Are you a passionate motorist, or are you a key worker? Do you rely on your car to get you from A to B or even a classic car lover?
Car theft is a car topic that should be on everyone’s minds, especially during the spring and summer months where it’s easy to forget about whether you left your car windows open right?
In this car topic, I’m going to take you through some of the ways in which you can help prevent car theft with some car security devices, and the keyword here is “prevent”, as almost no car security device will properly prevent your car from being stolen, all we’re trying to do, is reduce the risk.
To a car thief, it’s all about risk, and there are some easy ways that you can help prevent your car from being stolen.
Keyless Entry Theft Protection
Modern cars these days come with a rather useful keyless entry system. What is a keyless entry system? Put simply, you can unlock and lock your car by pressing a button on your car’s door handle, or by waving your hand in front of the door handle.
Keyless entry is really convenient as it prevents you from having to rush to find your key amongst your handbag (for the ladies, or men even) or your trouser pockets.
However, keyless entry is a system that is targeted by car theft quite a lot up and down the country.
How does keyless entry theft take place you might ask?
If you have an open driveway, or a potential attacker sees what house your car is parked in front of, they can walk up to your door, and essentially “boost” the signal of your key, and unlock your car without your key being present.
The dangerous thing about this, is that from the car’s onboard system’s point of view, you or I are the person opening the car, and thus the alarms aren’t triggered…
You’ll then come back the following morning to get into your car, and then this is where the reality really kicks in.
What Can You Or I Do About This?
Well, if you own a microwave, or some foil, you can try wrapping your key in this…
Sounds dumb doesn’t it?
But what’s happening here is that the signals from your key fob aren’t being transmitted, so your key’s signal can’t be relayed or duped by a potential attacker.
Or, you can buy a keyless entry theft protector pouch online. These typically block the signals of your key, and will help prevent this type of theft, and ultimately improves your car’s security.
Choose The Right Place To Park Your Car!
Where you park your car really does matter! Especially if you’ve got a high value car worth a lot of money, or a classic car that might not have a sophisticated security system.
If you’re turning up to the supermarket, don’t just park your car anywhere, park your car where it’s really well lit, or is covered by CCTV.
If you’re not sure about the CCTV, try to park in a secure car park – even if it means having to walk slightly further, and besides, this is good for exercise!
If you park in some random space in a back road, with no CCTV, and little public activity, car thieves already know about these places, and will try searching these areas first to see whether there’s anything of interest to them here!
If I’m going to park my car, I’ll always try to choose a car park that either has a lot of eyes from the public, or is covered by CCTV. It can also help to park in a car park which is controlled by a barrier as to a car thief. It’s all about the risk, and the risk here is having no easy way out if you’ve got the car to operate the barrier.
The Obvious Car Security Tip – Don’t Display Any Belongings
I mean seriously…
You might only be 5 minutes in a shop, or at your destination, you might be thinking to yourself that it’s not going to happen to you right?
Well, you’ll be wrong…
It happens to the people that don’t expect it, and it will happen at the most inconvenient time.
If I were a car theif, even if I’ve parked my car in a place that’s lit well, and even if I’ve got some modern car security devices fitted to the car, if I can see that £1,000 iPhone sitting on the driver’s seat from when you got out of your car car not realising you’ve dropped your phone half an hour later…
I’d for sure feel that the risk is worth it.
What Can You Do About It?
The most logical thing…
Don’t leave valuables on display in your car, and if you absolutely can’t take them with you, at least try to fit them into your car’s glovebox…
Or somewhere out of sight.
It might be tempting to hide something with a blanket if you keep one of these in your car, but this can work in the opposite direction, it will actually act as a magnet for someone to find out what’s under there…
They’ll know you have something to hide.
Don’t Leave Your Car Running – Even When You’re In The Car
If you leave your car running, your car’s security devices are essentially switched off, and if you’re not in the car it will be a sure fire way for someone to easily take the car itself (and everything inside)
Think about the call you’ll have to make to the car insurance company?
You’ll have to explain to them that you accidently left the car running whilst you decided to get something from your car’s boot?
And you think they’ll accept that as a valid reason?
Turn the car off, take the keys out, and then do what you need to do. In addition to this, even if you’re in the car, turn the car off, a car’s engine running could be the very reason that attracts a car thief to your car…
Does your boot lock?
Likely not, so they could easily open it, grab whatever is inside, and run… by the time you’d have noticed, gotten out to find out who they are, they would’ve already disappeared.
Lock Your Car’s Doors When In Traffic – If You Can
Most cars will have a button located somewhere on the door, or on the central console which allows you to lock the doors, this prevents someone from the outside trying to gain access to your car by simply opening the doors.
