One of the worst feelings in the world has to be going out to your car and realizing it has been stolen. Car theft is not confined to certain areas or types of cars. It can happen anywhere, no matter what type of car you drive. Sure, some cars are stolen more often than others and certain areas are more high risk but it always pays to take precautions.
There are a number of anti-theft options available for your car and we are going to look at the top 5. They will give you additional peace of mind and could reduce your car insurance premiums. Hopefully, they will save you the expense and inconvenience of having a car stolen.
There are a few factors to consider before deciding on what anti-theft system will be right for you.
- Your Budget: Anti-theft systems range from inexpensive to rather costly, depending on what you take. Some also have recurring costs that you need to take into account.
- Your Location: You are never completely safe from crime but if you live in, or frequent a high-risk area, anti-theft devices are more important.
- Your Car: Certain makes and models are more prone to car theft and some are simply easier to steal. Take this in account when deciding on a system.
Types of Anti-Theft Devices
- Steering Wheel Locks: Sometimes, simple is better. Steering wheel locks are made from hardened steel and lock between the steering wheel and the dashboard. With the lock in place it is impossible to drive the vehicle.
They are highly visible from the outside and most criminals will move on to an easier target when seeing a steering lock.
- Hood Locks: Hood locks will not really prevent your car from being stolen but will protect your battery and expensive engine parts. Opportunistic thieves often force the hood open and steal what they can. A hood lock can prevent this. A key is required to open the locks in order to open the hood of the car.
- Electronic Immobilizers: In the past, it was relatively simple to start a car without the key. Immobilizers make this much more difficult. The key or immobilizer sends a signal to the system. Without the signal, the car shuts down and the engine will not operate. A variety of technologies are used in different vehicles to transmit the signal.
- Car Alarm: There is a range of alarm systems on the market from basic systems to very advanced. Obviously, the price will increase according to the technology used. Most will activate if a window is smashed, there is movement in the vehicle or the locks are tampered with.
The alarm normally comes with stickers that you place on the car and most have a flashing LED light. Both of these will deter criminals.
Alarms are also useful for protecting any valuables you might leave in your car.
Alarms are also available for motorcycles. Check out
Electronic Tracking Systems
Tracking systems or Lojack systems are very popular these days and have become extremely sophisticated. They do deter criminals but the main benefit comes when the vehicle is actually stolen. Tracking companies can pinpoint the exact location of the vehicle and with the assistance of local law enforcement can quickly recover the stolen car, hopefully catching the criminals at the same time.
Remember that you will pay a once off cost to have the system installed as well as monthly charges for the tracking company to monitor the service. This cost is often offset by a reduction in insurance premiums.
Criminals are going to go for the easiest target. The more precautions you take, the less likely it is that your car will be stolen. While none of these systems are fool proof, they will certainly deter thieves, slow them down and make your car less likely to be stolen. Don’t be a target and become a victim, install an anti-theft device on your car.