A car gets stolen every 43 seconds in the United States. Depending on where you live, the theft rate can be higher or lower, but everyone should be aware of possibility they could be next. There are some things you can do to help make your car less enticing to thieves.
Park Your Car in a Garage. A locked garage if possible. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it really is the best deterrent for car thieves. Out of sight, out of mind. If you don’t have a garage, consider using a tarp or car cover to conceal your car. Also, if you can park it away from the street (but not in a dark alley), close to your home or behind your home, it will make an easy steal-and-go operation a lot harder to pull off.
Use a Car Alarm or Anti-Theft Device. When leaving your car, turn on the built in alarm (if you have one). Good car alarm systems and anti theft devices can also give you a discount on your car insurance. If you don’t have one, you can buy one fairly cheaply, or buy a fake one to trick car thieves into thinking you do.
Keep Your Car Clean and Clutter Free. The less “stuff” in your car the less someone walking by will see and think they will get. Do not leave purses, valuables, computers, or gifts in your car, it will only invite the wrong kind of attention. This is especially true if your windows aren’t tinted. Many car thieves steal cars not only for the car itself, but for the valuables inside as well as information (IDs, credit cards, cash, etc.).
Don’t Leave Your Car Running or Keys in the Ignition. Not only is it bad for the environment to keep the car running, it is an open invitation for a thief to party with your car. Many older drivers are used to the good-ole-days when leaving your keys in the car was perfectly fine, but the truth is that times have changed. Even if you’re just running in the store for one thing and it’s freezing outside, turn the car off and lock it.
Close Your Windows. Close your car windows when you leave, even if it’s hot outside. This one is a pretty easy one to do. Cracked or open windows make it extremely easy for unwanted people to get inside your car. When the windows are up, it makes a thief’s job a lot harder and usually a window needs to be broken, causing extra attention and risk. Make it hard for someone to get in the car and just roll the windows up.
As you can see, these tips are pretty easy to follow and are all pretty common-sense oriented. The easiest way to keep thieves away from your car is to make your car invisible to them by parking off the street, keeping it clean, protecting by locking it an arming an alarm, and rolling up the windows.