Aside from buying a house or an apartment, buying a car might be one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make. Cars are always bad investments, some say, and that may be true, but that just means you should try to preserve its value as much as possible. But how do you protect your car in the best possible way? We’ll give you a few pointers.
Tip 1 – Get a safe garage, sooner rather than later
If you live in a house, you probably have your own garage, or the possibility of one. If you have a garage, it’s a good idea to do a quick safety survey. That may sound like a big task, but it isn’t – we promise. Take a quick look at our Security Blueprint page – you do’t even have to read the whole thing, but scan through the first paragraph. That should tell you what to do – make a plan.
Take a walk out to your garage, and find all the weak spots – doors, windows, thin walls; everything. Write down what you find, and take that with you to the next tips – use the ones you need.
Tip 2 – Securing your weak points.
Okay, this should possibly go under tip 1, but a large number of cars are stolen or broken into while they’re in a garage, or standing in driveways. That’s why we’re going to focus a bit on the garage itself – after all, it’s your car’s house!
Get locks for both the windows and doors. If you have an automatic door, one with a remote, make sure you go and change the factory settings. If you don’t, chances are good that a sophisticated burglar could come along with an opener of their own, and simply make the door do the work for them. Also, get sturdy locks for your garage windows – check this out.
Tip 3 – Know where your car is…at all times.
What if you could just call up your car, and it would tell you where it is. Wouldn’t that be nice? What about having it send you a text message if someone bumps or rocks it, and it? It’s very much possible. We’re using this, and here’s another alternative. This isn’t the cheapest trick in the book, but it’ll save you on insurance costs in many cases, and definitely save you some worry.
Tip 4 – Get a steering wheel lock.
Okay, so they’re not pretty. Or small. Or easy to pack… but they work. When it comes to stealing cars, thiefs will go for the easiest target. It takes a seasoned car thief only seconds to open, start and drive a car away, and that is the key: increase the amount of seconds it will take the thief to get away with your car.
When a thief sees the wheel lock, the chance is good that he or she will pick a different target, just because he or she knows that there are people out there who just aren’t smart enough to secure their vehicle. At all, really.
Tip 5 – Police your keys.
A spare key is good to have when you’re in a jam, but don’t let anyone else gain access to it. Keep it at home, not in your car. Don’t hide it in your garage or in those fancy little magnetic boxes. Thieves are good at finding these things, you see. Have a spare key, but keep it inside your house, and away from your car until you need it.
One last, bonus tip; get a car alarm. This is a bonus tip because most people have alarms on their cars that don’t really do anything useful at all. Sure, there are flashing lights and sound, but no one really reacts to those anymore, do they? When was the last time you heard a car alarm and thought that someone was stealing a car? That was a long time ago, we bet.
A useful car alarm will do more than yelp and flash, but systems that will shut your car down, show the cops where the car is, and all that jazz are too expensive to be included on our list, for now.