Car theft costs motorists and car insurance companies millions of dollars each year. The risk of having your car stolen depend very much on where you live. If you live in urban areas you are more at risk than if you live on the countryside. Port and border cities are also more at risk than other cities. In ports and close to borders cars are targeted for export by thieves who sneak them out of the country.
Even if every vehicle, no matter the make, model or year, is a target for thieves, certain makes and models are, no doubt, more popular with car thieves. Thieves have a preference for stealing cars that are easily stolen, and ones they’ve stolen before. Honda, and Toyota products are popular throughout the nation due to popularity and ability to resale it.
Of course, if a professional car thief really wants to steal your car, there is not much you can do to stop the him. What you can do, however, is to make it as difficult and time-consuming as possible.
Be aware of you surroundings, whether you are getting in or out of your car. Always check around you before getting in. Park in a well-lit, attended lot or area if possible. If you have a garage at home, make sure you use it at all times.
When you leave your car, always turn off the ignition, set the parking brake, take the keys with you and lock the car. Make sure all doors are locked and all windows closed. In some situations you may want to turn your wheels to the side to make it harder to tow your car.
Never leave your car with the engine running, that makes it far to easy for someone to drive off with your car. Even if you have been involved in an accident, always turn off the ignition and remove your keys. A common carjacking trick involves someone driving into the back of your car at low speed, and when you get our to take a look at the damage, somebody else jumps into your car and drive off.
Don’t leave the registration or title in the vehicle and, of course, never leave valuables in distinct view. Leaving laptop computers, bags, cell phones or other electronics on display is asking for trouble.
Consider investing in extra security. Many auto insurance companies provide discounts for vehicle anti-theft devices. As an example, you usually get a lower premium if your car has an alarm device with horn bell, or other sounding device activated by a door, hood and trunk sensor. Fuel cut-off, ignition cut-off, or starter cut-off device to prevent the car from starting or running are also basic devices.
Etching the vehicle’s vehicle identification number (VIN) onto the windshield and windows is also recommended. If nothing else, it makes your car less desirable for a thief. He or she would need to replace the glass before selling the stolen vehicle.
On the high-end you find stolen motor vehicle recovery devices that reports the location of the car to the police. They are expensive, but will affect your insurance premium.