Sometimes just locking your doors isn’t enough to protect your car and what you keep inside of it from thieves. If you live in a high-crime area, keep valuable items in your car, or have a vehicle that’s on the hot list for getting stolen, there are a few off the shelf security systems you can install yourself and steps you can take to keep your car protected. Here are some of the most readily available, cost-efficient, and overall effective security systems that are easy to use and difficult to override.
Steering Wheel Lock
You might think of The Club as an outdated, archaic device that really doesn’t do much to protect your car, but you’d be wrong. While there are definitely more high tech devices out there, sometimes it’s the simple things that work the best and here’s a perfect example of that. A Club or other wheel lock device will let a potential car thief know that even if he can get into your vehicle, he won’t be able to get it moving. This layer of defense has incredible success rates when it comes to keeping vehicles safe from theft.
Newer models can be found with flashing LED lights so a thief will see the light even in the dark and know you’re protected with a steering wheel lock. Whether you have a small and sporty Mercedes coupe, or a rugged and roomy Honda Pilot, a steering wheel lock can be found that will fit your car perfectly.
If you have to park your car somewhere with high rates of auto theft, it isn’t excessive to invest in a wheel guard. This security system operates under a similar premise as the infamous boot that parking authorities use to lock your car up for unpaid tickets. Stick one of these on one of your wheels and nobody will be able to move that car until you remove it. It might be less discreet than some other more passive security systems, but sometimes being loud about your car’s security is necessary.
This is an especially effective system if you have to leave your car parked for a few days or longer in an undesirable area as it will quickly deter itself from being a potential target to thieves. However, remember that while this will keep your car from being stolen, it may not keep your car from being broken into and anything inside being stolen.
Aftermarket Alarm System
It’s surprisingly easy and affordable to purchase and install a car alarm system on most vehicles today that don’t automatically come with one installed. Check with local auto alarm installation shops in your area to have an expert set you up with a system. Or, go to the pros at Viper and get the perfect system built for your specific car. A good rule of thumb is that you should find an alarm with at least 120 decibels of sound to put most robbers off. The panic button on your alarm’s remote key fob can also be used to keep you safe in parking lots or dark streets to alert others if you’re in danger.
Here’s a security option that will satisfy the techie in you while keeping your stuff safe. Consider installing a dashcam and rear-facing camera in your car. Not only will the sight of these cameras deter criminals from messing with your car to avoid having their faces filmed, but if someone does steal your car, it’s more likely than not that you’ll catch a clear image of them in the act that can help track them down and lead to an arrest.
In the event that you do get your car stolen, having a GPS tracker set up in it can make all the difference when it comes to getting your car back. These devices are so affordable (under $20, easily), small, and priceless.
License Plate Lock
One of the first things a car thief does is switch out license plates since that’s how cars are so easily identified. If you install a license plate lock, your plates will stay where they are and every mile the thief drives your car will be a chance for him to get caught.