#2 Don’t Leave Your Car Running

We’ve all done it. We back the car out of the garage, leave the engine running, and then rush back inside for something we’ve forgotten. All it takes is an opportunistic thief walking by to drive off in our car. To prevent car theft, you should never leave your car running unattended.

#3 Steering Wheel and Pedal Locks

It didn’t take car thieves long to learn how to overcome the keyless technology that most cars use today. Criminals have ready access to inexpensive electronic devices that can open car doors and start engines. That’s why it’s a good idea to use an old-fashioned steering wheel or pedal lock before you leave your car unattended. Sure, criminals can cut through the lock, but it will slow them down and act as a deterrent.

#4 Don’t Leave Your Keys in the Ignition

A car thief can steal a car in a few seconds and be long gone in the time it takes you to pop into the store for a few minutes.  Always take your keys with you when you leave your vehicle to prevent car theft. It only takes a couple of extra seconds to grab your keys, but the stakes of not doing so are high.

#5 Don’t Keep a Spare Key in Your Vehicle

Car thieves know exactly where owners like to hide their spare keys; taped under the car, in a hubcap, or in the glove compartment. No matter how clever your hiding place, the determined thief will find it. Sure, it’s a hassle when you accidentally lock yourself out of your car, but it’s a minor one compared to having car theft happen to you.

#6 Park in Safe Areas

If possible, park on a street that gets a lot of pedestrian and vehicle traffic. If it’s dark out, park under a street light. Car thieves are unlikely to try to steal your car where they can be seen easily.  

If you’re parking in a parking lot, park close to the building entrances, security cameras, and attendants.

#7 Install an Alarm, Anti-Theft Device or Immobilizer

The above devices may prevent car theft by scaring off the thief with a loud noise or a visible anti-theft device. Also, an immobilizer will prevent thieves from hotwiring your car if it’s an older model.

Although these devices may cost a bit to buy and install, your insurance company may offer you reduced premiums because of the lower theft risk.

#8 Lock Valuables in the Trunk

Don’t leave valuables like your purse, tablet, or mobile in full view of passersby. Once thieves have broken into your car to steal the valuables on your passenger seat, they may well decide to go the whole hog and steal your car, too.

Either leave your valuables at home or lock them in your trunk before you leave home.

In Conclusion

Determined criminals will continue to find ways to steal cars. But if you take some simple car theft prevention measures, the car thief may move onto an easier target.

It’s also worth considering installing a vehicle tracking or recovery device. If the worst happens despite your car theft prevention measures, the police may be able to get your car back before it’s too severely damaged.

If car thieves or smash-and-grabbers have damaged your car, contact Orlando Auto Body at 480-418-4737 for help with any needed autobody repairs.

Car Theft Prevention Tips

Car theft is still a prevalent problem in the U.S.  The FBI reported that 773,000 cars were stolen in 2017 and the Insurance Information Institute claims that a motor vehicle is stolen every 40.9 seconds in the U.S. That’s a lot of cars!

Even as motorists take increasingly sophisticated measures to protect themselves from car theft, some thieves find ways to defeat them.

Here are 8 things that you can do to prevent car theft and reduce your insurance premiums, too.

#1 Lock Your Doors and Close Your Windows

Get into the habit of always locking your car doors and closing your windows when you leave your car. Don’t make it easy for potential car thieves to reach into your car and help themselves.

Also, always keep your doors locked and windows closed when you’re in your car to deter would-be carjackers.

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Stay Alert

A parking lot may be slower speeds but that doesn’t mean it’s any less dangerous. (And many people still fly through the rows.) A slower driving pace doesn’t always guarantee a safer time. Cars are moving in more directions and pedestrians are crossing all over. Following basic safety guidelines is crucial.

  • Drive slowly.

  • Be aware of– and obey– arrows, signs, and lines.

  • Keep an eye out for cars reversing in and out of parking spaces.
  • When reversing yourself, double check both ways, go slow and be prepared to brake suddenly.

  • Pay special attention to small children and people in wheelchairs who may not be as immediately visible

Go the Distance

While it might be tempting to cut down the walking time – resist the urge. Parking further away – and away from the hubs of activity – greatly reduces the risk of getting hit. The farther the spot, the emptier the lot, usually. And that means less objects and people posing a threat. Plus, you’ll get in a few more steps for your day, keeping you healthier to boot!

Weather Check!

Windy, blustery days mean doors are more likely to fly open and shopping carts are more likely to roll away. And in the close quarters of parking lots, that means a higher chance of bumps, dents and dings. Be prepared by knowing the conditions, holding tight and looking out for wind born obstacles.

Keep Your Car in Check

Be aware. Be very aware. Staying hyper vigilant and aware of your surroundings in a parking lot is the best defense you can have. Scan your surroundings intensely. And, if your car has the technology, make use of it. Things like backup cameras and blind spot detectors come in handy when you need to see in all directions.

When it comes to that technology, though, you need to make sure it is well maintained and accurate. Things like hitting a pothole could throw cameras out of alignment. If there is a lot of salt on the road due to inclement weather, that can create a film of salt over camera lenses. Part of keeping aware means making sure your bells and whistles are in perfect working order. Keep cameras clean and make sure your computer is working right.

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