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Tips for Preventing Car Theft

Updated on April 20, 2016

If it looks easy, the thieves will do it. Whether an opportunist or professional, car thieves are usually quick on their toes, stealing items from or even a car itself and causing much financial and emotional hardship for the victim.

With a car theft occurring every ten minutes in countries like Australia, there are thankfully some simple steps, and a few that require a bit more effort, to lower the chance of your car facing a break-in or theft.

Keep your car in a safe area

Parking strategically, that is, in a well-lit and busy area, is the simplest way to prevent car theft. It may take longer, and you may have to do that difficult parallel park, but it is well worth the extra effort and time. And furthermore, it’s safer for you when you are returning to get your car in the dark!

Keep your doors locked and windows up

You may only be gone for a few minutes to the convenience store, but that’s all it takes for a thief to get into your car and cause some serious damage. Car-jackings are also common at red lights, stop signs, and drive-throughs, so locking your doors is equally important when you are driving. For extra security, lock your car even in your own garage. You never know where a thief may strike.

Keep your valuables hidden

Think that you can leave your $10 sunglasses in the cup holder? Thieves can be tempted by the simplest and cheapest of things. Don’t risk it. Hide your phone, GPS, jewellery, laptop, keys, and handbag in the boot (before you park, of course!). Better yet, take them with you. And remember to stow away the lighter and loose change.

Keep the important stuff with you

Don’t even think about leaving your car registration and car insurance card in the glove compartment – these are a gift to car thieves should they be stopped by the police. Rather, keep a card in your wallet with your car registration number, ownership title, make, model, colour, insurance details, and so forth. And remember to take your parking ticket with you – a reluctance to pay $25 can easily deter a car thief.

Consider some additional features

New cars today can be fitted with systems far more elaborate than an alarm. There are engine immobilisers, steering wheel locks, ignition cut-out switches, battery isolators, vehicle tracking devices, and more. Evidently some are more expensive than others, but they will lessen the chance of you needing car finance for bad credit if you happen to be so unlucky!

Consider a few extra precautions

For example, you could consider locking lug nuts to prevent your spare tyre from being stolen (or your wheels!). Another tip is to install one-way screws to your number plates. If you live and drive around high theft areas, you could also get your vehicle identification number (VIN) etched onto your windows and doors to prevent a thief marketing your car’s stolen parts.

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