Americans reported one motor vehicle theft every 40.9 seconds in 2017, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). 777,139 vehicles were reported stolen that year, a number which represents a 55-percent drop compared to 1991’s peak of 1.7 million. That’s still a lot of cars taken illegally from their owners, though.
There are basic actions you can take to reduce the likelihood of someone stealing your car. Don’t leave the key in the ignition when you park, for example, and avoid leaving valuables in plain sight. Lock your car, and park in a safe area, even if it means walking an additional five minutes to get to your destination. There are also numerous theft-deterring devices you can buy to make stealing your car considerably more difficult. Here are five of our favorites.
Steering Wheel Lock
A steering wheel lock attaches to the steering wheel of the car to lock it in place, preventing someone from driving away. There are two main styles for this lock. The first goes across the steering wheel horizontally and attaches to the wheel at the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock positions. On one side the lock extends farther, preventing the wheel from turning very far. The second style attaches to the top of the wheel with the end extending over the front dash to prevent the wheel from turning. Either way,are easy to install and are a great way to deter most thieves.
One of the more advanced anti-theft devices is a. A kill switch disrupts the flow of electricity to the fuel pump or other critical systems, making it impossible to start the car without flicking the switch. Simply frustrating a car thief will most likely motivate them to move on to the next car, so keeping the kill switch hidden out of view (under the dashboard, for example) typically does the trick. Installing a kill switch is difficult, though, so we suggest installing this device only if you, or a friend, has intimate knowledge of the vehicle’s wiring systems.
Electronic Tracking System
The harsh truth of carjacking is that if a thief really wants your ride, they’ll find a way to take it. Someone can put your car on a flatbed, and figure out how to remove a tire lock or a steering wheel club later. While anis not an anti-theft device, it will help police find your car after it has been stolen.