How to protect your vehicle from thieves


It used to be just taxes and death that were certain. Now it’s certain your next car insurance quotes will be higher. When it comes to the cost of comprehensive coverage, one of the key factors is the risk your prized vehicle will be stolen. Here’s a fact that should make you sit up and take notice. In America, a vehicle is stolen every forty-four seconds. As we come into spring, the thieves are readying themselves for the big push in July and August when the number of thefts peaks. Indeed, after several years in which the number of thefts were falling, The trend has turned upward again with a 1.3% national increase last year. This is frustrating. The auto manufacturers know the problem and could invest more in making it more difficult to steal our cars. But despite all their marketing claims and the development of new technology, more vehicles are being stolen again.

Where are the theft rates highest?

Eight of the top ten hotspots with the highest rates of theft are in California. It seems the local cultures have less respect for property ownership and the cuts in city budgets have forced a reduction in the number of law enforcement officers to deal with the problem. Why is the problem so bad?

• there are a number of large ports making it easy to ship stolen vehicles out of the country;
• the Mexican border is close at hand;
• the weather means older car which are easier to steal remain on the roads for longer;
• there are more addicts who steal to fund their habit.

What should you do?

No matter where you live, you keep your comprehensive car insurance rates lower if you protect your car from theft? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says, on average, 45% of thefts are as a result of owner error. Sadly, you walk away from unlocked vehicles with stealable property in clear sight on the seats. Many leave their ignition keys as an invitation to drive the vehicle away. Only about half are recovered. Having a GPS tracker installed improves the recovery rate. Other systems can slow down or immobilize your vehicle. Here’s a list of easy steps:

• have a secure place to keep your vehicle off the road when not in use;
• always lock your car;
• always take your ignition key with you;
• fitting a steering wheel lock will slow down a thief and is a visual deterrent to the casual thief;
• no matter how hot it is, always leave the windows fully closed when you park;
• never leave portable valuables in plain sight;
• always park in a well-lit area with many people walking past;
• fit an alarm which has a visual signal blinking in plain sight to show it’s working;
• buy a make and model with a smart key and/or a system to cut off the fuel supply;
• tracker systems really do improve the chances of recovering your vehicle.

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