4 Ways To Prevent a Stolen Car

TheStreet’s recent article on auto theft insurance claims reveals the US average for all cars sits around 1.2 reported incidents per 1,000 vehicle years. For the typical car, that’s an $8 boost to auto insurance bills each year. Not a lot, we know, but when it comes to today’s world, every dollar saved is a win for the consumer. Plus, who wants to deal with the hassle of having to track down their stolen car? Not us. That’s why we’ve put together these tips for preventing theft insurance claims, thus keeping your insurance costs as low as possible and your car in your care.

1. Keep It in The Garage

According to Matt Moore of the Highway Loss Data Institute, most of the vehicles that HLDI deems as the least prone to theft belong to individuals who store their cars in a garage throughout the day.

“Luxury vehicles are more likely to be kept in a [home] garage overnight and parked in a [public] garage when their owners are at work during the day,” Moore explained. “As a consequence, they’re less vulnerable.”

2. Install an Alarm

Anthony Mannella, director of enforcement and compliance for the Central Automotive Inspection Records & Standards Services Corp (CAIRSS), believes that, most of the time, car alarms are effective in stopping most thieves. “Noise makes people run,” Mannella said.

3. Purchase One of These Cars

According to TheStreet, the five cars that were most effective against theft were the Toyota Matrix (No. 5), the Acura RDX (No 4), the Audi A4 (No. 3), the Volkswagen Tiguan (No. 2), and the Dodge Journey (No. 1). Each car has a reported incidents number well below the 1.2 national average, with the Matrix clocking in at 0.408 for every 1,000 vehicle years, and the rest showing a marked improvement from there. The Journey boasts an almost non-existent claims rate of 0.367 per 1,000 vehicle years.

4. Use a Theft Prevention Device

Forbes contributor Mark Hughes reminds us that, “Car thieves are not like the ones you see in the movies.” He explains that “a real car thief looks for unlocked doors, keys in the ignition, cars parked in secluded dark spots, purses or expensive items in view on the seat, and sometimes (if it’s a more serious professional car thief) cars that are of a popular make and model, which they can quickly take to a garage that strips them for parts.”

Hughes recommends making your automobile “appear to be too much of a pain in the butt to bother with.” He advises, “Some things that will make your car harder to steal, even if it is targeted, include pointing your tires in at the curb (the car can’t be pushed or towed that easily), a lock on your steering wheel (or a fake “boot” on the rear wheel), a sticker indicating the car has GPS tracking anti-theft protection and alarm (whether it does or not, you can get one and put it in the car window, and you can even look for images online and print one at home yourself).”

Canada sells a product called Boomerang that locates a stolen car through radio signals and/or satellite detection.

In Summary

Whatever you decide, just remember that there are plenty of deterrents out there to crack down on auto theft. It can be anything from driving/parking habits to the type of car you buy. As Hughes said, thieves do not like a challenge. By installing alarms or theft prevention devices and becoming more aware of the risks, you will further improve your car’s chances of not appearing to be an easy mark.

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