PREVENTING CAR THEFT
- One of the fastest growing ways to steal your car is to steal your car keys. This is commonly done by feeding a wire or grasp hook through your letter box or porch window. Never leave your car keys in the hall or in the porch or on a convenient hook as this is inviting car theft. And never ever leave your car key on top of your car or on the seat of your motorcycle unattended.
- Never leave your car engine running, even if you will only be gone for a minute. Cars are commonly stolen at Supermarkets, Petrol stations, Fast Food outlets, Cash Machines etc. There has been many cars stolen in the morning when the owner leaves the car running on the road kerb to warm up.
- When you leave your car unattended, even for short periods, wind up the windows and sunroof (if there’s one), lock all doors and remove the key from the ignition.
- Never hide a second set of keys in your car. Extra keys can easily be found by an experienced thief.
- Consider installing an immobilizer for your ignition key.
- Do not leave important documents such as bank statements, credit card bills, statements or other personal information in your vehicle. Thieves can use this information to steal your identity and access your bank and credit card accounts.
- Do not leave your driving license or registration documents in your car. These could help the thief sell or dispose of your car.
- Ensure that you have removed all valuable – looking property from view, especially mobile phones, laptops, clothing, bags and loose change in consoles. When you leave your car either take your belongings with you or lock them in the boot.
- Park in a busy and well lit area at night and avoid car parks that have a history of thefts or break-ins.
- When you park your car in daylight through the evening or overnight, consider how the area may look like in the dark. Most car thefts occur at night.
- Avoid parking in unattended areas where car thieves have less chance of being caught.
- Park with your wheels turned towards the kerb. Make your car tough to tow away. Wheels should also be turned to the side in car parks and driveways.
- If your vehicle is a rear-wheel drive, back into your driveway. Front-wheel drive vehicles should be parked front-end first. On four-wheel drive vehicles, the rear wheels sometimes lock, making your car difficult to tow-away.
- Always use your hand-brake when parking. Leave automatic transmission in park and manual transmissions should be left in gear. As well as ensuring safety, it makes your car much harder to tow-away.
- If you have a garage, use it. Nearly 50% of all car crime occurs right outside the house. By locking the garage and the car doors, the chances of deterring a theft greatly improves.
- Consider having an engine immobilizer or fuel cut-out switch installed to restrict the theft of your motor vehicle. Research has shown that this is one of the most effective ways to beat a car thief. You may also qualify for a discount on your insurance premium.
- Use a locking device on the steering wheel or transmission gear lever. These devices act as a deterrent; they are very visible and make it more difficult and time-consuming for the car thief.
- If you are likely to leave your car unattended for a long period (extended Holiday or Work assignment) you should consider disabling your vehicle by removing the electronic ignition fuse, coil wire or rotor distributor.
- For a car that is rarely used, consider a tyre or wheel lock. (Like the clampers use) This prevents the car from moving.
- Consider installing a car alarm. They sound a loud warning when the doors, bonnet or car boot are opened. Optional sensors include glass breakage, motion, tampering, and towing. Panic buttons, back-up batteries, flashing parking lights or headlights, and automatic engine disable features are also recommended.
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR CAR IS STOLEN
Make a police report immediately or at least within 24 hours of discovery. Immediately notify your insurance company in writing with full details. State the:
- Registration number
If the stolen vehicle is under finance, notify your finance or leasing company quickly.
After submission of the Claim Form, cooperate fully with your insurance company and their assigned adjusters on theft claim investigation.