Especially in cities such as London, or New York (If you’re from the US), car theft is already on the rise.
Even my past 2001 BMW 3 Series had a button to lock the doors from the inside, some modern cars will even do this automatically when you drive off.
However, I understand that not every car has this feature, and for some cars it might be a luxury to be able to lock your car doors from the inside.
And I don’t mean by using the car’s key, this isn’t the approach you want to be taking.
Locking Wheel Nuts – Don’t Lose Your Car Wheels!
I mean, think about it for a second…
Your car’s wheels are pretty important, without them, you can’t actually drive your car to that important business meeting at 09:00am on Monday morning, or to pick the kids up from school on Wednesday afternoon!
Your car should come with some locking wheel nuts…
How To Locate Your Car’s Locking Nuts?
If you’ve just bought a new car, then your car’s locking wheel nuts should be in the boot of the car. You’ll want to fit these to your car, and make sure that you can get them off again yourself with the special tool that comes provided.
If you lose it, you won’t be able to remove your car’s wheels…
And this is also going to make it harder for car wheel theft to take place.
It might seem complicated to understand for some people, but honestly, that’s why we’re explaining it to you now!
Keep Important and Valuable Car Documents At Home
If you like to be organised and tidy, and want to make sure that if you ever get pulled over by the police, then you’ll likely have some car documents kept in your car’s glove box right?
Whilst this is a good idea, unless you’ve got something to hide or declare, then you shouldn’t really be needing these documents in your car.
If your car was to get stolen from this, it will make it that much easier for a car thief to try and pretend to be you, claiming that they own the car, and that they’re the registered keeper rather than you.
This is a mistake…
If you’re going to keep any form of car document in your car, at least make sure it’s a copy, with the original documents kept safely at home in a secure place where you know about them.
Use A Car Steering Wheel Lock – Wheel Immobiliser
If you’ve already done the most obvious things to prevent your car from being stolen with car security devices, and you have some spare cash left, invest in a good quality steering wheel lock.
A Steering Wheel Lock will prevent your car’s steering wheel from being turned, it essentially locks it into one position.
Other than this, how stupid would a car theif look when they’ve broken into your car through the windows, and then they try to drive your car?
Pretty stupid I reckon!
A car theif shouldn’t actually try to take your car if they can see that you’ve got a car steering wheel lock in place…
At least this is the theory right? They might still attempt to steal items from inside of your car, but at least you’ll still have your car.
Many companies manufacture steering wheel locks, and they come in all different colours. I recommend a steering wheel lock that’s pretty large, and is pretty thick. You don’t want to be cheaping out on a wheel lock in this area.
Add A Car Tracking Device (Car Tracker)
A car tracker is a car security device that is installed into your car that emits a signal to masts near the tracker, they also emit a GPS signal so that your car can be tracked remotely.
You might’ve been considering a car tracking device, or car tracker for a little while and wondered whether they’re any good or how it affects the resale value of a car.
You might have been put off from installing a car tracker because when you come to sell the car, you’ll have to take the tracker out.
A car tracker, is however, something that shouldn’t be off-putting, and is likely to even lower your car insurance.
When you’re shopping for car insurance, the fact that you’ve got a car tracker installed is likely to make it more secure, and from the car insurance company’s point of view, they’ll be able to improve their chances or local authorities chances of recovering the stolen car.
But they’re not cheap…
Car tracker devices are at the end of the day, another form of car security. And this will come at a price.
You’ll likely need to pay for a yearly or monthly subscription in order to allow your tracker to emit signals so that it can be tracked.
If you’re a new or young driver, it might be something worth considering for sure.
Prevent Car Stereo and Car Sat-Nav Theft
Hot on the list of car security is your car’s stereo and your car’s sat nav.
When a car theif is looking at stealing your car, or trying to gain value out of the parts in your car, they realise that part of the brains of your car is actually the sat-nav and the car stereo.
These head units aren’t cheap to replace, and can be sold for quite a lot of money.
So it’s wise to try and protect them.
Many aftermarket car stereos will have a way that you can remove the front facia from the car stereo. Without this, the unit is made redundant as trying to fit a new facia isn’t going to work – it won’t be compatible
Prevent Your Car From Being Stolen – Conclusion
Regardless of whether you’ve got a new or used car, whether it’s expensive or cheap, there’s no doubt about it.
Car theft is something that happens day in, and day out.
We’ll never prevent every single car in the country from being stolen, all we can do is implement tried and tested methods to help “reduce” car theft, by implementing car security devices, and by applying some common knowledge.
A little common sense can be applied to all of the points covered in this blog post. I myself am applying some of these, if not all of these, such as using keyless entry protector pouches to prevent car theft.
And several other methods.
What method are you implementing? Why not leave a comment and let’s find out!