7 min read
Top 5 Tips to Prevent Car Theft
As Canadians, we have become accustomed to leaving our vehicles unlocked during cold snaps to let them warm up or just because we feel safe to trust our neighbours. However, every 7 minutes a car is stolen in Canada. Therefore, follow these simple tips to ensure this doesn't happen to you!
In 2021 there was roughly $1 billion worth of vehicles stolen across Canada. Car thefts often vary in nature, with some thieves choosing to steal components of a vehicle, and vehicle contents, or even drive away with the car. Regardless of the nature of the theft, it is advisable to take necessary precautions to secure your car's safety. A stolen car in the hands of a thief is one of the most dangerous things on the road. This is because auto thieves often have a high disregard for traffic laws and public safety. Their reckless driving often leads to injuries or even deaths that may lead back to the owner of the car.
With numerous risks involved, a car owner should take proactive measures to prevent car theft. Here are a few tips you should consider.
Do not leave your car to Warm-up Unsupervised
During cold months people often start their cars, leaving them unsupervised to warm up before driving off. However, this puts them at risk of falling victim to warm theft. Warm theft often occurs when the driver leaves the car to warm up unattended, making them an easy target for auto thieves. It makes sense to want to warm up your vehicle before driving off after leaving the car outside for an extended period; however, if you don't have an auto-start feature in your car, it's best to warm up your car in close proximity – where you can see it.
Instead of suffering the cold and stuffiness of your car, there are other ways you can warm up your car without risking it being stolen. The first thing you can try is using two sets of keys to start your car. One to start the engine and the other to lock/unlock the car. This way, you can start the car to warm, lock it, and open it with another set of keys to prevent warm theft. Secondly, you could install an aftermarket auto starter on your car to save yourself from having to go outside and wait for your vehicle to warm up.
Don't leave your Car Keys around your car
Leaving your car keys around the car is one of the worst mistakes you can make; especially when you assume no one is watching. In some cases, more so those involving premium cars, the victim is often trailed by thieves who monitor their every action. Leaving your car keys in a hidden area around the car is like handing the thieves your car on a platter. With the development of keyless fobs, some car owners often leave their key fobs in the car. You should always keep your car keys with you to prevent auto theft.
Aside from driving off with your car, some thieves can choose to make a copy of your car keys to steal the vehicle at a more convenient time. You also need to remember that technology has made it easy for thieves to copy the signal from your keyless fob. All they need to do is get a few meters close to you, classifying keyless vehicles among cars most stolen. Popular models include BMW, Mercedes, Hyundai, and many others. To prevent this theft, you can keep your keys in a blocking pouch or turn off the wireless signal when not in use.
Put a Tracker on your Car
Car trackers have become a very important component of any vehicle. A tracker is arguably the best way to prevent your car from being stolen. The best part is that installing a tracker in your car can also help lower the insurance premiums paid on the vehicle. The principle behind car trackers is relatively simple; it involves installing a small device with a GPS signal to the car. This signal is used to keep tabs on the car in real-time. Despite the advanced nature of car trackers, car thieves have perfected the art of jamming tracker signals. However, you can upgrade to some of the latest tracking devices that rely on radio signals bounced off several frequencies to track your car. Next-generation trackers are easier to install and maintain than traditional trackers, making them an ideal investment.
Another advantage of installing a tracking device on your car is getting timely alerts on any activity involving your car. Some of the latest tracking devices have a supporting mobile app that relays data directly to your phone. You can also draw zones on where the car is usually parked, either at work or home; this way, you can get notifications on changes. In some cases, the tracking device can allow you to control the car remotely.
A tracker works hand-in-hand with a car alarm system to keep your car safe. The alarm system is designed to notify you of any attempts to access your vehicle or proximity to your car.
Lock your Doors and Roll-up your Windows
Locking your car and rolling your windows may seem like a simple task, but it is the first approach to preventing car theft. Most car thieves prey on a car owner's negligence to rob them. Not locking or checking if all the doors are properly locked is equivalent to handing the thieves the car. A thief only needs one open window or door to gain entry. Once inside, there are multiple ways they can start the car. Before walking away, it is advisable to go around the vehicle and check if all entry points, including the boot, are safely locked, same for the windows.
As discussed before, some thieves use signal jammers to copy your key lock signal or prevent the door from locking. That is why it is advisable to hang back for a minute or two and lock the car again before walking away.
Be Aware of Where you are parking
Your parking spot plays an important role in determining the safety of your car. Car owners have often fallen victims to auto theft because of parking in inaccessible areas. To ensure the safety f your car, we encourage you to use a parking garage with round-the-clock monitoring systems or in well-lit areas. If you cannot find space in any of the two, park your car where you can be inside a camera angle of an adjacent building.
Additionally as a more costly option there are wireless wifi dashcams on the market that yo u could install and be able to wirelessly sync to to be able to track where your vehicle is and monitor your vehicle even when you are not with it.