Car theft is a problem the world over. If you’ve ever been a victim of it you know how much distress and inconvenience it can cause, not to mention the financial loss if you don’t have insurance… You can help avoid this particular brand of automotive catastrophe, though, by taking a few commonsense precautions.

Lock Up

Always lock your car and completely close all windows and sunroofs when it’s unoccupied. Sounds obvious, doesn’t it? But it’s estimated that around half of the cars stolen each year are unlocked at the time.

Watch Those Keys

Don’t leave your car with the keys in the ignition. You might not think dashing in to drop off a DVD would give a thief time to make off with your vehicular pride and joy – but you’d be wrong. A fifth of stolen cars come with a matching set of keys.

Your Spare Set

Don’t keep a spare set of keys in your car – even if you hide them under the seat. Car thieves make a career out of what they do, they’ll find your keys no matter where you hide them.

Park Carefully

Think about where you park. Choose busy, well-lit areas where the threat of observation will deter thieves. If you use a parking lot, try to find one with an attendant. At home, if you have a garage – use it. And lock the door.

Valuable Items

Don’t tempt fate. Leaving valuable items visible in your car is as good as a neon sign asking thieves to smash your windows and take your property.


Consider installing an alarm. Given a choice between an un-alarmed car and one that will wail at 100 decibels if tampered with, most self-respecting car crooks will go for the quieter option. If you do install an alarm, let the crims know by placing a sticker on your window.

More Protection

Do you have protection? There’s plenty out there. From immobilisers to fuel cut-off switches, anything that makes the vehicle villain’s job harder gives your car a better chance of being there when you get back.

Steering Wheel Lock

Need a low-cost option? Try a steering wheel lock or “club”. They’re nice and visible and effective against amateur thieves.

Keep Your Papers Safe

If your car is stolen, the one thing that’ll make it easier for a thief to convert it into cash is a nice set of registration papers. Don’t leave yours in the car, keep them safe at home.

Make Yourself Unattractive

Nothing can protect you 100% from a determined professional car thief, but the measures outlined above will make your car a less attractive target. With so many others to choose from, that might be all it takes to keep you on the road.

Get more tips on car security in this video.

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