While car theft is, unfortunately, a part of life, we all assume that is a crime that we will never become victims of. However, the most recent national crime statistics show a 9% rise vehicle thefts with a total of 113,037 cars stolen or taken without the owner’s permission.
This rapidly increasing number means that all car owners need to take the appropriate measures in order to ensure the safety of their vehicles. To minimise the likelihood of your car being taken by criminals, here are some ways that you can prevent car theft.
Fit a GPS Car Tracker
Unfortunately, most people only assess how secure their car is after it has already been stolen, or an attempt was made to steal it. Installing a GPS tracker might not prevent your car from getting stolen, in the same way that some other security measures can, but fitting one does greatly increase your chances of recovering your vehicle and potentially even finding the individuals who stole it in the first place.
These days, a good car tracker is a worthwhile investment as GPS technology has significantly improved. The easy-to-install car trackers available on the consumer market allow you to track the location of your car from anywhere at any time. Most manufacturers even offer European coverage, allowing you to track your car even if it has already been moved out of the country. Another useful feature now included with GPS car trackers is the ability to set up an alarm which alerts you if your car is moved by someone other than you, or an authorised key fob folder.
Think About Where You Park
One of the biggest risks to the safety of your car is where you choose to park it. Vehicles parks on the street or in dark, secluded areas area might as well have a welcome sign displayed for thieves as they make for the perfect target. On the flipside, cars parked in well-lit areas in view of the surrounding properties will put thieves off as there is a high chance they will be caught in the act by yourself, a neighbour, or a passerby.
Although it isn’t a viable option for everyone, if you have access to off-street parking or a secure car park, this should be your first choice for storing your vehicle overnight as criminals are far less likely to attempt to steal a car that is safely locked away, or in close proximity to your property. If you have no secure parking options available, then be sure to park your car in a well-lit area, such as under a street light, and ideally in view of a CCTV camera, as this also acts as a deterrent.
Keep Your Keys Secure
Common sense dictates that you always keep track of your car key and are well aware of how to keep it secure. What most people forget about is the security of their spare keys though. With approximately 7% of car thefts happening thanks to the use of a stolen spare key, you really can’t afford to lose track of where you store them. While the rise of keyless entry system has also added to this figure, as these can easily be hacked, it doesn’t negate the fact that properly storing all of your keys plays a part in preventing car theft.
A common mistake that most people make is storing their spare key in their car, usually in the glove box, which is as dangerous as hiding your front door key under the welcome mat. Another helpful tip is to keep track of who has a key to your car, even though you may have trusted them with it originally, you should always ask for it back if your relationship with them changes and you feel that there is a risk of them using their copy of your car key to unlawfully gain access to your vehicle.