Thanks to modern technology, there is now a range of new security devices that can be added to your car to make it more secure and less likely to be stolen.
This is a simple, yet highly effective means of securing your car that works by shutting down the ignition, fuel system or starter motor, making it extremely hard to hot-wire. A transponder key or device reverses the process, allowing the vehicle to be started.
If your car does not have an immobiliser included as standard, you can purchase an aftermarket one and have it fitted for a few hundred dollars, making it a very affordable investment in your car’s security.
Car alarms have something of a chequered history, with many people viewing them as more of a nuisance than a deterrent. In the past, they have tended to be overly sensitive, being triggered by passing cars or a gust of wind and creating noise pollution to the point where they were largely ignored by everyone who heard them.
However, the new breed of car alarms on the market today are less likely to go off at the drop of a hat and instead produce a warning chirp first, rather than shrieking for hours as the old versions used to. They range in price from simple door alarms to those with sophisticated pressure sensors. Adding an alarm of some kind will give your vehicle an extra level of protection. And when coupled with other security features, it may earn you a discount on your car insurance premiums.
This is a low-tech but effective security feature that can deter a professional car thief from choosing your vehicle. It works on the same principle as the old Neighborhood Watch technique of engraving bicycles to make them more traceable if stolen.
VIN etching is done either by a professional or by purchasing a kit that allows you to chemically etch your VIN number into each of the windows of your car. A professional will ensure it is done clearly and without damage to the window. In conjunction with warning signs, VIN etching makes your car less attractive to a would-be thief, as they will be unable to sell the windows for parts.
The advent of GPS and smartphone technology has led to the development of a range of software programs that allow you to track the position of your vehicle remotely.
While this won’t prevent it from being stolen, it could allow you to recover it before it can be damaged or broken up for parts, providing you alert the police in time. The alternative is to use a service which operates in your region (such as LoJack in the USA or Toyota Link in Australia) to monitor your vehicle for you.
Remote monitoring is another security feature you can add to your vehicle. Devices are now available that will monitor your car and alert you via a digital display on a keychain remote if it is broken into or the engine is started. You then have the option of triggering an alarm or immobilising the engine remotely.
While most people won’t choose to have all of these devices fitted to their vehicle, working together they protect your car as well as is possible. Only very determined or inexperienced car thieves would ever try to steal your car, and they probably wouldn’t succeed.