If you have ever had your car stolen, or know of someone who has been a victim of car theft, you will be well aware of how devastating it can be. One minute you’re walking out of your house, ready for the new day, and the next your heart has dropped into your feet as you realise that your beloved set of wheels is no more.
The incidences of car theft are alarmingly high in South Africa, and even though you may have a great car insurance policy in place, the old adage ‘prevention is the best cure’ is around for a reason! Here are some tips for preventing car theft and hijacking.
- Have an effective car alarm system installed in your vehicle. Test it regularly to ensure that it is in good working order. Go one step further and install a tracking device in your vehicle so that you will have a good chance of getting it back if it is stolen. Note: Installing an alarm and tracker system in your vehicle could result in lower car insurance premiums!
- Store your car in a locked garage overnight or at least on your premises with the gate locked. A car parked on the street is a sitting duck, particularly in high-risk areas. Note: A car stored in a locked garage or inside your property will also have a positive effect on your monthly insurance premiums.
- Be vigilant when driving, particularly on your way home. If you notice a car following you, stop at your nearest police station or a well-lit petrol station. If you have a security company linked to your alarm, most of them will be glad to wait at your property to ensure that you get safely inside your gate if you are feeling concerned about being followed, or if you are arriving home at night.
- Be vigilant at all times when stopping at stop streets and red traffic lights. Many car thieves will accost you when you are in your vehicle, as it is much easier for them to steal a car that already has a key in it! Lean on your hooter if you notice anyone approaching your vehicle, and check all mirrors regularly while you are at a stop.
- Take note that many hijackings occur in residential driveways, which is why it is important to be extra careful – and not only in the evening, but during the day too! Never exit your vehicle with the engine running to open a gate. If you have a manual gate, consider installing an electric one, and be on high alert while you wait for your gate to open and close.
- Take note of high risk vehicles and areas. If possible, before you purchase a car, find out how much of a theft risk it is. This way, you can avoid buying something that is in high demand in criminal circles. In addition to this, it is important to know your surroundings and find out which intersections are high-risk, as well as which residential areas are unsafe for street parking.
With the right amount of vehicle security, vigilance, awareness of your surroundings and the behaviour of criminals in your city, you can rest assured that you are doing your best to protect your motor vehicle from theft.
Part of protecting your vehicle is having a reliable car insurance policy in place. Did you know that we’re the only car insurance provider in South Africa that offers you decreasing monthly premiums based on the devaluing of your car? Well, now you know. All that’s left to do is contact us for an obligation-free quote