Car break-ins and outright theft are more common than you may think. In 2014, it was reported that a car got missing every 46 seconds. Scary, right? Of the almost 700,000 cars stolen that year, about 55% of them were never recovered.
Guess what? This figure increased in 2015 and 2016. According to the FBI, over 750,000 cars were stolen in 2016. The loss amounted to about $5.9 billion. If this many cars were stolen, how many more do you think were broken into?
Here’s another piece of information that you should find interesting. In the 2014 report, driver error was found to be the cause for about half of the cases. Driver error? Yes! We will list some of these as we go ahead.
The purpose of this article is primarily to offer you tips that will help you prevent car break-ins. Interestingly, these same tips will also help prevent car theft. You may also want to know that some of the tips we will share with you will also put some money in your pocket.
Simple! Insurance companies love it when you take steps to safeguard your property that you have insured with them. As a way of encouraging you to do more, they give you back some of your premium. Yeah, you heard right.
So, as you protect your car from break-ins and theft, you will also be saving on your auto insurance expenses. So without much ado, let’s begin to look at the tips.
Never Leave Your Car Keys in the Car
We know you are a very nice person and that you do not take what does not belong to you. However, not everyone is as nice as you are. When you park your car, no matter how close where you are going is, never leave your car keys in the car. Take it with you. It will only take you a few seconds to insert it into the ignition when you get back.
Do Not Leave Your Car Unlocked
Just as we mentioned above, as you take your car keys with you, make sure you lock up before going anywhere. Lock the doors and the windows. Do not make it easy for someone to simply reach into your car and vandalize it.
Never Leave Your Car Engine Running When You Are Not In It
This particular practice leaves one really shocked. Okay, you think you just want to pop into that store, get some stuff and rush back and you think why bother to shut off the engine and lock up before popping into that store?
Well, imagine that as you left the engine running and popped into the store, a would-be thief just happened to be nearby and saw the opportunity. The moment it took you to pop into the store will be more than enough for the thief to hop into your car and drive it off.
Be smart and never be in such a hurry as to leave your car running and going off to get something.
Do Not Leave Valuables In Your Car
Your car is more likely to be a target for break-ins if the thief knows for sure that there are valuables in it. Do not leave your phones, iPads, laptops and other valuable items on the car seat where everyone can see it. This can act as a great motivating factor.
If you must leave valuables in your car (which we are forced to do many times), hide them. Let them be totally out of sight. A quick pointer here though. If you are going to hide your laptop in the trunk, it is not very wise to do so in public. If a thief is watching you and sees that you hid your laptop there, you’ve only shown him where to focus on.
Anything that should be hidden should have been hidden either from home or in a private place. If you are going to hide smaller items like phones, tablets etc. inside the car, do so discreetly.
Another thing to consider is an item like your car stereo. This is something that car thieves love to steal. Try to get one that has a detachable face which renders the base unusable. At least, the thief would not want to spend time stealing something that won’t fetch him premium value.
Do Not Park In Dark Spots
When you are done for the day of having to park your car at night, try to find a well-lit place to park. It also helps if there is good foot traffic in the area. Thieves do not like bright lights neither do they like prying eyes looking on as they carry out their evil enterprise.
Think Car Alarm and Anti-theft System
Nothing can send a would-be thief on his heels like the sudden screeching of a car alarm. This is a good investment as is any other security system that can make it difficult for the thief to succeed in his mission.
For break-ins, alarms appear to be more effective. If you have a GPS system, steering wheel lock, immobilizer or other devices that will make it either difficult for the thief to drive off with the car or make it easy for them to be caught after they have taken off with the car, it may not stop a thief who just wants to break in and steal and not necessarily steal the car itself.
If you look at all the tips listed above, you will notice that there is really nothing high-tech or new there. These are simply common sense actions that everyone should naturally think of. Sadly, many don’t and this has led to many of the cases of break-ins and outright thefts reported.
It’s time to get smart and protect your possession. Start implementing these tips right away and enjoy increased safety. Do not make it easy for thieves to steal from you, leaving you with hundreds of dollars worth of repair jobs to be done.
Do not also forget that putting these into practice can earn you discounts from your insurer, meaning you get to pay lower premiums for your cover. These are simple steps and you really have nothing to lose but everything to gain by implementing them.