Park in well-lit areas, secure car doors and windows, never leave your keys in the ignition. You've probably heard of these tried-and-true precautions, but they may not deter the most determined car thieves. These road-tested recommendations can help put the brakes on crime or aid in the speedy recovery of your auto.
1. Lock It Down - Even before an alarm sounds, thieves may stay away from your vehicle if they see you mean business. So try one or a few of these visible safeguards (most cost under $100):
- A steering column collar lock meant to prevent hot-wiring.
- Steering wheel, floorboard, gearshift, hood, wheel or tire locks to keep anyone without the key from taking off with your ride.
- Tire deflators, which lock onto the valve stem to take the air out of your tires within minutes of your car being moved if you don't remove the deflators with the key.
2. Make Your Mark - Also in plain sight to the pros: the vehicle identification number (VIN) etched into your car's windshield, windows and other parts. It's estimated that a VIN-etched auto is 64% less likely to be pinched (too troublesome for thieves to replace the tagged glass) and 85% more likely to be recovered (thanks to that unique ID). Sometimes police departments, motor clubs and other agencies host events where etching can be done — for free or for a small fee. DIY kits run under $25.
3. Stop at the Start - There are several devices on the market that can shut down your auto's ignition, electrical or fuel system when you're not around. If your car didn't come with a smart key or wireless ignition authentication system, you can add one — the engine won't start unless the ignition detects the key's unique radio frequency or coded computer chip inside the car. Some less pricey but effective ways to stall your vehicle: fuse cutoffs, kill switches, and starter, ignition or fuel disablers. Just be sure the on-off toggles are well hidden.
4. Stay on Track - Keep tabs on your car with an install-it-yourself GPS tracker. The included software or mobile app, activated with a monthly service fee, can send alerts to your computer or mobile device. Subscribing to a vehicle recovery system can be more costly, but it may help give you peace of mind if your car does go missing.
Devices that track your car via radio transmitter or cellular technology paired with GPS can alert a monitoring center or the police to the stolen vehicle's whereabouts or can even shut the engine off remotely. Automakers are also developing mobile apps that convert your smartphone into a smart key as well as a GPS tracker. Now that's a handheld safety measure that you — but no thief — can look forward to!
At Prime Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you've got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable.
Call us at 732-886-5751 or send us a note at PRIME [at] primeins [dot] com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what's important to you is protected