Top Tips to Safeguard Your Car from Theft

December 11, 2023 by Zoe Hicks – 4 mins read

Explore Motorscan’s guide to safeguarding your vehicle to thwart those pesky car thieves and discover helpful insights and strategies from strategic parking to advanced security systems and your friendly neighbourhood watch!

Embark on a journey where we unravel the top tips for safeguarding your vehicle from the rising threat of car theft. In a world where vehicle security is paramount, Motorscan has been exploring the proven strategies, empowering you with the knowledge needed to protect your cherished set of wheels from the unscrupulous! From advanced security systems to practical tips, join us as we take a look at the comprehensive measures that will leave car thieves at a loss and you in the driver’s seat!

Park in a safe, well-lit area

Choosing the right parking spot can be a game-changer when it comes to thwarting potential vehicle theft. When you’re at home, park in your garage or driveway if you have one. When you’re away from home, opting for a safe, well-lit parking space is fundamental in safeguarding your vehicle, deterring opportunistic thieves, and providing surveillance cameras and witnesses visibility. Similarly, choosing parking spaces near entrances or high-traffic areas adds an extra layer of protection, making it less appealing for thieves to target your vehicle.

Install a car alarm, immobiliser and tracking device

If you have the budget, you can further enhance your car’s security by installing a comprehensive anti-theft system, incorporating a combination of a car alarm, immobiliser, and tracking device. And, if not all three, then even adding one of these devices to your vehicle adds protection. For example, a loud and piercing car alarm is certainly going to act as an immediate alert for you and most likely have your would-be thief running for the hills! An immobiliser adds an extra layer by preventing unauthorised engine startups, and the addition of a tracking device ensures swift recovery in the unfortunate event of theft, providing real-time location updates for you and the Police.

Apple’s AirTag (iOS users only)

AirTag is a small, coin-shaped tracking device created by Apple to help users locate small personal items like keys, wallets, and bags. Therefore, relying on AirTag as your primary car security system is not typically recommended, but it may be suitable as an intermediary security measure. It uses Bluetooth technology to connect with the user’s Apple device and via tracking through the Find My app on iOS devices. This network allows users to locate their lost items with the help of nearby Apple devices that communicate their location anonymously.

Invest in a steering lock

It may be considered old school in the ever-advancing age of technology, but a steering lock remains one of the most effective ways to secure your vehicle and prevent car theft, especially if your budget doesn’t stretch to expensive car alarms. Its simple structure acts as a visible deterrent that can dissuade potential thieves, effectively a physical barrier rendering the steering wheel immobile. The time-tested steering wheel lock remains a reliable, cost-effective, and uncomplicated solution to adding to the overall security of your vehicle. Sometimes, it’s the simple things that make the most sense!

Consider disabling keyless entry

If your vehicle has a keyless entry system, it may be worth temporarily disabling it (the steps should be covered in the manufacturer’s handbook). While these keyless systems offer convenience, they are highly susceptible to relay attacks where criminals amplify the signal from the key fob inside the home to unlock and start the car. A proactive approach is temporarily turning off keyless entry when the vehicle is not in use, adding an extra layer of defence against more sophisticated theft attempts.

Invest in an RFID pouch or box

An alternative to disabling keyless entry systems is to religiously use an RFID pouch or box to store your keyless entry key fobs. These specially designed pouches or boxes act like a Faraday cage, blocking signals and preventing unauthorised access or relay attacks. When you place the key fob inside the RFID pouch, it isolates it from external signals, ensuring potential thieves cannot remotely access it. They are a wise, cost-effective precaution if disabling the keyless entry system isn’t an option.

Review general home security

While home security measures are primarily used to protect your house, they can indirectly contribute to preventing car thefts in a few ways, such as security cameras, outdoor lighting, and well-lit driveways, all being great visual deterrents. Even a doorbell camera can provide additional reassurance. Similarly, good outdoor lighting makes it more difficult for car thieves to operate discreetly and are more likely to be noticed by neighbours and security cameras.

Sign up to your local neighbourhood watch scheme and Nextdoor

Joining a neighbourhood watch scheme can make your residential area a less appealing environment for criminals to operate in if they feel they could be easily identified or caught on camera. Similarly, consider joining your local Nextdoor community, a social networking platform designed for local communities that will also alert you of crime and safety alerts. By being part of your community, if your car does get stolen, you may have a chance of someone spotting it if your community knows to keep an eye out!

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