10 Tips on How to Prevent Car Theft

Prevent Car Theft

Auto theft has always been something of a particular problem for Arizona residents. Back in 2007, Arizona used to be #1 in the United States for car theft. While we have made it down to 15 on that list, auto theft is on the rise again.

For many, finding that your car is stolen creates not only a hassle, but an expense they cannot afford. If you are worried about car theft or simply looking for ways to reduce the chance that it happens to you, keep reading our list of 10 helpful tips below.

1. Don’t Leave Valuables in Your Vehicle

Leaving your wallet in the glovebox, some spare cash, or even an expensive pair of sunglasses, is the first habit to break. While this does not directly stop car theft, it leaves few items to steal for car thieves who are looking for a quick catch.

2. Lock Your Doors

The next tip to avoiding car theft is to keep your doors locked at all times you are not in the vehicle. Many times a theft or break-in can happen in a community where you believed your car to be safe– locking your doors makes it that much harder for thieves to be successful.

3. Take Your Keys With You

While it may be a surprise to some, leaving a spare key fob in or around the vehicle is a common practice. A car thief knows all the hiding places for your keys, so leaving one near your vehicle exponentially raises the risk of it later being stolen.

Be mindful that some thieves know how to “hotwire” a car– a process which thieves use to bypass the traditional ignition system and drive your car even without a key.

4. Keep Windows Rolled Up

For Arizona residents, keeping the windows slightly open in summertime is a common practice. Many believe this can help save their windshield from cracking, but it can potentially lead to much worse outcomes.

When you leave the window of your car open it comprises your cars security. Leave it open enough to get a tool through the window to unlock the car from the inside and a potential thief will be able to break in.

While you may believe that this isn’t an issue if there are no keys in the car, remember that cars can be started and stolen via hotwiring.

5. Turn Your Car Off

In the summer months, it’s common to want to leave your car running to keep your air conditioner cool. Unfortunately, leaving your car running and unoccupied makes it incredibly easy for thieves to steal your car. All that needs to be done is for them to get in and drive away.

6. Park in a Visible Location

Whether it’s on a street or in a parking garage, make sure to park your car in a well lit and highly visible location. Most public parking locations are equipped with security cameras– being in plain sight makes it less likely that a thief will target your vehicle.

7. Install an Alarm System

There are a multitude of anti-theft devices on the market which act as miniature alarm systems for your vehicle. The added noise and attention caused when these alarms are activated will help deter thieves looking for an easy getaway.

Remember that in the cases of alarm systems that utilize your cars built in horn, you will likely need a mechanic or installation specialist to properly install and set up your system. However, for many this is a worthwhile investment.

8. Install Kill Switches and Steering Wheel Locks

Two more popular anti-theft devices on the market are kill switches and steering wheel locks. These types of systems make your car undrivable by either rendering the ignition system useless or by making the steering wheel impossible to move.  

9. Track your Vehicle

The final category of devices are tracking systems. By installing a tracking device in your car, you will know its location in case of a theft. Some systems are even integrated with local law enforcement, raising chances of finding your vehicle as quickly as possible. 

10. Etch Your Windshield 

While many dislike this option as it causes damage to your vehicle, it also makes it less likely to steal. This is because by etching the vehicle identification number into your windshield, it makes your car more identifiable to law enforcement and further requires repair before the thief can resell your car.

Insurance Providers that can Help

Using a combination of the above methods is more effective than using any one tip independently. That said, even the most careful individuals experience theft or damage to their vehicle from time to time. At that point, it’s the insurance you have that will make a difficult situation a little easier.

At the Gebhardt Insurance Group, we offer a variety of coverage from a host of major insurance carriers with an experienced staff that can help you determine the right coverage for your vehicle. Give us at call at 520-836-3244 to get a quote and make an appointment to take the final steps in insuring your business.

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Steve Gebhardt

Gebhardt Insurance Group was honored by AAA Insurance for being the top New Policy Agency in Arizona for 2013 and achieving the "Emerald Achievement Award."
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