box and stores GPS information such as distance, speed and trip time.
  • Real-time tracking allows you to monitor your car in real time from a mobile device.
    • With some products, you can disable the starter on the car, and the system will alert you if the car leaves a specified area.

When you install an anti-theft device, make sure to put a sticker or other type notification somewhere that thieves can see it.

Incorporate Common Sense

Breaking bad habits will go a long way toward preventing theft.

  • Don’t leave the keys in your car.Whether you put them in the glove box or leave them hanging in the ignition, you are supplying a potential car thief with everything he needs to drive off with your ride.
  • Lock the doors. If you don’t lock your vehicle regularly, now is a good time to start. Force yourself to double check to make sure your keys are where they should be before walking away from the car, then lock the doors.
  • Park in a well-lit area. The dark area of a parking lot or street is the first place car thieves will look.

Interesting Facts About Car Theft

Some other interesting facts you might not know about motor vehicle theft include the following:

  • In 2012, the American consumers lost over $4.3B to car thieves.
  • Older cars are high targets for thieves.
    • Thieves can strip older cars down for hard-to-find parts that are worth more money.
  • An expert thief can pop a car door and start the vehicle in less than a minute.

Impact of Theft on Car Insurance

Auto theft has an impact, both direct and indirect, on car insurance rates, too. The escalation of thefts is forcing the insurance industry to raise premiums.

If you have settled a claim in the past for a stolen car, chances are your insurance may go up next time you renew. It is worth the time and money to find ways to safeguard your car.

For more information on the effect of theft on your car insurance rates, see our Auto Claims and Car Insurance page.

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