How to Protect Your Parked Car on a Questionable Street
According to figures released by the FBI, a car is stolen every 44 seconds somewhere in the United States. In 2013, there were over 600,000 vehicles stolen nationwide.
Having your car stolen can be devastating. Having comprehensive car insurance will ensure that you’re compensated for the theft, but this doesn’t mean that you ought to be lax about the security of your car. Vehicle owners should take all the necessary precautions to keep their cars secure. This includes parking it safely.
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), where you park your car can affect your auto insurance rates. Parking in an area that is known for high rates of theft, vandalism and accidents will attract higher insurance rates than for drivers in areas that are less populated and safer.
The best way to keep your car secure is to park in a garage or in a secured parking lot. However, if you have no choice but to park on a questionable street, consider the following tips to protect your car:
Invest in a security system
Many alarm systems today are automated. They turn on once the vehicle’s engine is off and the doors are locked from the outside. However, some aren’t. It is therefore important to turn your alarm on whenever you leave your car parked in the street.
It’s also advisable to install a kill switch or steering lock system. This will prevent thieves from making off with your car even if they are able to disable the alarm.
Let thieves know your car is secure
A security or alarm sticker prominently displayed on your car will deter thieves from trying to steal your car. These visual signs show would-be burglars that the car would be a tougher job to steal. Having a blinking LED light that indicates the presence of an alarm is another great way to deter car thieves. Thieves aren’t likely to steal a car with this flashing light even if the car doesn’t actually have an alarm. It is considered too much of a risk.
Keep your doors locked
Thieves are always looking for the easiest car to steal. Leaving your car doors unlocked makes it easier for thieves to gain access to your car. Close and lock all doors and windows.
Take your valuables with you
Thieves may be attracted to your car if they suspect there are valuables within it. Don’t leave your valuables in your car. If your car stereo can be removed and replaced easily, you can take it with you. If you’re temporarily parked, keep valuables out of site. Make use of the glove compartment and the space under the seats to store away items.
Park in an open well-lit part of the street
Look for a well-lit part of the street and park your car there. This could be under a street lamp or in front of a 24-hour store. Thieves like to do their work hidden from view. Parking in an open and well-lit area makes your car prone to stealing.
Make use of your emergency brake
If you’re parked on a hill, it can be easy for thieves to quietly roll your car down the hill to an area where they can steal it or remove parts that they want. Engage the emergency brake whenever you park to prevent this from happening.
The best way to protect your car is to always park in a safe place. However, when you’re forced to park in a less than safe area, use these tips to help keep your car safe, you’ll be happy you did.