7 Great Car Security Tips
Your vehicle is probably one of the most valuable possessions you own, so it is important to keep it safe from criminals and vandals. This is a lot easier said than done, however, especially since we are living in a time where crime is a depressingly common occurrence.
Motor security is a constant issue and concern for all vehicle owners and we are often left worrying about our parked vehicles as we go about our daily business. But there are measures that can be actioned to help prevent you from becoming a victim of crime. And what’s more, most of these measures could possibly assist in reducing the cost of your vehicle insurance.
To help you to assess whether you have the correct security precautions in place and to inspire you with ideas of what you can do to deter car thieves and vandals, we have put together a list of 7 great car security tips.
- Install A Car Alarm
Most modern vehicles come standard with a car alarm already in place, although this might not be the case for all makes and models. If your car did not come pre-equipped with an alarm, an obvious security tip is to get one installed as soon as possible.
Motor alarms are there to alert you if someone is meddling with your car. Once an alarm has been activated, thieves and vandals are prone to run away from the scene rather than to continue with their criminal antics. Felons are also more likely to be deterred from approaching a vehicle from the onset if they know that an alarm could possibly be activated, alerting the authorities as a result.
If your car is fitted with a professional and reliable alarm system, not only will the flashing lights and the piercing sounds of the siren send perpetrators into a frenzy, your insurer might also be happy to know about this safety measure and reduce your policy premiums
- Fit an Immobiliser
Immobilisers are electronic devices that prevent your car from being started when the incorrect key is inserted into the ignition. Sometimes there is also a hidden button that needs to be pushed before a vehicle will start.
These nifty devices may not stop a vehicle from being broken into and emptied of its contents, but it may prevent your car from being stolen. Immobilisers stall the process of car theft since it takes quite some time and some good vehicle knowledge to get a vehicle with this security measure on the go. In most scenarios, thieves never manage to by-pass the device in time. This will either dissuade criminals from attempting to steal the motor, or it could possibly give police forces enough time to catch them in the act.
Since 1998, all new car releases in the UK come standard with pre-fitted immobilisers. If your vehicle is an older model, installing a quality immobiliser might be a good idea. This will not only help you to outsmart those no-do-gooders, it could also possibly reduce what you are currently paying for your car insurance.
- Consider Where You Park
The best way to ensure the safety of your car is to keep it from prying eyes. So ultimately, parking your car in a garage is ideal. If you have to park in a driveway, a parking lot or in the street, however, always look for a spot that has CCTV cameras in the surrounds, or at the very least, make sure that you can see your vehicle from the window of the building/s you are entering – this way you can keep an eye on it.
If you have to park your car outdoors while at home, a good idea is to install motion detectors and outside night lights. The lights will deter thieves and the motion detectors can be set to activate an alarm which should send the trespassers off in a panic while you alert your neighbourhood watch.
It’s important that you keep your insurance company up to date with where your vehicle will be parked for the greater part of each day. Depending on the crime rate in your area and the precautions you have set in place, your parking situation could either positively or negatively affect your car insurance instalments.
- Keep Your Car Keys Safe
Life is busy. We tend to have never-ending To Do lists and we are often expected to think of more than one thing at once. This means that all too often we misplace or lose things like our reading glasses, our mobiles and worst-case scenario, our car keys!
If your keys are picked up by the wrong person, this could open up opportunities for thieves to steal your vehicle and its possessions at a moment’s notice. This especially happens when criminals hover around busy people like moms with tots or distracted businessmen. Without you realising it, they will have observed where you parked your car and will snatch your keys in a fast attempt to get away with your vehicle, or at least to help themselves to your valuables.
This means that you need to get into the habit of putting your car keys into your purse or a secure pocket as soon as you have exited and locked your vehicle. All spare keys should also be kept in a secure location, preferably a Safe. To keep your car from being stolen, you need to keep sticky fingers away from your keys at all times.
If in the event that your car was broken into or stolen, your insurance company could decline your claim for the mere fact that you were irresponsible with your car keys. I think we would all like to prevent this scenario, of course.
- Secure Your Windows
Your windows are vulnerable points of access to the interior of your vehicle in that they can be smashed in an instant. In many countries, “smash and grabs” are on the rise, leaving motorists a tad nervous to drive through busy streets and high crime areas. Luckily, there is a way to “smash proof” your windows at quite the affordable cost.
You will want to apply what is most commonly referred to as “anti-smash-and-grab film” to your motor’s windows. This film is a transparent barrier that covers your windows and it makes it harder for thieves to smash the glass and gain entry to your car. Some companies also install a tinted or solar reflective film, which makes it harder for loiterers to peep into your windows and assess your valuables.
And please, oh please, don’t forget to wind your windows up when parking your car. Open windows are an invitation to criminals who are looking for their next target.
The more security measures you put in place to keep your vehicle safe, the lower your quote will be when applying for motor insurance. It is always important to remember, however, that each measure needs to be implemented by a professional for it to be accepted as a reliable preventative.
- Invest in A Steering Wheel Lock
While you might feel that your car is turning into Fortnox, keeping criminals and vandals at bay is what is important. So, when it comes to putting security measures in place, an ideal tool to invest in is a good old steering wheel lock.
These devices have been around for some time and they have yet to lose their appeal. Locking your wheel, or even your gear stick is just another way to prevent a robber from getting away with your vehicle. Together with a car alarm and an immobiliser, it’s very unlikely that the perpetrators will get your car started, never mind moving into action.
The good news is that this is one of the more affordable methods of keeping your car safe. Steering and gear-locks can be purchased from most car accessory dealerships without blowing a hole in your pocket. At the same time, you’re also very likely to save on your car insurance rates by declaring your new security measures to your insurance provider.
- Do You Have A Car Tracking System
If you are serious about your car’s security as well as your safety, then going big and investing in a car tracking system is definitely the way to go. Trackers make it easier to trace and recover your car if it’s stolen. It’s also a preventative measure that might possibly stop your vehicle from being stolen in the first place.
There are currently two main types of tracking systems on the market. One includes a GPS system which helps you to locate a car at street level and the other works on VHF technology which can trace your vehicle to storage containers or underground parking levels. A device that features both systems would be an ideal solution.
More recently, many insurance companies are taking it into their own hands to ensure that you have a tracking device fitted to your car by initiating the installation themselves. They will confirm a date and time with you and will send one of their representatives to your location to fit the device onto your car in a secure area. These insurers will then offer a discount for cars with trackers installed by their own means.