We all think about keeping our home safe by installing better locks on the door and using security lights and alarm systems, but how often do you think about keeping your car safe? On average, a car is stolen every ten minutes in Australia so if you think that it’s not likely to happen to you, you’re wrong. Most people assume that their car will be safe as long as it isn’t parked down a dark street late at night but the truth is, car thieves can easily get around alarm systems and locks and steal a car from almost anywhere, even during the day, without being caught. Some cars will be recovered but most are sold on fairly quickly and once that happens, your chances of getting it back drop drastically.
Even if you have theft cover on your insurance, you’ll still be without a car for a few days, which is a big problem for most people, and it also means that your insurance costs are going to go through the roof. The bad news is, there is no way of guaranteeing that your car will never be stolen, that’s just not realistic. However, there are a lot of simple things that you can do to massively reduce the chances of car theft.
Look After Your Keys
Usually, the first thing that the police will ask you after your car is stolen is, do you know where all of the keys are? This is because a lot of people decide to hide a key under the wheel arch, much like hiding a key under the doormat at home. The problem is, criminals know this and that’s the first place that they will check. If you hide a key anywhere on the car, you’re just asking for it to be stolen.
You need to be careful about lost keys as well. Most people don’t think it’s too much of an issue if they lose a key and they have a spare because there’s no way that anyone is going to know which car it unlocks. But what if you drop the keys right outside your house on the way inside and somebody picks them up? Or maybe you lose your bag which has your keys and a copy of your driving license with your address on? In those situations, it’s easy for somebody to work out exactly which car is yours and drive away with it, without even having to break in. As soon as you lose your keys, you need to call a company like Perth’s trusted auto locksmiths and have them change all of the locks on the car and give you a new set of keys. Lost keys aren’t always a problem but it’s not worth taking the risk when you could just have the locks changed over.
If you’re buying a car second hand from somebody, you might want to consider changing the locks as well. It’s not likely that they will keep a set of keys and steal the car but it’s best to just change the locks to be safe.
Park In The Right Places
Even though car thieves can be quite brazen, they still prefer to take cars from areas that are not easily visible. That’s why you need to think carefully about where you park your car, especially at night. If you’re parking down a quiet side street with no lights, it’s so easy for somebody to take your car. But if you park on a busier road that is well lit and there are plenty of businesses still open late at night, the chance of having your car stolen is a lot lower. Look out for security cameras as well and try to park within range of them because they act as a great deterrent.
A lot of people think that parking garages are a safe place to park and a lot of the time, they are. However, an empty parking garage at night isn’t always sensible. The reason for this is that you’re very isolated and your personal safety is at risk because somebody may wait for you to return to the car and then try to take the keys from you. Even if they don’t do that, it’s easier for them to break into the car and take it if there is nobody around.
Don’t Leave Valuables In Your Car
Thieves aren’t always after the car itself, just whatever is inside it. Radios, sat navs, and dash cams are often stolen from cars, as well as any other valuables that you have in there. Thieves will walk down the street and look in through the windows to find a good target, so don’t make your car one. If you’ve got a laptop sitting on your back seat, for example, it’s likely that your car will get broken into. You should always take any valuables with you or if you want to leave them in the car, put them underneath the seat or in the boot so they’re not visible when people are walking past. It doesn’t guarantee that your car won’t be broken into but it does make you less of a target.
Use A Steering Wheel Lock
Putting a steering wheel lock on the car is one of the easiest ways to deter potential car thieves. It is still possible to get them off in some cases but a good quality one is extremely hard to get off without the key. Thieves aren’t likely to sit in your car trying to force the steering wheel lock off while the alarm is going off, so if they see one, they’ll just leave the car alone and move on to the next one.
The other added benefit of having a steering wheel lock on your car is that your insurance may drop by quite a bit. Insurance companies don’t want to pay out so the more likely your car is to be stolen, the more they’ll charge you. But if you protect it with a steering wheel lock, you could get a big reduction.
While you can never guarantee that your car isn’t going to be stolen, doing these things will make it a lot less likely.