According to statistics, hundreds of thousands of cars every year in the US are stolen from their owners. In fact, despite a decline in auto thefts in the past few decades, a vehicle is still stolen every 40.9 seconds nationwide. And, today’s car thieves have become incredibly clever and savvy. The use of smart keys to steal cars means that having your keys on your person is no longer safe, and changing identification numbers afterwards to avoid detection is becoming increasingly common. So, what can you do to better protect yourself from becoming a victim of car theft? Here are some tips to keep in mind.
1. Lock Your Car
All it takes is for you to leave your car unlocked and open for a few seconds, and you never know who might see the opportunity to take it. Keeping your doors locked at all times, other than when you need them to be open, is a good first step to take in deterring thieves, so try and get into this habit. And, make sure that the windows are closed completely, too – a cracked open window will make it easier for a thief to get into your car and get the door open.
2. Avoid Leaving Your Keys in the Car
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NCIB), one thing that you should never do is leave your keys in the ignition when you’re not in the driver’s seat. It may be tempting to quickly leave your car unattended for just a couple of minutes while you do something, but those seconds could be all that it takes for a thief to see the opportunity to drive away in your car. And legally, you may struggle with getting insurance if you left your car unattended with the engine running.
3. Hide Your Spare Key Somewhere Less Obvious
It’s recommended that you take your keys with you when you leave your car, including the spare if you have it on you. Some people like to leave their spare key underneath the car just in case they end up getting locked out, but the truth is that thieves know the common places to look for hidden spare keys, so it’s best keeping it at home hidden away, or on your person. If you get stuck and can’t get in your car check out a service like Cobra Locksmiths for help.
4. Park in a Well-Lit Area
It’s a wise idea to avoid parking anywhere that is poorly lit or not immediately seen by people passing. Wherever you can, park in a well-lit, well-trafficked area – thieves are more likely to be deterred if there is a high chance of them being seen.
5. Install Preventative Measures
Finally, there are plenty of gadgets and systems you can add to your car to make it harder to steal. An immobilizer system will make it difficult for thieves to use smart keys, kill switches and wireless ignition authentication, ‘hotwiring’, to start your car. Finally, a tracking system gives you peace of mind that you can easily trace your car in the event of it being stolen.
Did you find these tips useful? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.