Do you remember the moment that you got your first car?
It’s such an exciting time, granting you a whole new level of freedom and independence.
The whole world feels like it’s at your fingertips — everywhere is just a drive away!
But owning a car also comes with a great deal of responsibility. Beyond being a sage and cautious driver, you have to take care of the vehicle.
You’ve got to take it in for check-ups, change the oil, refill the washer fluid, and scrape off the ice from the windshield in the winter. But, most of all, you have to keep it from getting stolen! After the investment and hard work you put into a car, the very last thing you’d want to happen is to lose it.
It might seem like this is out of your control, however, there are many things that you can stop doing right now to prevent or deter thieves from driving away with your vehicle. And some of them are much simpler than you might think.
These 12 surprisingly common mistakes are making it so much easier for car thieves to take your car, and they all really hope that you continue to do them. But now that you know, you can make sure you never play right into a car thief’s hands again!
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1. Parking Far From People
If you have a garage, use it, and lock it up well. If you don’t have a garage, keep your car as close to your home as possible. If you live in a city, you want to park where people will be around 24/7.
2. Or Parking In A Dimly Lit Area
But even in something as crowded as a mall parking lot, picking a spot in a poorly lit area is a surefire way to attract thieves. Opt to park in well-lit areas, and maybe take a taxi to places that don’t have adequate lighting available.
3. Letting Things Fall Apart
Keeping your car in tip-top shape can be expensive, but it can deter car thieves because they think it’s more likely to have an effective alarm system. If one or many parts of your car are broken, they think the alarm is likely to be as well. So, keeping up appearances, even if fixes are just cheap and superficial, may save your entire vehicle.
4. Skipping The Alarm LED Or Sticker
Visual deterrents are key. Even if you don’t have an alarm for your car, get one of the LED lights and stickers that indicate you do. Thieves are more likely to pass up your car that way.
5. Leaving Valuables In Plain Sight
Leaving purses, expensive instruments, wrapped gifts, or anything of value will lure potential thieves to your car, as the bounty inside only adds to their spoils.
6. Skipping The Club Or Kill Switch
The Club is a metal bar you can place on your steering wheel to add one extra level of security, since it prevents the steering wheel from turning. It might just make thieves skip your car in favor of one without the added hassle. You can also couple it with a hidden kill switch, but that’s a bit pricier; however, it is more effective.
7. Leaving The Doors Unlocked
Folks, it happens all too often that a car is whisked away because the owner just didn’t think that they needed to lock the doors. It’s amazing how easy it is to prevent such a major loss by making sure your car is locked!
8. Driving An Automatic
Most people never learned how to drive a manual, or stick, car. If they can’t drive it, they can’t take it. Maybe it’s time to take a driving lesson!
9. Leaving The Engine Running
Even if you’re just running into the corner store to pick up a gallon of milk, take your keys with you after locking up your vehicle.
10. Leaving The Windows Or Sunroof Open
This makes access to your car all that much easier, and eliminates the step of figuring out how to get into your car to drive it away.
11. Keeping The Vehicle Registration In The Glove Compartment
If the thief gets away with your car and is pulled over by the cops, they might still be able to get away with it if you leave the registration in the most obvious place. Hide it in a spot that only you and those who are supposed to drive the car know about.
12. Skipping The Etching
Etching the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) onto each one of the windows will be a large and effective deterrent, because it means it will add a huge extra cost for the thief to replace the glass. This may just cause them to think twice about your vehicle.
Are you guilty of any of these thief-enabling behaviors? Did we miss common mistakes from the list? Let us know in the comments and please SHARE with family and friends to ensure that their cars don’t get stolen either!