Thieves are always coming up with new and varied ways to steal cars, so as a driver you need to stay one step ahead and keep yourself up to date with the best car anti-theft devices. One way to keep your vehicle safe is to invest in at least one anti-theft device, and here we profile some of the best so you can choose the most appropriate one for you.
In the same way, we trust CCTV to keep buildings safe, one of the best car anti-theft devices on the market is a dash cam. The best ones, such as those sold by Nextbase, not only record what happens to your car out on the road but can also protect and monitor your vehicle while it is stationary through sensors that start recording if they detect a disturbance. This increased safety and security may well deter thieves from stealing or damaging your car in the first place. But a dash cam will certainly give you peace of mind as well as recording crisp and clear footage of any crime or incident that you can share with the police and your insurance company if anything untoward does happen.
GPS tracking system
Your vehicle being stolen can be a stressful as well as expensive experience, but to try and deter would-be thieves – and give you a substantially better chance of getting it back undamaged if it is taken – one good option is to fit a GPS tracking system. These car anti-theft devices continuously track where your car is at any given time, allowing you to follow its movements and location and share this information with the police to assist in recovering it as soon as possible. As well as being very good car anti-theft devices, GPS trackers can also have a host of other useful features such as giving you an overview of general vehicle health. They are generally controlled via an app.
Tyre clamps are a low-tech but very effective anti-theft mechanism. Often brightly coloured, which acts as an additional deterrent, and made of heavy-duty steel, these devices wrap all the way around a tyre, meaning the vehicle cannot be moved until the tyre clamp is unlocked and removed. Police have traditionally used them to immobilise cars parked illegally, or suspected of criminal activity, but they are increasingly used as a proactive anti-theft measure by drivers determined to protect their car from crime as much as possible.
If someone is meddling with your car, you need something that makes that very obvious and alerts people in the vicinity, and nothing does this better than a car alarm. Triggered by shaking, a window being broken or vibrations, car alarms are one of the best car anti-theft devices on the market because they tend to make wannabe thieves immediately stop attacking their intended target and run away, lest they be caught in the act. Only the owner can turn a car alarm off once it starts, using the vehicle’s key, and most alarms come with stickers you can use to alert would-be criminals to their presence.
Speed is everything to criminals and anything that slows a would-be thief down, even slightly, has the potential to be a very useful deterrent. Steering wheel locks are excellent for this simply because they do exactly what they say on the tin – they, very visibly, lock your steering wheel firmly in place so it is impossible to drive the car until it is removed, rendering the car useless. As the owner, using a wheel lock means knowing that your car can only be driven by someone in possession of the key needed to unlock it. Which, of course, a thief would not have. One of the oldest, best-known and top-rated car anti-theft devices on the market, these lightweight devices are quick to attach, easily adjustable and remain a very effective and low-cost anti-theft solution.
Turn off keyless entry
Thieves are able to capture the signal from keyless entry fobs by using a special device outside the owner’s house or place of work. This fools the car into thinking the key is within range, tricking it into opening the door. And once inside, the thief or thieves only need to press the start button to drive off. As thieves only need to be within a few metres of the key to pick up the signal, they can do it from the end of a driveway and make away in seconds before the owner is even aware of what has happened. One way to prevent this from happening, apart from using a protective case for your keys (see below) is to turn the wireless signal off, either permanently or overnight. Check your car’s manual to see if your model allows this, or contact the manufacturer.
Brake locks are another kind of physical deterrent, this time one that attaches to the brake or clutch pedal and stops them from being depressed by locking them to the steering wheel at a fixed length. Once locked in place, brake locks can only be removed with keys, ensuring any wannabe thief is not able to drive your vehicle away, even if they are able to get into it in the first place.
Protective key case
Thieves have got increasingly sophisticated in recent years, and one trick that is becoming more prominent is copying signals from car keys – without ever actually stealing them – in order to simply unlock and drive a vehicle away when it is parked up. Stopping this sophisticated crime is most easily done by keeping keyless keys away from doors and windows and shutting any car keys in a special bag, such as a Faraday pouch, which uses layers of magnetic material to block radio signals that thieves can intercept. Small and light enough to carry around every day, these bags can also hold credit cards and ID, making them an ideal general storage method.