If you live in a busy city, your car is more likely to be stolen or broken into. This can drastically raise the price of your auto insurance, even though it’s not your fault.
It has become increasingly difficult to catch auto thieves who use smart keys and swap vehicle identifying numbers. What can you do to lessen your risk of becoming a victim of auto theft?
For starters, it helps to always be on the lookout for potential threats to your car’s security and take precautions to avoid them. Below we will explain how to protect your vehicle from theft, what anti-theft discounts are, and how to get them.
What You Can Do to Prevent Auto Theft
Want to make auto thieves think twice before targeting your vehicle? Make it less appealing to them. The more appealing your automobile is to someone, the faster they will take it. Your automobile will be a less desirable target if you can slow down skilled carjackers or joyriders in any way.
Remove Keys and Lock Your Doors
Don’t ever leave your keys in your car. A burglar may simply smash a window and drive away if your key is in the car. You should also avoid leaving your car running, even if you’re only going into a store to handle a quick task. A running vehicle might be a tempting target for a burglar if it is unoccupied or unsecured.
Keeping your doors secured is the first step in discouraging a burglar. Always double-check your car doors before walking away.
Roll up Your Windows and Don’t Leave Valuables in Your Car
Close all of your windows unless you or someone else is inside them. A burglar can reach into your car via an open window and take anything they can get, or they can unlock the door and have unrestricted access to your vehicle and anything you have stored inside it.
Leaving a handbag, mobile phone, or other valuable items in a conspicuous location in your car is one way to draw a car thief. It’s better to leave valuables at home, but if you must bring something essential with you, make sure it’s hidden.
For instance, put valuables in the trunk before you get to your destination. Since some criminals scour parking lots for potential victims, you shouldn’t hide anything while in the parking lot. They’ll break into the trunk after you’ve left the vehicle to take anything you’ve concealed.
Keep a Baby Monitor in Your Car
This is a cost-effective way to deter thieves, especially if you buy a classic car and don’t want to install tech into the engine. It lets you hear everything that is going on within your vehicle. You will hear it if someone opens the car door or tries to start the engine.
Once you are aware of the intruder, you can scare the thief off by setting the alarm off and calling the police.
Wrap Aluminum Foil Around Your Automobile Keys
Wrap your keys in something metallic to block signals and protect them from “relay” attacks. An automobile relay is a switch that is controlled electrically.
They may be found in various vehicles, including sedans, trucks, vans, trailers, and boats. To establish or break an electrical circuit, they use an electromagnet device to manipulate a switch manually.
Thieves can use equipment to intercept the signal from your car keys without you knowing.
The burglar might get access to your automobile and take it after the signal from your keys is hijacked. So instead of hanging your keys at your front entrance, put them in foil, a Faraday wallet, your microwave, or perhaps your refrigerator.
However, I would recommend a Faraday wallet over the other options. Basically, a Faraday wallet is a mesh material with tiny conductive wires made of copper, nickel, or silver.
The wires allow the Faraday wallet to block external signals, making it impossible for an attacker to scan your cards that include radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips.
Set Up a Vehicle Immobilizer
Thieves can hotwire your automobile to bypass your ignition, but installing a vehicle immobilizer system can help prevent this. They’ll basically disable the car, making it impossible for a criminal to steal it. Smart keys, kill switches, and wireless ignition authentication are features that immobilizer systems can include.
An immobilizer may need to be installed in your vehicle by a mechanic or technician knowledgeable about the vehicle’s wiring and computer systems.
Set Up an Anti-theft Device and an Audible Alarm System
If your car doesn’t come with one, use a conspicuous anti-theft device and add an audible alarm system. If someone tries to enter the vehicle when the alarm is on, the audible alarm may be loud enough to scare them away. Alternatively, if the transmission on your car is on the louder side, this could also work as a deterrent for thieves.
Various car alarms are available, but they may need to be installed by a mechanic or an alarm specialist. Installing an alarm system into a sports car can be even more expensive, so this is something you should consider before purchasing a sports car if you live or work in a crime-ridden neighborhood.
Different Types of Anti-Theft Discounts
Auto insurance companies provide discounts to specific applicants to make their auto insurance prices more marketable. The anti-theft discount will be applied to sections of your rates and help you save money on insurance for numerous vehicles in your family.
If you live in a city or state where burglary occurs often, these anti-theft discounts and equipment are even more vital. Even if you haven’t been a victim of theft, the volume of robberies in your neighborhood might raise your insurance premiums.
Visible deterrents such as a steering wheel lock, window etching of your VIN, or the flashing light of an alarm system may also be sufficient to discourage a car burglar. Some popular anti-theft discounts include:
- Active alarm discount: An active-type alarm system is the most affordable alarm system available at local car dealers. You must push a button to trigger the alarm every time you depart the car using this device.
- Engine disabling alarm discount: The engine-disabling function indicates that the alarm is coded into the car’s computer system to disable the ignition or the engine when the alarm sounds. The thief will not be able to drive the automobile away if the alarm is activated. These alarms have more significant discounts but are more expensive to install.
- Passive alarm discount: The passive system is better since it will automatically turn on after the keys are removed from the ignition, and all car doors are closed.
- Sound-only alarm discount: A car alarm that emits sounds is designed to deter car thieves by alerting everyone in the area that someone has attempted to access the vehicle while it is locked. Sound-only alarm savings might be minimal because the sound is the only way to prevent theft.
When it comes to anti-theft discounts, things become a little more complicated because several different ones are available outside of the ones mentioned above. As a result, you should never install an alarm only to save money on insurance; instead, you should install one to secure your vehicle.
Imani Francies writes and researches for the car insurance site, CarInsuranceComparison.com. She enjoys helping people understand the various car insurance policy options and how anti-theft features can lower their premiums.