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Nobody anticipates that their car will be stolen. Nonetheless, car theft is rampant in Australia. In fact, nationwide statistics show that around 58,295 registered cars were reported stolen in 2019 alone. These scary numbers are only predicted to rise amid the pandemic.
But what makes your car vulnerable to thieves? Here are the biggest risk factors.
In today’s society, security features such as dash cams, motion sensors, security locks and car alarms are almost a prerequisite if you want to keep your car safe. But this technology doesn’t come cheap, and on top of all the other expenses that cars incur, it’s understandable why most drivers don’t fork out for all of these frills. Some drivers simply don’t see the need for this extra protection. Moreover, nearly two-thirds of Australian car owners said they would not consider installing a car alarm, on the basis that they are not concerned at all about their car being stolen.
But what’s important to understand here is that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Trying to retrieve or replace your car back can set you back a whole lot more, especially if you don’t have good insurance. So at least invest in the essentials, and never assume that car theft won’t happen to you.
Car thieves are usually opportunists, who will strike at the sight of an easy target. Parking in public spaces for long periods of time puts you in a compromising position. This became a serious issue during lockdown, when people left their cars idle for extended periods of time.
Nearly a third of Australian car owners say they park their vehicles in the street or even out in the open. There are a number of reasons for this, namely lack of garage space. While sometimes you have no choice but to park on the street, at least try to avoid doing so under the cover of night. This is when thieves are most at large, prowling around looking for their next victim. Don’t make it easy for them.
Car insurance is a pragmatic way to protect yourself against thieves. If you can afford it, choose cover that includes car theft. That way, in the unfortunate event that it is stolen, you’ll be reimbursed either a fraction of your car’s value at the time of the theft or the full amount. While it will cost you extra, it’s a small price to pay for peace of mind. Of course, having full cover is no excuse to become lax about your car’s safety. There’s no guarantee you’ll be able to retrieve the belongings that were inside, and you may not be able to replace the exact model. So make sure you’re taking all of the usual precautions, too.
Arguably the main reason that cars are susceptible to theft is negligent behaviour on the part of the owner. Almost 70% of drivers in Australia don’t see car theft as a concern, despite the soaring figures. However, it’s essential to practice vigilance if you want your car to be secure. Not even the safest, most family-friendly communities are immune to pesky thieves. A slack attitude leads to blunders like forgetting to lock your car, having valuable items on display or leaving the keys inside. While this is easily done, the consequences could potentially be disastrous, so it’s in your interest to take the risks seriously.
When a car gets stolen, there is only one person to blame: the person that stole it. However, it’s still our responsibility to exercise caution so to reduce the risk of us becoming a victim to this crime. Our cars are generally significant investments that we depend on every day. Many of us also attach a sentimental value to our car, especially if we’ve had it for a long time or if it’s an unusual model. The thought of this being swiped a way in a flash is a scary one. So let’s do what we can to keep ours safe.
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