Just like your home, you want to protect your vehicle from threats of all kinds, especially theft. Petty crime is something we cannot control, but we can set up parameters to prevent. Some preventative measures may seem like common sense, while others you may not have considered. Regardless, we’ve put together some useful vehicle security tips to help you be safe and stay safe.
1. The Basics
Any time you exit your vehicle, you need to make sure all windows are rolled up and the doors are locked. While these may seem like the most common things to do, people become comfortable in their neighborhoods. While you may be able to trust your neighbors, you cannot assume a thief won’t be on the prowl looking for trusting folks like you. If you’re running out to the grocery store to grab one or two things, don’t leave the vehicle running. Doing this makes easy work for a thief.
2. Hiding Valuables
Even if your car is locked, someone can easily break into your car using a heavy object. If you keep clothes, jewelry, important documents, or even a nice pair of headphones in the car, they’re at risk of being stolen. If your sensitive information appears on anything, you’re also putting yourself at risk for identity theft. To ward this, hide the valuables you absolutely need to have with you beneath seats and out of view. If you have anything that you don’t require in your everyday travel, like a gym bag or a nice jacket, it’s best to take these things inside. The car should not become a place of storage. With this, do not keep your spare key in a magnetic box on the car. While it is convenient, thieves know to looks for these. Keep your spare on you in your wallet, purse, or somewhere safe in your home.
3. Locking Gas Cap
Should a thief become successful in driving off with your vehicle, they will be met with a nice surprise if you’ve got a locking gas cap. This will prevent them from pumping gas, giving police more time to track it down. These are very economical, easily installed additions to your vehicle’s security.
4. Car Tracking Systems
While these are pricier, a tracking system may help you locate your vehicle more quickly. A GPS system will allow you to track your car on the street level, whereas VHF (Very High Frequency) detection options will be able to locate your car just about anywhere, even if it’s stored underground. There are a great many options for these, ranging in quality and price. You should be able to fit an option that fits within your needs and budget.
5. Steering and Handbrake Locks
Steering and handbrake locks are metal devices that prevent the steering wheel and handbrake from being used. If a thief tries to pull off, the locks will prevent a successful getaway. These locks are relatively inexpensive and are quite noticeable. Many of these locks are painted in bright colors and have flashing lights. Thieves will see these as too much of a risk to attempt a break-in and ultimately move on. That’s the reaction we want.
6. Parking in Public
Sometimes, it’s inevitable to park along the street, especially in a city. While it’s ideal to have your car valeted, parked in a deck or very busy area, you may have to simply park where you can find a spot. If you come upon this issue, try to park somewhere where there might be a CCTV. This could be in front of a business like a bank or jewelry store. Essentially, somewhere that cares about 24-7 monitoring. Make sure the area is well-lit, too. This will help you ensure vehicle security by checking around the perimeter of the car and inside of it once you return.