Car theft is one of the major problems that owners have to endure did you know in 2013, almost 700,000 of 253 million registered vehicles were reported as stolen, according to national records, in the United States – that equals one in every 362 vehicles.
This statistic alone should be enough to make every owner look for ways to enhance the security of their car.
Below, we have listed five easy steps to beating car thieves, enhancing your vehicle’s security and helping to lower the rate of thefts in the country.
Steering locks are an effective means of deterring thieves from attempting to break into your car, and are available to suit a range of budgets. While inexpensive options provide a visual deterrent against burglars, once they have gained access to the vehicle it may not take long for an experienced thief to open the lock.
Similar locks are also available to be applied to the gearstick and, when added together with a steering lock, the time needed to break open often proves enough of a deterrent on its own.
Don’t Leave Windows Down
Although leaving the window down may allow for air to circulate, it also allows for thieves to enter your car without causing any damage whatsoever. Even just leaving a window slightly ajar is enough for it to be taken out of its track if a burglar can fit even just a finger into the car, eventually pushing through their whole arm.
The same goes for convertible cars – far too often owners leave the roof down on hot days believing they can leave the car unattended for a short time. It only takes a matter of seconds to hotwire a car and drive away without anyone batting an eyelid.
Fitting a tracking system is a great way to make use of modern technology to secure your car. The owner of a car can be instantly updated via a smartphone app the moment anyone attempts to unlock the door and start the ignition.
On a larger scale, tracking systems are used by various businesses looking to secure their investment. Fleet tracking systems offer businesses in depth diagnostic records to driver performance, as well as fuel and time efficiency.
Hide all Valuables
Items such as phones, jewellery, Sat Navs and wallets are commonly left on seats and dashboards in full view of passers-by, almost begging for anyone to break into the vehicle and steal them. Leaving valuable items in plain sight encourages opportunistic thieves to target your car, even if they have no desire to leave with the car – although it could make for an added bonus.
In the United States, auto-theft is most common in the San Francisco area, while the Honda Accord is the most commonly stolen model (51,290 thefts reported in 2013). If you live in the area, and drive a Honda Accord, you would do well not to leave any valuables on view.
Don’t Leave a Spare Key in the Car
According to statistics, 93% do not leave spare keys in the car – which more worryingly means that 7% do. With almost one in 10 vehicles, therefore, having a spare key hidden in the car, this serves as a major encouragement to opportunistic thieves.
The most common places for spare keys to be left are under seats, in the glove box and trunk of the car. These will be where thieves look first – alternatively, if your car has been monitored over several days, a thief will know exactly where to look and will target your car for easy accessibility.