Car Theft Prevention: Tips and Best Practices to Avoid Car Theft

There’s nothing worse than walking out to your car in the morning to find it’s no longer there.

You start to panic, going through scenarios in your head. Did you park it somewhere else? Did it get stolen?

There’s no way you parked it somewhere else, you park in the same place every night. There’s only one answer – you are the victim of car theft.

How could this have been avoided? Is car theft prevention possible? The answer to both of these questions is yes.

You had countless non-replaceable valuables in there, not to mention, the emotional and financial value of the car.  Now, some stranger has tainted the sanctity of your car by stealing it.

It’s hard not to feel violated because, in a way, you were.

Learn the ways you could have prevented your car from being stolen. Check out our top tips for car theft prevention!

Tips for Car Theft Prevention

At the end of the day, if a talented car thief wants to steal your car, they’re going to find a way. However, there are steps you can take to deter potential car thieves as much as possible.

Whether you have a 1989 Honda that somehow still runs or a 2020 Ferrari, take the following car theft prevention steps to minimize the chance of losing your baby to a thief!

1. Always Lock Your Car

First and foremost, always lock your car. This is a great way to prevent theft of your car and everything inside of it. Leaving your car unlocked is the equivalent of inviting thieves to come take your stuff.

Additionally, it’s not uncommon for transients to seek shelter in unlocked vehicles for a good night’s sleep. Keeping your car locked will keep out multiple forms of unwanted guests.

2. Hire an Auto Locksmith if You Lose Your Keys

If you happen to lose your keys, you never know who’s going to find them. If you have a newer vehicle with a nice key fob, don’t be surprised if a potential car thief is especially motivated to find it.

They could easily walk around hitting the alarm button to locate it. Then, all they’d have to do is use the key to unlock it, start it, and drive away.

If you did lose your keys, you should hire an automobile locksmith to change out your locks and ignition switch. This could also be useful if you have a particularly vindictive ex who has an extra key to your car. It wouldn’t hurt to learn more about how a locksmith can help you.

3. Never Leave Your Keys in the Car

If leaving your car unlocked was an invitation to a car thief, leaving the keys in it is like begging to have it stolen. Some people even leave their car running!

To maximize car theft prevention, never leave your keys in the car and especially don’t leave it running. In some cities, you could actually get a ticket for leaving your car running in the winter to warm it up because so many car thieves take advantage of the situation.

4. Install an Alarm

Another way to take steps toward car theft prevention is to install an alarm and anti-theft system. Most cars come with alarms, but you can always buy aftermarket alarm systems to upgrade or replace the factory version.

Alarms serve as excellent theft deterrents, as most criminals won’t stick around if your car is wailing and flashing its lights.

You may also want to invest in an anti-theft system for your car. There are several options here:

  • A steering wheel lock makes it impossible to use the steering wheel, making it useless to drive.
  • A brake lock secures the brake pedal down, also making the vehicle impossible to drive.
  • A wheel boot locks itself into the rim of the car and prevents the wheel from turning.

5. Don’t Keep the Title in the Car

Car theft prevention means taking precautionary steps to make it difficult for thieves to claim ownership of the car. It’s well-advised to never keep your car title in the car itself. Possession of the title is proof of ownership.

If a car thief finds the title in your car, it will be very hard for police to act, even if they do pull them over.

6. Park in a Well-Lit Area or in a Garage

Next, thieves appreciate working in the dark where they can’t be seen or identified. Parking in dark alleys and dark or unmonitored parking garages is a great way to have your car stolen or at least broken into.

Make sure you park in well-lit areas, under street lights, or in public parking areas that are under surveillance. Doing so will deter car thieves from targeting your car.

7. Always Keep Track of Your Keys

Next, always keep track of your keys to prevent opportunistic car thieves from getting a leg up on you. For example, don’t leave them sitting out while at restaurants, bars, or other public places.

A good car thief could be 100 miles away before you even leave the table!

8.  Use a Car Tracking System

Next, in the event your car does get stolen, you can take extra steps toward long-term or permanent car theft prevention if you have a tracking system installed.

Cars with OnStar can be tracked, but there are many other GPS systems you can use as well.

9. Don’t Leave Valuables in Your Car

Finally, you don’t want to invite any type of thievery when it comes to your car. This includes a simple breaking and entering. Once a thief has already broken into your car, they may decide to take it a step further.

Leaving valuables in your car may give an opportunist a reason to break in, rob you, and maybe even steal your car. If leaving valuable in your car is unavoidable, at least hide them well or keep them in the trunk.

More Auto Articles

Mostly, learning how to maximize car theft prevention comes down to having an elevated state of awareness. Be aware of your surroundings, the neighborhood you’re in, and what you can do to prevent theft.

If you’re looking for more information and articles on everything car-related, check out the rest of our blog!

Author: Brandon Park