Learning how to prevent your car from being stolen is a lot easier than tracking it down once it’s gone. Some of the best car theft-prevention devices include remote car starters and kill switches, but you can also go the budget-friendly route with a steering wheel lock and etched windows.
- Always lock your doors and take your keys: People may observe your routine and look for an opportunity to steal your car. You’ll deter them if you’re always in the habit of rolling up the windows, locking the doors, and taking the keys with you every single time you get out of the car.
- Install a remote car starter: Install a remote car starter instead. Remote car starters turn on the car but don’t allow it to shift gears, so it’s impossible to drive away with the car. You get to stay in your house, push a button, and walk out to a warm car.
- Get a smart car alarm: With a smart car alarm, you don’t have to be within earshot of your car alarm to know something’s wrong. It makes the usual deafening sound to attract witnesses while also sending an alert to your phone.
- Install a kill switch: Install a kill switch in a hidden location and flip it every time you get out of the car. Even if someone gets a hold of your car keys, they won’t be able to go anywhere unless they find and flip that switch.
- Use a steering wheel, brake, or tire lock: One of the more budget-friendly options on our list, a steering wheel lock hooks onto your steering wheel and locks into place with a special key. The long arm of the steering wheel lock bumps into the windshield or console if anyone tries to turn the car.
- Etch VIN onto windows: Etching your VIN (vehicle identification number) onto each window of your car tells people you’ve taken steps to protect it from theft. It may not be enough to deter everyone interested in stealing your car, but it will keep some people away.
- Beef up driveway, garage, or street side security:
Shine outdoor lights on your car’s parking spot.
Install a floodlight camera for a live video feed from the safety of your home, and use the two-way audio to scare people away.
Set up a driveway alarm to know when someone crosses onto your property.
Use contact sensors and tilt sensors on your garage door, service door, and windows to know when someone breaks in.