How to Prevent your Car from Getting Stolen
For most of us, we never think about automobile theft until our vehicle gets stolen. Each year, over $6 billion in vehicle thefts takes place in the U.S. alone. In fact, a car is stolen in the United States every 44 seconds, according to stats given by the NHTSA. Those are staggering numbers. It should prompt you to educate yourself on how to prevent your car from being the next theft stat. Educating yourself on how to prevent an automobile theft will go a long way towards you not being the next victim.
It Only Takes a Minutes for Criminals to Steal and Strip Down Your Vehicle
There is a huge multi-billion dollar used car part business in the United States. While some car thieves target new cars to ship off to Africa or Brazil, others target popular used vehicles and strip them down for parts. Stats show two of the most common vehicles stolen in the U.S. each year are the Honda Accord and Civic.
There are millions of these used automobiles out there, and criminals get good money for selling off their parts. Many people drop comprehensive insurance coverage on cars over 5 years old. This means they are often left with no insurance help after their car is stolen.
While many older cars are recovered, they are nothing like they once were. Often times, all that is left is the body, and that’s it. The engine, transmission and even the interior is often all stripped down and sold. Not having transportation can affect lower-income families and can cause serious household issues.
While about fifty percent of automobile thefts are recovered, that still leaves thousands of cars gone for good. According to the popular blog Goodtogoinsurance.org most people with new or newer vehicles buy comprehensive auto insurance because of its broad protection scope. While their car insurance rates are a bit more expensive, there is a peace of mind knowing that if your car is stolen, there is insurance to replace it. The bad news is, it just might make your insurance premiums go up, along with the cost of the deductible. Therefore, it’s so important to learn about theft protection, so you can thwart thieves.
Tips that Reduce Automobile Thefts
- Take Care of Your Car Keys
If you report your vehicle missing, chances are one of the 1st questions an officer will ask you is, “where are all of the car keys?” Automobile thieves are well aware that many people leave a spare car key under the back of the car or on top of a wheel. This is not smart and similar to hiding your home key under your front doormat.
Most people hide an extra key for fear they will get locked out of their vehicle. However, what is more of a pain, having to call a locksmith and being out $100 or calling the police and filling a stolen auto report? Another smart tip is to ask for every spare key you have loaned out to family and friends. Stay in control of your keys and reduce the odds of your car getting ripped off.
- Roll up Your Windows and Lock your Doors
This sounds like common sense, but so many people leave their automobiles unlocked and with the windows down. This is like an open invitation for criminals to make an entry. Even in the summer, where temperatures can reach the triple digits in many parts of the country, make sure you roll the windows up all the way. Be especially diligent on instructing young drivers under 20 to implement this advice, every time they go out.
- Think About Where you park
The closer you park to a shopping center’s storefront, the better the chance of not having your car stolen. Criminals love when expensive vehicles are left on abandoned streets, with very few people around. Try to park your vehicle in a secured garage at night. This will also help you lower your auto insurance costs, as insurers know it reduces the odds of your car getting stolen.
- Install GPS Based Security Systems
If your car gets stolen and you have a GPS like On-Star installed, this greatly increases your chances of recovering it. The location of your vehicle is transmitted to law enforcement officials and can be tracked to within a few feet. Advances in security systems like On-Star can even remotely block your vehicle’s ignition. If you have a car worth over $8,000, it’s worth looking into.
- Do Not Leave Valuables in Plain Sight
So many vehicle theft entries start with criminals eyeing something of value. This could be a cellphone, tablet, purse or anything of significant value. This is like eye candy to a thief. Even $20 or $30 that is visible can be a temptation criminal cannot refuse. Leave your valuables at the house or hide them well.
- Do Not Leave Your Car Running
How many times have you pulled up to a store and noticed the car next to you unoccupied with the engine running? Most people think that there’s no way their automobile will get stolen in 2 or 3 minutes. It only takes 4 or 5 seconds to jump into a vehicle that is already started and drive away. That’s why you should never leave your car running.
With these smart tips, you can reduce the chances of your beloved automobile from getting stolen.