While most violent crime has fallen during the pandemic, car theft is on the rise. Thieves know that people aren’t driving as much right now and there are fewer potential witnesses on the street.
So how can you protect your car?
We’ve assembled the best car theft prevention tips. While no method is foolproof, you can help keep your ride safer with these simple, actionable steps.
Always Lock Up
Many of us–me included–neglect to lock our car doors. It doesn’t matter if you’re parked on a busy street, a grocery store lot, or your own driveway. Always click that button!
You should also keep your windows closed when you park the car. A cracked window in summertime could be an invitation to a thief.
It’s always a good idea to park in well-lit areas, both for your personal safety and the safety of your vehicle. If you can, park close to stores so that their security cameras can cover your parking spot. If that’s not an option, park under a light.
Leave No Valuables in the Car
You might know not to leave your purse or briefcase in the front passenger seat. But experts advising not leaving anything of value in your car. That includes even a handful of change. It’s sad but true that someone will smash a window to steal $1.25 in coins if they are desperate enough.
Keep Track of Your Keys
Obviously, you should not leave your keys in the ignition. But you also should not tuck a spare anywhere in the vehicle. In addition, avoid storing your spare key in an obvious place beside your home parking spot. It’s also smart to make sure you know where all the spares are for your vehicle.
Use Alarms and Physical Prevention Tools
A combination of an audible car alarm and a physical theft prevention tool can stop thieves cold. They need to be able to get in and out as fast as possible without drawing attention to themselves. If you’ve got a steering wheel lock, they may give up and look for an easier target.
Consider Immobilizing and Tracking Devices
More sophisticated security measures include immobilizing or tracking devices. A kill switch or fuse cut-off prevents thieves from being able to easily hotwire your vehicle.
If the worst happens and your car does get stolen, a tracking device can help get it back. Although they are a bit more expensive than other suggestions on this list, it’s still a fraction of the cost for replacing your stolen car.