Did you know that storing your vehicle safely can actually make a positive difference in your car insurance rates, in addition to decreasing your risk of car theft? It’s easy to say “it’ll never happen to me,” but the truth is that vehicle theft is a risk we all face in Calgary. The risk is ever-present because a vehicle is a valuable commodity, and because many car owners unwittingly skip the security steps most likely to discourage thieves.
While there’s no way to completely eliminate the risk of theft, there’s a lot you can do to discourage would-be thieves. Ahead, we’ll take a closer look at what motivates robbers to target vehicles, and what you can do to protect your investment.
Why Are Cars Stolen?
There are many reasons a car might be stolen, but the three most common by far are:
- Quick Cash – For most thieves, it’s all about the money. Some vehicles are worth more when sold intact, while others will be sold for parts.
- Committing Crimes – Someone who steals a car is unlikely to have reservations about committing further crimes, and will often steal a car for that specific purpose. After their “tasks” are completed, they’ll often abandon the stolen car in poor condition.
- Joy Riding – Some people are simply look for a rush – or to impress some unsavoury friends – and steal cars for the adrenaline. Many so-called joyrides end in motor vehicle accidents.
Vigilance and Common Sense: Minimize Your Risk of Car Theft
The secret to protecting your vehicle from theft starts with understanding how car thieves operate. More than anything else, they are looking for an easy target and a quick buck. Every preventative step you take makes your vehicle more difficult to steal, and less likely to be targeted.
- Engine Off – Even if you’re in a familiar place with very low crimes rates, it’s never a good idea to leave your vehicle running when it is unattended. The same goes for leaving your keys on the driver’s seat, or in the ignition. Always turn your vehicle off and take your keys, even if you’ll only be away for a few minutes.
- Lock Up – Another simple step, but one that’s easy to miss when you feel like you’re in a safe place. It’s always best to lock your vehicle, even when it’s parked in your own driveway.
- Hide Valuables – Smartphones, tablets, GPS devices, expensive sunglasses… most of us carry quite a few valuables in our vehicles, and those items can make your vehicle a target for break-ins. Hide valuables in the glove box, console, or anywhere else away from prying eyes.
- Park Smart – Before parking your vehicle, take the time to assess your surroundings. Security is worth it, so look for well-lit areas with plenty of pedestrians, even if it means a bit of a longer walk once you park.
- Security System – Vehicle security systems don’t have to break the bank, and they’re a huge deterrent for potential thieves. If your vehicle didn’t come with a security system off the lot, having one installed is more than worth the expense.
Bow Valley of Calgary Are Your Car Insurance Experts
The steps required to keep your vehicle safe are quite simple, so the trick is turning them into a habit. If you take the time to lock your vehicle, hide your valuables, and park in safe places, you dramatically lower your risk of becoming a target for car theft.