If you are a car owner, then keeping your car safe and secure from would-be thieves and vandals is a top priority. It’s more important to keep your vehicle safe if you rely on it for work – 50% of tradespeople who’ve had their vehicle stolen are unable to work the next day, for example.
If you live in a high-crime area or a car-theft hotspot, you may wonder what steps you can take to ensure the safety of your car, van or other vehicle. So, continue reading to find out some of our top tips for helping to protect your vehicle against theft.
1. Lock your vehicle
This seems like an obvious piece of advice, yet many car thefts occur when a car has been left unlocked. Opportunistic thieves look for easy targets, so if your car is locked (as it ought to be), then a potential thief may think it is too much of a hassle and look elsewhere.
2. Don’t let the car idle
How many of us have left our keys in the car as we run into the house to grab something we have forgotten? Leaving your car idling at the side of the road as you get out to knock on someone’s door is probably something most of us have done at some point or another.
However, leaving your keys in the car and walking off is a thief’s idea of heaven. All they need to do is jump in the driver’s side, and they get to drive off with a brand-new car! So, if you are leaving your car for any length of time: take your keys with you and lock the doors.
3. Get additional security
Consider investing in CCTV to help deter thieves from breaking into your vehicle. CCTV should be placed in an area which cannot easily be reached, i.e. high up so thieves can’t tear it down. If the worst comes to the worst and your car is stolen, then having CCTV will be useful to the police in tracking down the culprits and getting your car back.
4. Park in secure areas
It should go without saying that parking in dodgy areas with no CCTV or streetlight is not a good idea to maintain the safety of your car (and yourself). However, sometimes you might find yourself in an unfamiliar town or city, and not know where to park.
In these cases, it is best to seek out a reputable parking service. It will be more expensive to park in a regulated carpark, but the dangers of parking on a potentially dangerous side street far outweigh the costs of a managed car park.
5. Get an additional alarm or immobiliser
A traditional immobiliser is a fantastic way to further deter thieves from attempting to steal your vehicle. An immobiliser generally fits across your steering wheel and makes it impossible for the car to be driven.
Of course, a well-prepared thief could find a way of getting rid of it, but this would take time and preparation. Opportunistic thieves will not want to touch a car with an immobiliser, but if someone does attempt to get it off, there is more chance that you will hear them doing it, and you can call the police.
6. Get a tracking device
Tracking devices are not just used by insurance companies to check your driving skills! You can also install a tracking device yourself, to keep track of where your car is at all times. Use of tracking software helps to ensure that even if your car does get stolen, police will be able to trace its location and get your vehicle back for you, as well as hopefully catching the thief.
7. Don’t show off belongings
Leaving your bag, mobile phone, sat-nav or other valuable items in your vehicle, is a sure-fire way to make your car an attractive target for theft and vandalism. Even if a thief has no interest in stealing your car, they will damage your car to get to the bag or phone.
Not only will you have lost money or an expensive gadget, but you will also need to pay for the costs of car repair. Ensure that any valuable items are kept well out of sight by putting them in the car boot, glove compartment or by simply leaving them at home.