Protecting Your Vehicle from Theft: Tips and Best Practices

Protecting Your Vehicle from Theft: Tips and Best Practices

Auto theft and break-ins seem to be a perennial problem, but you’re not powerless to protect yourself and your property. The truth is that it doesn’t take much to outsmart most of the criminals stalking your garage, driveway or parking lot.

Cover the Basics

Whether you’re preparing to purchase a new Volvo for sale or still rolling in a car you’ve had for years, the most effective ways to keep thieves out of your car are the simplest. The foundation of vehicle security is built on fundamental tips like these:

  • Don’t leave your car unlocked. Even if you expect to return to your car quickly, professional thieves can be even quicker.
  • Don’t leave valuables inside. If you absolutely must stop and park somewhere with valuable items in your car, make sure they aren’t visible.
  • Put your windows up. You’re better off returning to a hot car than returning to find your car is gone!
  • Turn on your alarm. Many key fobs require you to press the lock button twice to activate the alarm. Don’t skip that second press.

As a sensible driver, you already know these are the right things to do. Stay vigilant and take care of the basics every single time you leave your car.

Plan Ahead to Get Ahead of Car Thieves

There are some actions you can take to protect your auto from thieves that take a small amount of planning or thought ahead of time. Fortunately, you won’t have to much effort or expense into these actions:

  • Select a high-visibility parking spot. This means not parking in a faraway corner without lighting or security cameras. It can also mean not parking where you’re surrounded by larger vehicles that give criminals cover as they break into your car.
  • Keep a spare car key with you, not “hidden” on your car somewhere. Any place on your car that’s accessible to you will also be accessible to the bad guys. They will find it.
  • Know your vehicle’s strengths. Read your owner’s manual to understand all your car’s anti-theft features and how to use them.

The minimal effort it takes to implement this advice is a low price to pay for keeping your car secure.

Add-Ons for Added Security

If you feel the need to do even more to defeat auto thieves, there are some additions or alterations you can make to decrease the chance of theft or at least increase the chance of recovering your car. If your car is equipped with only minimal security features, you might consider adding one or more of these:

  • Stop your starter with a vehicle immobilizer. If you have a smart key, your car probably already has an immobilizer designed to prevent unauthorized starting of your car. If not, you can get one installed for a reasonable price.
  • Lock down your steering wheel. Steering wheel locks not only prevent anyone from being able to drive your car but also provide a highly visible deterrent to would-be thieves.
  • Track down your stolen car. You can have a GPS-based vehicle tracker installed or even do it yourself for a small upfront cost plus a monthly fee for the service.

Do What You Can to Combat Car Thieves

Many anti-theft tips are easy to understand but also easy to forget. If you combine common-sense strategies with a commitment to consistently using them, you’ll encourage thieves to skip your car and look for an easier target.

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