Last updated on May 28, 2019 at 08:56 am
Thieves in 2016 stole about 765,500 vehicles in the U.S., according to the FBI. The value of those stolen vehicles? About $5.9 billion.
The good news is that car thefts have been trending down in the past two decades as car technologies, law enforcement tactics and antitheft devices continue to improve, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
But … lots of vehicle thefts still happen. While technology can certainly help to keep your car safe, there are some everyday things you can do to even further protect your car. Here are nine auto theft prevention tips to help keep your car from being stolen:
- Never leave your keys, or your electronic fob, in the car. Ever. Even if you think you’re hiding them.
- Never hide your keys outside of your car. Thieves know every hiding trick in the book.
- Make sure all doors are locked and windows are up when parking your car.
- Park in a busy, well-lit area.
- Keep valuables, packages or shopping bags out of plain view. Those are thief magnets and those goodies are added sweeteners.
- Never leave your vehicle running unattended — not even for a few minutes.
- Park with your vehicle’s wheels turned toward the curb. This makes it harder for a thief to drive off quickly.
- Keep your vehicle’s title at home or in another safe location — not the car. If a thief has your car and title it will be easier to sell and harder for you to prove ownership.
- Install an aftermarket antitheft device. This option is an additional cost, but it could also help you save with a discount on your car insurance from Plymouth Rock.
What should you do if your car is stolen? You will need to immediately report the theft to local law enforcement and alert your insurance carrier. You should also be ready with a few additional pieces of information that both police and your car insurer will ask for:
- VIN (vehicle identification number)
- License plate number
- Specific information about your car (make, model, year, any unique identifiers)
- Driver’s license information for the owner of the car
You should know that comprehensive coverage is typically the portion of your policy that will cover a vehicle theft. That’s important because comprehensive coverage isn’t usually a mandatory coverage and not everyone has it. Check out your policy, talk to your insurer or local agent to find out if you have it or not.