This post is originally authored at the home security blog at family + home security.
Car security is a topic that has recently received a lot of attention. New vehicle models are being equipped with even more sophisticated security features, which are designed to reduce the likelihood that a car will be easily stolen. However, if you haven’t recently purchased a new car, chances are that you may be concerned about your vehicle’s security. For many people, a car represents their sole method of transportation for work, child care, running errands and picking up their children from after-school activities. Having your car stolen can be a very stressful experience, and can disrupt nearly every aspect of your life. In order to help discourage a thief from stealing your car, there are a few tips that you can use to improve your vehicle’s security.
Why Time Matters
Your goal for preventing the theft of your car should be to make it as time-consuming as possible. Though it may not be possible to have a vehicle that is 100% theft-proof, you can increase the amount of time that a thief needs to steal your car. Time is the most important factor, since many thieves only have a limited amount of time to steal a car while undetected. If it takes them a significant amount of time to steal your car, they will most likely get discouraged, and leave to search for an easier target.
Car Security Tips
Here are some affordable and useful devices that you can use to help prevent your car being targeted by a potential car thief.
A great deterrent against thieves is to attach a wheel lock to your car after parking. A wheel/tire lock is a device that attaches around your tire, locking in place and preventing the vehicle from moving. Though it may be possible to drive a car with a wheel lock, it usually results in extensive damage, and it’s nearly impossible for a car thief to reach a “getaway” speed. Wheel locks usually cost from $40-$80, and are available at most car part supply stores. You may choose to purchase a wheel lock that uses a key, or one that opens by entering a pre-set combination.
Steering Wheel Locks
Steering wheel locks are more functional as a visual deterrent than an actual device that helps improve your car’s security. A steering wheel lock fits on your steering wheel, preventing the wheel from being able to be fully used. However, if a thief comes prepared, they can easily remove most steering wheel locks. The weakness isn’t in the lock itself – instead, it’s in the steering wheel. With a pair of strong cable cutters, a thief can make two cuts on the steering wheel, and slide the lock off. Steering wheel locks usually cost from $40 to $60.
Even if you don’t have a sophisticated security system installed, it’s still highly recommended that you place a security window decal on your vehicle. Be sure that the decal does not specify the type of security system – the less you reveal about your security system, the higher the chances that a thief won’t take the risk of trying to disarm it. If you purchase a “dummy” security decal, it will usually only cost from $4 – $6. Most security stickers that are packaged with car security systems do not cost extra.
If you have an older car, your vehicle may not have a sophisticated security system. You can purchase a security system separate from your car, and have it installed in your vehicle. In most cases, a separate vehicle security system will range in price, from basic systems at around $120, to more advanced systems that cost upwards of $500. Depending on your specific needs, you need to choose a security system that will be the most effective to help protect your vehicle. Here are some features to consider in vehicle security systems:
- Blinking LED Visual Alarm Indicator
- Loud Siren Alarm
- Glass Breaking Detection
- Ignition Disconnect
- Visual Alarm Cues (flashing headlights, etc)
- Motion Sensors with Adjustable Sensitivity
- Hood Opening Sensors
- Secure Remote Keyless Entry
- Ignition Access Code