Car theft in Australia has re-entered the public consciousness with a bang – and the facts back it up. According to Carsafe.com.au, we’re experiencing the biggest increase in car theft since 2011, and between September 2015 and September 2016, an average of 148 cars was stolen every day, valued at over AUS$500 million.
While you might think that carelessness and stupidity are to blame (despite what our advice below suggests), this is often not the reason. It’s far more common for a locked car to getting stolen from the inside of secured property than it is to get stolen with its windows open on a poorly lit street. So what extra precautions can a person take to reduce their risk of car theft and feel safer when the usual methods aren’t cutting it? Here are a few tips you can start using today.
- HIDE YOUR KEYS – A surprising amount of car thefts were made possible by the thief having easy access to the keys of the car they were trying to steal. Without these keys, it’s almost impossible to steal a car quickly (unless it is a very old model that can be easily hotwired). The single biggest way you can reduce car theft is to keep your keys in a secure place and not in easy view or reach of an open window or door.
- GET AN IMMOBILISER – If your car was manufactured before 2001 it will not have a built-in engine immobiliser like newer models do. You should consider installing one as an extra measure, provided you make sure that it is an Australian Standards approved product.
- KEEP YOUR CAR EMPTY – It can be tempting to leave things in your car for convenience sake, but have you considered what a temptation these things can be to thieves? Removing all visible valuable items will not only deter crime but will also prevent you from having to deal with additional insurance hassles should you need to make a claim for automobile theft.
These three tips will not eliminate your risk completely, but they will force you to become more aware of your habits when driving, entering and exiting your vehicle. This awareness can only be a good thing, and is sure to reduce your risk of losing your car to an alert thief.