Thieves have gotten very smart in recent years, with smart keys becoming a big problem for drivers because they are using these devices to steal and then switching out their license plates to avoid theft detection. So how do you keep your car safe from theft? You should be taking preventive measures to secure your car from theft. Here are some tips on how to keep your car safe from theft.
1. Always Lock Your Doors
Get in the habit of checking if your car doors are locked before leaving your car. This may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people forget to lock their car doors? Sometimes we may forget about locking the door when we’re in a rush to get to work, but this is what a thief wants. You should always ensure that all windows are up too, or it will provide an opportunity to thieves.
2. Remove Your Keys
If you’re leaving your car for a few seconds, never leave your keys in the ignition. Often we might see cars with no driver in them, and the engine is running. A thief doesn’t have to go through too much trouble. They can either open the door or crack open the window. If a thief notices your car is lying idle, they may mark it for future theft, so be aware at all times.
3. Park in a Safe Spot
It may be convenient when you’re in a rush to park your car in any available location. It’s worth taking time to think about where you leave your car, so it’s not in a vulnerable spot. The following are a few tips to stay away from thieves:
- Don’t park in dark car parks or a spot near trees. You should look for well-lit spaces where thieves are less likely to rob your car or belongings. If you park in these areas, make sure that there’s CCTV in the area.
- If you’re parking your car in your own driveway, you should park facing the wall or garage and put your wheels on full lock. Thieves are after easy targets, so they won’t take the risk to reverse or make complex manoeuvres.
4. Don’t Leave Your Belongings On Display
The worst thing you can do is leave your valued belongings in your car on display. Wallets, phones, money can all attract thieves. If you want to leave belongings behind, then store them in a safe location such as your glove box or in a boot.
You should not leave any paperwork lying around in your vehicle either. With bank statements and important documents, thieves take them to use your identity. Identity theft is a massive issue. Try not to keep secure documents in your car, but store them somewhere safe if you have to.
5. Improve Your Security
Modern cars are fitted with alarms and immobilisers, but you should take extra steps to keep your car secure. There are plenty of options to choose from, which include:
- Tracking devices. New high-end cars such as Mercedes already have anti-theft software installed, but if you’re driving an older car, you might consider investing in a tracking device. If your vehicle is stolen, the Gardaí will be able to see its exact location and hopefully recover your car in one piece.
- Steering wheel locks. The more challenging you make it for thieves, the risk for theft decreases. These locks are fitted over your steering wheel and lock it in place. You can also see from the outside that the steering wheel is locked and is a deterrent for thieves.
- Window Decals. Another possible protective measure to take is applying warning stickers to your window. It will let people know you have a tracker or alarm fitted on the car. When thieves see this, they will be put off and retreat from their robbery. It would make them think twice, and for them, it’s all about what is the easiest vehicle to rob.
Keep Your Keys Secure
After parking your car in a safe location, you should store your keys in a secure place in the house. Do not leave them near your front door, as thieves tend to look through the letterbox and spot them. You should also keep them away from the back door as they may see in there also. You should have a specific place in a cupboard or your room where you keep them.
What To Do If Your Car is Stolen
Unfortunately, if your car is stolen, you should take immediate steps. You should ring the Gardaí as soon as you notice the car is missing. You should have the following information on hand ready to give to them:
- Colour, make and model of the car
- License plate number
- Contact details
- Address of theft
- Photograph if your car if you have one
- Logbook and VIN number
It may also be helpful to take a photo of where your car was parked to show your insurer and the Gardaí.
Tracking Your Car
As we said earlier, many newer cars are fitted with very sophisticated tracking devices used by the Gardaí to find stolen vehicles and retrieve them. If your car has one fitted, you should give the Gardaí your tracking information so they can start investigating the crime as soon as possible. Time is key for stolen cars, so the sooner you contact the Gardaí, the better their chances are of finding your vehicle.