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How to Prevent Car Theft

How to prevent car theft

Updated September 2022

We talked in previous posts about what you can do to prevent theft in your home and in your business. So we thought it was a good idea to touch on next another important theft prevention consideration – your car! Especially with how things stand now in 2022 with car thefts on the rise. Thanks to supply chain issues, rising costs and difficulty with getting parts, stealing cars is an increasingly lucrative enterprise (we talk about that more here). 

While you certainly can’t prevent theft 100%, you can take precautionary steps that will greatly reduce your risk and the appeal of your vehicle or its contents. Here are some of our top tips…

– Lock it up! You want to provide as many theft roadblocks as you possible can. This is a very basic must.

– Another basic, perhaps common knowledge tip but one worth mentioning – don’t leave your keys in your car. Even hidden keys can be found.

– About to drive off but realized you forgot something in your house? Zipping into the corner store for just a sec? No matter how briefly you will be away from your vehicle, turn off your ignition and take your keys with you (leaving keys in the car is one of the primary factors in car theft). It only takes a few seconds for someone to jump in your car and drive away.

– Think carefully about where you park. In some neighbourhoods, parking on the street is just not a good idea. Why take the risk? Consider monitored parking garages, or look for well-lit, highly visible, guarded areas to leave your vehicle.

– Make sure that you don’t have stuff visible inside your car. Keep things in the trunk and away from view. We’ve all heard stories of cars being broken into for a few loonies left in plain sight. When someone is desperate, nothing is too insignificant to warrant smashing that window. And even if you know that bag is just full of your dirty gym clothes, a potential thief has no idea what’s in there.

– There are all kinds of anti-theft deterrents on the market, from car alarms to ignition disablers to steering wheel locks to name just a few. Use them. You may even get a discount on your auto insurance rates if you have them installed. Be sure to mention this when speaking to your broker.

– If your car is from 1996 or newer, it’s likely that you have an onboard diagnostic port (ODP) which gives access to your car’s electronic systems. Thieves are now using this to their advantage – they break into your car, plug into the system and program a new fob. In Ontario, this is one of the most popular methods for stealing a car according to this article on the Canadian Underwriter.  Options for preventing this include an ODP lock or installing a dummy ODP port. 

– Relay attacks are another popular method for gaining access to newer cars. Thieves have figured out how to intercept the radio frequencies of the fob and then use them to program a new fob. You can prevent this kind of theft by using a special kind of box or pouch that can block these signals. Don’t just leave your key fob out in the open when you get home. 

– Don’t think that because you don’t have a fancy car, you won’t be a target. Since older, less sophisticated vehicles are easier to break into, in many cases they make for easy targets, whether someone just wants to rifle through the contents or go for a joy ride. Insurance providers also take into account the make and model of the cars they insure. If yours is flagged as having a high theft rate, this could be reflected in your car insurance premiums.

– Don’t keep your auto insurance documents or vehicle registration information in the car. They can make it easier for a thief to commit fraud, offload and profit from your car or even steal your identity.

Want more information? Check out these resources:

From the blog:

How Thieves Choose Which Cars to Steal
Effects of Vehicle Theft on Your Car Insurance Rates
Fraud – The Latest Trends in the Auto Space

From the Ontario Ministry of Transportation – Prevent vehicle and identity theft

From the Toronto Police Service – Crime prevention and community safety – auto theft

From the Canadian Underwriter – Brokers: These tips can help clients avoid getting their cars stolen

When you’re looking for cheap car insurance, it’s not just about finding a provider that offers the best insurance rates. You want to be sure that you are properly covered in the event of any unfortunate occurrence, whether it’s an accident or your car being stolen. You and your actions can have a direct impact on the premiums you pay and whether you have to go through the hassle of making an auto insurance claim. Taking steps such as these ones to prevent car theft can reflect positively on your bottom line… and your sanity.

Have further questions about vehicle theft and car insurance? We’re here to help! Get in touch with us today.

Image source:  | Toa55

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