The most stolen vehicle in 2020 was the Ford pickup truck. To date, nearly 40,000 vehicles of that model have been stolen in the United States, according to Motor Trends.
Each year, thousands of vehicles in the United States are stolen and stripped for parts or resold to unsuspecting buyers. If vehicle security is on your mind, the security tips in his blog can help you ensure that you don’t become a stolen vehicle statistic.
Fast Facts About Auto Theft
Motor vehicle thefts accounted for losses of about $6.4 billion in 2019. Those losses included more than automobiles. Trucks, buses, scooters, motorcycles, snowmobiles, and other vehicles are counted in FBI statistics.
Overall motor vehicle theft has trended downward over the past quarter of a decade. Law enforcement work and anti-theft technology have made it harder to successfully steal a vehicle.
States with the highest theft rate (in order) include Missouri, Texas, Arkansas, and Nebraska, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
Best Practices to Secure Your Vehicle
Car thieves have had decades to hone their skills. Fortunately, law enforcement and anti-theft manufacturers have had just as long to find ways to prevent car theft.
While no measure can fully guarantee that your car won’t be stolen, these common practice tips are considered the standard when it comes to finding ways to secure your vehicle.
1. Park Your Car Where It Is Safest
If you are in the habit of leaving your car by the side of the street, you’ve made it that much easier for would-be thieves to break into your car or steal your vehicle altogether. If your garage is full and you have to park outside, be sure to always take your valuables indoors.
It is also a smart idea to park your more valuable cars in front of less valuable ones to make driving off with your upscale vehicle nearly impossible. It can be tempting to leave your AirPods in your dash, especially if you are a regular at the gym.
If a late-night prowler sees something of value, it only takes seconds to smash a window and escape with your valuable electronics and other valuables.
If you need to leave vehicles parked outdoors, installing a visible security camera can be an important deterrent. And remember, auto thefts can occur anywhere.
If you have to leave your car out at night while you are socializing, park near well-lit areas that have heavy foot traffic nearby. Paid parking lots often have security cameras or elevated boxes for security personnel to watch over cars.
Anytime that you can park where a robber would likely avoid going is one more way to boost vehicle security.
2. Invest In Anti-Theft Devices
Cars come with many standard anti-theft devices these days. Wheel locks and audible alarms are included are a few examples. The Club, an aftermarket option, is an inexpensive and highly effective anti-theft device that attaches to the steering wheel and requires a key for removal.
An immobilizer is another great option. The device has a microchip that the car ignition system recognizes. This added vehicle safety device prevents thieves from hot-wiring your vehicle.
Many cars use wireless key fobs. Unfortunately, these electronic devices can be hacked. There are a wide range of key fob pouches on the market that block transmissions to and from key fobs.
If you have to leave your vehicle outdoors for an extended period of time, a wheel clamp can dissuade would-be robbers from taking your car.
Finally, invest in a gps tracking device for car theft. If your car is stolen, law enforcement can recover your vehicle quickly. GPS trackers are also a great way for parents to keep tabs on their teenage kids.
3. Lock Your Doors and Windows
Criminals follow the path of least resistance. If a thief can just open your door rather than breaking a window, they will do so. Even an open sunroof can leave your vehicle vulnerable to auto theft or property theft.
By locking your door and rolling your windows up, you won’t be enticing criminals to dig through your car. Even if you do lock your door, never leave your keys in your vehicle. Some of the most effective vehicle safety tips are also the easiest.
4. Final Tips for Preventing Car Theft
While not always convenient, taking out original documents like your car’s registration can make it difficult for a car thief to impersonate you in the event of a car theft.
No matter what steps you take, advertise it. There are a wide range of low-profile stickers that remind thieves that your car has an immobilizer, alarm, or GPS tracker. Secure your vehicle by placing the sticker on the driver-side window just above the door handle.
Check your car insurance policy to ensure that all of your liability needs are being met. A comprehensive insurance plan will ensure that, in the event of a car theft, you are able to purchase another vehicle promptly.
Practice Vehicle Security Safety Steps Every Day
Vehicle security requires more than one purchase. Even the best technology on the market is useless if you leave your doors unlocked and windows down.
Following the tips in this blog allows you to lower risk factors for car theft so you don’t have to go through the hassle of replacing valuable items.
Finding practical advice for everyday car maintenance can be difficult. Whether you own a Honda, BMW, or Hummer, you can always find great tips for extending the life of your vehicle on our website. Many of the DIY tips can save you hundreds of dollars.