Apart from your house, your car is probably the most expensive and valuable asset. That is to say that you’d want to avoid it from being stolen or vandalized. However, your car is at its most vulnerable to theft or vandalism when it’s parked and left unattended. Unfortunately, you can’t always keep an eye on your trusted vehicle, nor is it possible for you to always find a safe, guarded/monitored place to park it. As such, car owners such as yourself need to take all the necessary steps to ensure that your car stays safe and unscathed when parked.
#1 Switch On Alarms and Lock Your Doors
Most modern cars are equipped with automatic alarm and locking systems. But for those that don’t have automatic alarm systems, always make it a habit to switch on your alarm and lock your doors every time you leave your car, even if you’re parked in a relatively safe area (or even your garage). If you live in an area that’s notorious for car theft or vandalism, you may want to consider upgrading or getting an alarm system that automatically contacts the police when it’s triggered, or those alarm systems that immediately shuts down and deactivates your ignition system.
Bonus: Install An Alarm (or Even Just a False One)
For cars that neither have manual nor automatic car alarms installed, the thought of installing one may sound expensive, but remember that having your car stolen or vandalized can be a lot more costly (and stressful). Alternatively, you can try putting a sticker on your car from an alarm company and/or a ‘fake’ alarm that has light sensors — in most cases, the flashing lights and stickers can be enough to help any criminal to think twice and leave.
#2 Choose A Well-Lit or Busy Area
As much as possible, you’d want to avoid areas that are known to be targeted by car thieves and vandals such as public streets and corners in derelict parts of the city. However, if it can’t be helped, at least choose to park somewhere with good lighting and visibility, like under a street light or beside a store (convenience store or fast food place) that operates 24/7. You may also want to consider parking in an area with good/constant foot traffic. Better lighting and visibility, and/or the constant presence of pedestrians can be enough to deter any criminals from taking an interest in your car.
#3 Install A Tracking Device
Even if the car thief manages to bypass your alarm systems, having a tracking device can add another layer of security for your vehicle. This can help you and the authorities in finding and retrieving your car as soon as it’s stolen. Some tracking devices even have advanced features that allow you to shut down the engine and prevent it from starting.
#4 Hide All Your Valuables From Plain Sight
Whether it’s a laptop bag, a purse, sports equipment, or even a few bills, criminals can be tempted to break your windows to steal any valuables that they can see through your car windows. As such, it’s best to either bring, hide, or cover anything of value to prevent them from being stolen and protect your car window from getting smashed. You may also want to consider having your windows tinted to limit visibility (and with the bonus of protecting yourself from harmful UV rays). Just make sure that you choose a trusted local company in Charleston to install window tints on your car that adheres to local regulations on tints.
It can be hard to keep your car safe when it’s parked and left unattended, but by following these simple tips, you can buy yourself some peace of mind by knowing that your parked car is secured.