We all spend an awful lot of money on our cars – probably more than anything else in our lives other than our mortgage. So, when you and your vehicle are victims of crime, it can be a heartbreaking experience. It’s even worse when your car is an important part of your business or used to keep the tools of your trade safe overnight.
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A break-in can have a severe impact on your ability to work and earn money. So, it’s vital that everyone out there understands some of the best ways to deter thieves and prevent break-ins. Here are some simple ideas to help you on your way.
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Keep everything hidden or in storage
It’s uncommon that you will be targeted by car thieves, although there is more chance of it happening if they suspect it is worthwhile. Trades vans are always a target, as they are often full of tools which are worth a lot when selling on. Wherever possible, always empty your trailer or vehicle of your most valuable tools – or keep your vehicle off-road or in a garage. It’s the same principle for private cars, too. Make sure all your valuables are hidden away out of view. If a passing thief sees a smartphone lying on your front seat, they will be more likely to risk going through your window to get it.
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Watch out for your keys
Everyone loses their car keys at some point – but if yours go missing, it’s important to take action. There has been a spate of recent reports of organised gangs taking car keys, following owners to their cars, and driving off when the coast is clear. So, be wary. If you do lose your keys and suspect they have been stolen, it’s important to call a specialist locksmith. A car locksmith will be able to reprogram your locks and render your old keys useless.
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Install an alarm
Given the vast majority of car, break-ins are opportunistic, it’s worth getting a car alarm. They will scare off most people, although they are next to useless if an expert decides they want your vehicle. The good news is, these guys are few and far between, so the point is to scare off the opportunists. You should also think about installing an immobiliser or steering wheel lock. Again, it’s all about making the break-in as difficult as possible. Thieves like to be in and out in seconds, and they will think twice if it looks like it’s going to take too long.
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We are all guilty of nipping out to the shop or cashpoint for thirty seconds, leaving our cars with the engine running. But, honestly, that’s all it takes for a thief to jump in and drive away with your pride and joy. Always be vigilant and keep your car locked whenever you leave it, regardless of how short a time you will be.
Any more tips to add? Why not let us know about them – and your experiences with car theft – in the comments?