Avoid car theft in South Africa

How To Avoid Car Theft
Car theft is a common occurrence in South Africa and car owners should take the necessary precautions to avoid car theft or car related theft. This article offers advice on how to avoid and prevent car theft and car related theft.

What can I do to prevent car theft?

Car thieves are opportunistic and will use any opportunity to get away with your car or possessions. For this reason, car owners should take the necessary precautions to minimise the risk of having their car or possessions stolen. Here's what you can do to avoid car theft and car related theft,
    • Be Aware - Awareness is an important aspect of crime prevention. Always be aware of your surroundings and be on the look out for suspicious individuals or behaviour. If you suspect that someone is up to no good, call the Police.
    • Park Safely - When parking, find a safe and secure parking area that is well lit, guarded and subject to public presence. Avoid parking in deserted, isolated parking lots. If you have to park on a street, ensure that the area is well lit and preferably guarded. Avoid dark, isolated parking areas. If possible, park your car in a lockable garage or behind locked gates.
    • Keep Valuables Safe - Ensure that all valuables including GPS devices, laptops, I-pads, cell phones, radio face, clothing or anything of value are kept on your person and not in sight. If you have to, store valuables in the boot. If you can, avoid storing items in your centre console or glove compartment. Do not keep car registration or car ownership documents in the car. Thieves will steal anything and are well aware of where to find valuable items.
    • Use Vehicle Protection -  Before leaving your car unattended, make sure that you activate anti-theft security devices such as alarm systems, gear lock, steering lock, immobilizer or any other security system you have installed. Make sure that all security systems are in working order and operational when you leave your car unattended. It may be worth investing in a tracking device so that your car can be traced in the event of theft.
    • Lock-Up - Always lock your car. Never leave your car unattended for any amount of time without locking it. Physically check that all the doors, windows, sunroof and boot are properly closed and locked.
    • Keep Your Keys Safe - Always keep your car keys safely on your person at all times. Never leave your car idling unattended for any reason and don't leave your keys in the ignition. An unattended idling car is an easy target for a car thief. Do not leave spare car keys hidden in your car.
    • Pick up the Phone - If you've been a victim of car theft, phone the police immediately for assistance and report the crime. Remember to provide as much details as you possibly can. If you have a tracking device, call the tracking company immediately to report the theft. You will also need to phone your car insurance company to lodge a claim.
Tip: The more anti-theft protection devices you use in your car, the less chance a thief will have to get away with your car and you may be able to reduce your car insurance premium too. Summary Take the necessary precautions to avoid having your car or possessions stolen. Always be aware of your surroundings and reduce the risk of car theft by installing approved anti-theft devices and remember to always lock your car.