10.) Garage It
How it’ll protect your ride: Car thieves are always looking for a car out on the street. If you car isn’t on the street, it’s less likely to get stolen. For those of us who live in cities, this means renting a garage. It’s not the cheapest option, but it’s an investment in your car’s safety.
9.) Keep Your Car in Good Shape
How it’ll protect your ride: Following the broken windows theory, a well-maintained car will deter potential carjackers. If they see that you care about and take care of your car, you’re more likely to have an alarm, more likely to have a way to find it, and more likely to notice it missing.
8.) Have an Alarm Sticker/LED
How it’ll protect your ride3: Just like the “Protected by Brinks” signs in front of houses deter burglars, so do visual signs of a tougher job for a car thief. In a row of cars, the one with the blinking LED indicating an alarm is probably less likely to get stolen, regardless of whether the alarm actually exists or not.
7.) Don’t Leave Valuables in Sight
How it’ll protect your ride: Here’s a scenario: you see Car One with a box of tissues on the floor. In front of that car is Car Two in which an iPod, navigation system, and a watch are strewn about the passenger’s seat. Are you more tempted to break into Car One or Car Two? Pretty simple really — make it seem like there’s nothing in your car worth taking.
6.) Park in a Safe Area
How it’ll protect your ride: If you park your car an area with a high crime rate, and presumably a high concentration of criminals, it’s more likely to be taken than when it’s parked in a statistically safer area with good lighting and a neighborhood watch.
5.) The Club
How it’ll protect your ride: The first step in this system works like #8 — seeing a giant metal bar keeping the steering wheel from moving is a pretty good visual deterrent. And the second step is that you have a giant metal bar keeping the steering wheel from moving. There’s a reason these are pretty popular in urban areas. They are, of course, notoriously easy to defeat, but the idea is to get someone to steal someone else’s car because it’s easier.
4.) Hidden Kill Switches
How it’ll protect your ride: Usually the greatest challenge for a car thief is getting your car started without the key. To the thief’s advantage, however, is the fact that he knows he’s working with your ignition. But if he also needs to be looking for a connector hidden under the passenger’s seat, he’s that much less likely to get it started. This one doesn’t come cheap, but it may be well worth the investment someday.
3.) Lock the Doors
How it’ll protect your ride: This one seems so simple, and yet is so often ignored. A thief looking for a car to steal is more likely to go for the vehicle whose owner was kind enough to complete his first step for him, and has given him open access to everything inside.
2.) Take Your Steering Wheel With You
How it’ll protect your ride: How well do you think you can drive a car without a steering wheel? Exactly. Even if your potential carjacker can get inside and get it started, if you’ve got a quick-release hub and have taken your steering wheel with you, you should be fine. That thief is probably not going anywhere without a way to drive.
1.) Drive a Manual
Plus you get the added benefit of driving a car that’s far more engaging on a day-to-day basis. And don’t worry, it’s ethical.