Keeping your car secure

When it comes to preventing your car from being stolen, there are two things you need to remember: time and effort. If you can increase the amount of time or effort it takes to steal your car, the less likely it is that it will be stolen.

There are a number of simple steps that you can take and the first is using a little common sense. Your car comes with a few security features and if you use these you’ll be well on your way to preventing theft.

  1. Always lock your car. It’s simple, but half of all reported stolen cars were left unlocked.
  2. Always remove your keys. This is another simple step but 20 per cent of reported car thefts are caused by leaving keys in the car.
  3. Park in well-lit areas and busy car lots, or lots with attendants.
  4. Never leave valuables in plain view. Put purses, CDs, shopping bags and other valuables out of sight and preferably locked in the trunk.
  5. Always close windows completely. Leaving them cracked may be appealing in warm weather, but it makes it easier for a thief to get in.
  6. Don’t hide a spare key in your car. Thieves know where to look for them, so you’re better to leave one at home or with a loved one.
  7. Don’t leave insurance cards or registration in the glove box. These provide a thief with what’s needed for a quick profit or to waylay suspicions if stopped by a police officer.
  8. Turn the wheels toward the curb when you park your car. If you have a rear wheel drive, back in to parking spot, or drive in with a front wheel drive. This locks the tires, making it harder to tow and always set your parking/emergency brake.
  9. Use your garage as a place to store your vehicle. Make sure you lock both the garage entrance and side door, as well as your car.
  10. If leaving your vehicle unattended for long periods of time, disable it by removing the ignition wire or starter coil.

Other security options include: installing a car alarm, stickers and decals to give the impression your car is protected, and using locking bars for the steering wheel, brakes, wheels or tires.

Remember, the key to vehicle security is increasing the amount of time and effort it takes to steal your car. This could take a little time on your part but it’s worth it in the end.