Cars can be stolen in a matter of seconds. Don’t let it happen to you – here are our top tips on keeping your car from being targeted.
Always lock up your car
It’s the most basic and most important tip to follow. Close your windows and sunroof and turn the ignition off whenever you leave your car. Make sure you take your keys with you and lock all doors, including the boot.
Park your car in a secure, well lit area
Parking on your driveway or in a locked garage is your safest option. Failing that, park in a well-lit area, under a street lamp; thieves will be less likely to target your car if they know they can be seen.
Stay away from car park exits and entrances
The chances are that somebody stealing a vehicle from a car park will target the ones closest to the exit or entrance to enable a quick getaway.
Don’t slack off at home
It’s easy to feel that your car’s safe outside your home and make the mistake of leaving it unlocked. Cars are often taken from outside people’s homes for this very reason. Always lock your car and close all of the windows, even if you’re just nipping into the house for a second.
Always take your keys out of the car and turn the ignition off
This always applies, even if you’ve just been in an accident, even if there’s a passenger still in your car.
Keep valuables out of sight
That’s your satnav, laptop, mobile phone, bag, purse, wallet – anything like that. If you keep them in plain sight, you’re just giving thieves an extra incentive to break into your car.
Never keep documents in your car
Like valuables, they just give thieves another reason to target you. Not only will they have your motor – they will be able to steal and sell your identity, too.
Use your steering lock
If a thief sees you have one of these fitted, they’ll likely go and find an easier target.
Invest in a car alarm
Irritating as they can be, they’ll let you know if somebody is trying to access your vehicle. They’ll also scare off anyone trying to break in.
Never keep your spare key in your car
Firstly, it’s a bad idea anyway; if you lock yourself out of your car with your key still in it, your spare’s going to be no use if it’s also in the car! Secondly, thieves know all the hiding places – keep a spare key in the car and you’re making their job easy.
Be aware of theft by towing
Some people will try to steal your car by towing it away. Make their job harder; park with your wheels pointed towards the kerb, always use your steering lock and make sure your handbrake is on.
Lock your doors when you’re in your car
This should make it tricky for those who target people who have stopped at junctions and traffic lights.
Keep your car keys out of sight when in your home
People will sometimes break into homes, just to get car keys. Don’t keep them near a door or window, or on a key hook, where they can be easily seen and accessed. Instead, stash them away out of sight, in a location known only to you.