How theft-proof is your car? You rely on it every day to help you get to work, enjoy life and look after your family. It’s stressful, inconvenient and expensive to be without it, so it pays to better protect your car from theft. In this article we explore tips and tricks to better protecting it.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that modern immobilisers and keyless or smart-key technology in our newer cars is enough to prevent them from being stolen. Unfortunately car thieves are clever, continually honing their tools and techniques as technology progresses.
The reality is that in Australia a car is stolen about every 12 minutes. According to the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council (NMVTRC) half of those cars are being taken directly from our home – using our keys.
A scary statistic! PD Insurance wants you to avoid the costly exercise of having to make a car insurance claim for your stolen car (and burgled house), so we’re sharing a few simple yet effective ways to help you protect your car from theft and help you sleep better at night.
How Can I Keep My Car from Being Stolen or Broken Into?
NMVTRC research says that, for the most part, car thefts from a home – usually from your garage, driveway or street kerb – are opportunistic. By making some small changes and introducing a few new daily habits, you might reduce the likelihood of having your car stolen. Let’s look at what you can do.
Ways you can help prevent car theft at home
- Increase your property’s security with motion sensor lights, alarms and quality locks on doors. This reduces the ease of breaking into your garage or home.
- Store your car keys away from doors and windows and lock your house. This applies even if you’re inside or just out the back.
- Trim trees and shrubs so your car is more visible from the inside and you have a clear line of sight to your driveway or street. This also removes potential hiding places for thieves.
- Going out? Take your car keys (and spares) with you in case your home is robbed while you’re out. Can’t take them? Invest in a safe for your valuables and stash them there.
- Take your house keys and garage remote out of the car. You don’t want to make it easy for thieves to get inside your home while the car is in the driveway.
- Secure your keys in a faraday sleeve or key fob signal blocker to stop people from scanning your keys and taking your car.
Best car theft protection while it’s parked out and about
- Check you’ve locked up and removed valuables. Even if the thief doesn’t take your car, they might damage it to get to your valuables inside. Check the doors, windows, sunroof and cab are locked before you walk away.
- Make your car look difficult to steal with anti-theft devices such as the good ol’ steering wheel lock and tyre lock. Pedal locks are less obvious but can still be effective deterrents, especially if a thief is taking their pick between cars. You could even get your VIN (vehicle identification number) etched into your windscreen and windows. This helps prevent car theft by making it harder for on-sell.
- Park smart in well-lit areas, with CCTV cameras. And when you do so, deter people from trying to tow your car (and sell it for parts) by turning your wheels into the kerb when you park.
- Invest in a quality anti-theft alarm and self-arming immobiliser (a security device that prevents an engine start unless the correct transponder car key is present). Be sure to check they comply with Australian Standards.
- Bolt down valuables that can’t be removed. Install security screws to stop people taking your plates, and wheel lock nuts to stop the theft of your high-value wheels or tyres.
- Remove personally identifiable info from your If your car is stolen and they find your rego certificate with your address inside, guess where they’ll go next? Don’t make it easy for them.
- Use technology to help recover your car such as GPS trackers and MicroDots, to help authorities identify your car.
Get Your Insurance Right for Post-Theft Protection
Car insurance providers calculate your premium based on a number of factors, one of them being the likelihood for your vehicle to experience theft. This is usually based on your car’s make, model, series and so on.
Some providers will reduce your premium if you have applied extra anti-theft devices to the vehicle’s ‘standard form’. Others don’t include this in their premium calculations. More importantly, introducing your own anti-theft measures improves your car’s protection and, with it, your peace of mind.
There might be other ways to save on car insurance. For example, at PD Insurance we also offer discounted car insurance for people who are the only driver of their car. Talk to us about our affordable insurance options, for those times when things don’t go as planned.
What am I covered for during a car theft?
Whatever your decisions, a key to protecting your motoring self is understanding more about the difference types of car insurance. You also need a good understanding of what your policy entails.
What Do I Do If My Car Is Stolen?
If the unthinkable happens and your car is stolen, don’t panic. We’ve covered what to do next in this article.
In addition to these steps, you might even like to approach taxi companies and offer a reward for their help. One of our followers told us, “There are more taxis on road than police cars. That’s how we got a car back.” A great tip! If you’ve got one, share .
Securing Your Car Is Easier Than You Think
You can see how making these small changes to the way you store your keys and other valuables, park your car and secure it might just mean the difference between a thief taking (or avoiding) your mode of transport as their own.
Over to You
Can you recommend any other ways to prevent car theft? What’s worked for you? Let us know on the PD Insurance Facebook page.