How secure is my car?
Thursday 23rd April 2020
Car security tips
When it comes to buying a car, whether it’s a lease agreement or buying outright, it’s natural for us to feel a strong sense of protection for our vehicles. However, sometimes situations beyond our control can mean that the security of our car is compromised. Learn how secure your car really is from our top car security tips to ensuring your vehicle’s safety is top priority.
What will help to keep your car secure?
This is rule 101 for car security. If you are leaving your vehicle for a period of time, do not leave any valuables visible through the windows while you’re gone. This can include handbags, sat-navs, CD players (if you’re sporting a ‘retro’ car) or anything that others could deem as valuable. Even low value items can often tempt opportunistic burglars – so be wary of leaving any loose items on display in your vehicle.
Considering where you park is actually incredibly important when it comes to keeping your vehicle safe. When parking at home, it may be worth parking your car in a locked garage rather than on the street, if this is an option. Alternatively, if you park your vehicle on the driveway, maybe consider installing CCTV cameras at the front of the house so if a burglary does take place, you should be able to have footage of the culprits. You should also consider where you park publicly –and the risk an area can have for your vehicle.
An immobiliser is a security device that prevents the vehicle from starting if somebody attempts to start the engine of the car without its correctly coded key. You can buy electric immobilisers, as well as physical immobilisers too, such as steering wheel locks. Typically, newer vehicles generally have electronic immobilisers already fitted. Not only can this reduce the risk of theft, but fitting an immobiliser to your vehicle can also help to reduce the cost of your car insurance, too.
Look after keys (especially keyless)
An easy car security tip, but one of the most important – look after your keys. Unlike our phones, our keys don’t come fitted with an internal GPS – so it’s up to us to remember where we placed them. This also ties in with remembering to lock your car. Opportunistic thieves will first try the door handle of your vehicle to see if its unlocked, and if it is, your insurance may be invalidated. This is especially important with keyless vehicles – as you don’t need to manually insert the key into the ignition to start the car, it’s easy to walk away from the vehicle without locking it, and on occasion, even leaving the keys in the vehicle!
Now considered a slightly old-school method of vehicle security, but the car alarm is still as effective today as it was when it was first introduced. Ensure that your car is fitted with a car alarm, if it is not already. As soon as a break-in begins, your car alarm will start a siren which will alert everyone in the area of a break-in to the vehicle, which would naturally prompt the thieves to run off. However, when they are accidentally set off and the owner does not return back to their vehicle for hours, car alarms can be slightly irritating!
Locking wheel nuts
Locking your wheel nuts is a cheap and easy solution to help protect your vehicle’s security. By simply locking the nuts, this can act as an effective deterrent to theft and can protect your wheels from being stolen. Unfortunately, this can’t protect them against being slashed or damaged! But again, considering where you park can help protect you against criminal tyre damage.
If your car is stolen, car etching is a way to ensure that it would make it more difficult for criminals to change your car’s identity. Car etching involves inscribing the last seven digits of your vehicle identification number (VIN) onto your mirrors, headlights or windows. This can be done yourself at home using a DIY kit, or it can be conducted by a professional glass-fitting company.
Installing a car tracker is a great way of protecting yourself against theft. If your vehicle is stolen, a GPS tracker can locate your car at street level, whereas a VHF system can locate your car even if it’s underground or in a storage container. Often, black box devices on vehicles can also act as car trackers, so it could be worth considering purchasing one for your car. Also, depending on your phone software and GPS capabilities of your vehicle, your Maps app can sometimes show you where you’ve parked your car, which can be helpful for vehicle security.
Now you’ve learnt what can help to keep your car secure, you may also want to ensure your car maintenance is up to date. Find out more about our Car Services and MOTs, as well as a plethora of other car care products to browse from Formula One Autocentres. Locate your nearest centre today.