Always take your keys out of the ignition and turn on any fitted security system, even when leaving the car unattended for short periods, and especially when refueling. Some alarms and immobilisation systems are able to automatically engage after exiting the vehicle. This ensures maximum security at all times.
Don’t leave valuables on display inside the car. Hide any wallets, handbags, mobile phones, CD’s, loose change, etc. Use a blanket the same colour as your car seats to camouflage any items that can’t easily be hidden.
Always ensure that all windows and doors are properly closed and locked. Engage the vehicle’s factory steering lock or factory deadlocking if fitted to your vehicle. If your vehicle has central locking and/or power windows, some alarms and immobilisers are able to add the security and convenience of locking the doors by remote control and automatically closing all the windows. This is very useful if you’re in and out of the vehicle often, or carry passengers frequently. Central locking and power windows can be economically retrofitted to most makes and models.
Never leave the owners manual or the registration papers in your car – safeguard security information such as radio PIN, or specific details about you and the vehicle. Keep your driver’s license and fuel card on your person, not in the glove box.
Try to park in a busy, well-lit area. To enhance your personal security, some modern alarms and immobilisers even offer features such as “panic via remote” to set off the siren in case of emergency, and “perimeter night light” to illuminate around your car prior to arrival. If you park in the same car park every day, try to park in different sections or levels. A professional thief will make note of target vehicles, and their movements, to limit his chances of ever being caught by the owner.
Leave only a phone number or PO Box number on your key ring for return in case of loss. Otherwise you chance possibly the easiest theft of your vehicle, and your home could be next.
When choosing a new car stereo, consider security features such as detachable faces, anti-theft mounting cases or security PIN to deter the would-be thief. Avoid advertising expensive and desirable accessories or performance modifications. You’re simply making your vehicle a more attractive target.
If you have expensive wheels, fit good quality lock nuts. For added security an alarm with a shock sensor will detect any attempt to remove the wheels and give audible warning. Some alarm systems have “two stage” or “pre-warning” shock sensors. These usually give a warning beep or series of chirps when the car is subjected to low level impacts such as kicking the tyres. This gives a real warning to the would-be thief before he commits to breaking in.
Car jacking is now an unfortunate reality. When travelling it is advisable to keep all doors locked. Having central locking fitted makes this practice much easier. Some alarms and immobilisers even have “anti-car jacking” as a special feature. This makes the process automatic.
Have a good quality alarm or immobiliser fitted by a recognised dealer of a well-established alarm company.