The Top Ways to Protect Your Vehicle from Theft
Next to your home, your car is probably one of the biggest investments that you’ll make. Unfortunately, auto theft and theft from automobiles are two of the most common crimes in Canada. So whether it’s your prized possession, or simply a way to get around, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (view PDF infographic) recommends some fairly basic habits you can put into practice to keep your vehicle safe.The thinking behind most of these is to add layers of protection to your automobile. Many car thefts are crimes of opportunity or crimes of convenience – thieves will zero in on a car that’s not as secured as others, simply because it makes the crime easier to pull off. Here are some of the top ways to keep your automobile protected.
- Make sure to always lock your doors and keep the key with you. This sounds pretty basic, but people leaving keys in their car is much more common than you might think: during 2014 in the United States, for example, 45,000 vehicles were stolen with keys inside the car. So even if you’re just running into a store, don’t take the chance.
- Park in well-lit areas. The more visible a car is, the less attractive of a target it generally is to thieves.
- Never leave money or valuables (phones, GPS, parcels) in plain sight. This can make your car an appealing target for a quick smash-and-grab. Take your phone with you when you leave the car. Parcels can be stored in the trunk of the car. Do what you have to in order to keep these sorts of valuables out of plain sight.
- Always make sure the car’s windows are rolled up before you leave the car. And don’t forget about your sunroof, if you have one. Again, the idea is just to make sure that your car is not an easier target than others.
- If you have a garage at your home, park the car there and lock the garage door. Doing so provides another added layer of protection that makes things more difficult for a prospective burglar.
- The Insurance Bureau of Canada recommends that you keep your vehicle registration and proof of insurance on you, rather than keeping it in your car’s glove box. If your personal information is taken, it can put you at risk of identity fraud.
- Invest in an anti-theft system or device. Most new cars come off the line with an anti-theft system. If you’re driving an older model, consider looking into a visual deterrent steering wheel lock unit or a hidden “kill switch” to prevent ignition.