Australian car thefts have gone up by eight per cent, according to the latest report by the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council.
More than 55,000 cars were stolen between September 2015 and 2016, of which 44,701 were passenger cars, and Victoria rated as the most susceptible state for car thefts.
With $500 million worth of cars stolen in this country, Australians are warned to take extra precautions to keep their vehicles (and themselves) safe against car theft.
We take a look at ways you can outsmart the thieves and avoid filling out those pesky insurance claims.
Park somewhere safe
We know this is a pretty obvious tip, but even in the most affluent suburbs, your car can still be at risk. There’s one thing for certain, thieves don’t like to be caught in the act, so park your car in the safest spot possible. Think light, exposed and busy. There are also some carparks that offer safety zones which are patrolled or have intercom contact with security, so keep an eye out for those if parking in a carpark overnight.
Keep your keys safe
Most new cars are a lot more complicated to steal than simply using a metal coat hanger and striking a couple of wires together. Most cars built post 1990 use a lot more digital software to get going and are generally fitted with an immobiliser, so finding the keys is a thieves’ newest mission. Keep the keys somewhere safe and hidden, and you’re one big step closer to keeping your car safe. Avoid leaving them anywhere obvious (like your handbag or jacket pocket) – just be sure to remember where you’ve hidden them.
Hide the in-car valuables
Just because they can’t steal your car, doesn’t mean they’re not willing to escape with other small wins. If you have to leave your valuables in the car, keep them out of sight to avoid tempting a suspicious passer-by from cracking the window and escaping with your goods. Don’t leave your garage opener in the car either, as thieves can use this to gain access to your home.
Do the obvious
Leaving your spare keys in the car is an obvious no no given our second point. But even more obvious is leaving your car unlocked, a window open or your engine running and car unattended (which is actually illegal). Not only is this inviting someone to steal your car, but you also risk invalidating your insurance. Lock your car, close your windows and don’t leave your keys in the ignition.
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