“Simple tips and tools to keep your car safe
“The Insurance Bureau of Canada reports that, on average, one car is stolen every three minutes in Canada. Research also shows that auto theft costs Canadians more than $1 billion every year in policing, insurance, health care, legal costs and out-of-pocket expenses. The human toll is even more costly, with numerous deaths and injuries occurring as a result of auto theft every year. Such costs, however, are preventable.
“It takes just 30 seconds for a skilled thief to break into a car—and it’s a crime of opportunity. If a vehicle appears easy to break into, it will become a thief-magnet. Protect your ride and keep car thieves at bay with these simple tips.
Quick tips on how to prevent you car from being stolen.
- Purchase and install a security system if your vehicle is not equipped with one from the manufacturer. Passive electronic immobilizers can cut theft of vehicles by almost 70%.
- Always lock your vehicle.
- Never leave your keys in an unattended vehicle, even for a short time. Vehicles are regularly stolen from store parking lots and gas stations.
- Use good judgment in choosing parking locations. Park in well-lit and busy areas, such as under a street light, in a lighted parking garage, or on a street with lots of traffic. Consider how lit or busy the area will be when you get back.
- When parking at airports, and other large pay parking lots, never leave the parking claim check in the vehicle.
- Never keep valuables, especially notebook computers and golf clubs, in your car.
- Dismantle or lock your automatic trunk latch. Thieves who break into a car can easily access any valuables in your trunk using the internal trunk release. Dismantling it will help keep your valuables secure.
- Use your garage. Keeping your car parked in your locked garage is one of the simplest ways to keep it away from would-be thieves. (If you don’t have a garage lock your vehicle behind a gate if possible).
- If your vehicle is equipped with a security system, make sure it is in good working order and activated. Your owner’s manual or dealership should be able to answer any questions about your system.
- Factory installed security systems are sometimes deactivated when remote control starters are installed. If you have a remote starter, or intend to have one installed, ask your installer how it will affect your security system.
- When you’re safely in the car, don’t let your guard down. Lock all the doors.
Sources: Vehicle Information Centre of Canada. Juristat, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Statistics Canada. Insurance Bureau of Canada.