1. Keep your valuables hidden
Car thieves will often walk past your vehicle and check for valuable contents in view. Never leave your purse, phone, tablet device or wallet on the seat or dashboard. Take them with you when you leave your vehicle or hide them in the glove compartment. Alternately, if you have a sweater that you're not wearing, cover up the valuable item so that it's not visible to thieves.
2. Don't leave your car running unattended
If you're running into a store to quickly pick something up, avoid leaving the car running unattended! With the keys in the ignition and car running, it's the perfect opportunity for a car thief. Stop an opportunistic car thief by turning off your car and locking up before making any errand. It will also save you on gas!
3. Don't leave your keys in the ignition
Some 20% of stolen cars had the keys in the ignition. It only takes one more step to turn on the vehicle and drive away.
4. Roll up the windows
Even on a hot day, be sure to keep your windows rolled up when you have locked your vehicle. It takes only seconds for an experienced car thief to use a coat hanger to unlock the door and get inside. From there it will only take a little longer to hotwire the car or steal the valuables inside.
5. Park in well-lit areas
Dark alleys and poorly lit streets and parking lots are attractive to car thieves because there is a reduced risk of being spotted and reported. Park in busier areas with good lighting to deter car thieves.
6. Invest in a tracking device
If your car is stolen, the next step is recovering it. A GPS tracking device can be installed, meaning that wherever your car goes, you will know its precise location. In this way, police can follow the signal and quickly recover your vehicle.
7. Invest in a car security system
Often the blinking light of a car alarm system is enough to scare car thieves away. But if they're more persistent, a sophisticated car alarm system is your best bet against thieves. While it is a costly initial investment, you could potentially see a reduction in your car insurance premiums.