Your car is an investment, and having it stolen can take a toll on your finances as well as your mental health. In 2017, one vehicle was stolen every 40 seconds in the US. While the rate of car theft has significantly dropped since 1993, its decline is due to the steady growth of advancing antitheft technology.
Car theft might be among the top crimes in the U.S, but, it's still not easy stealing a car. Oftentimes, it takes a lot of preparation to pull off a car heist. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take precautions. If you want to deter car thieves from stealing your sentimental investment, there are a few options that will help you lock down your automobile. Here are ten of the best car antitheft products to keep you safe.
10 Steering Wheel Lock
The steering lock is an old-time favorite antitheft device. It might be cumbersome and annoying, especially when you are in a hurry, but it’ll keep your car safe. The steering wheel car lock is mounted on your vehicle’s steering wheel and prevents anyone without a key from driving away.
There are two types of steering wheel locks available, one mounts horizontally to the wheel, and the other one attaches at 3 and 9 o’clock positions. This device’s design is in such a way that one side is longer, preventing rotation of the wheel while it's locked. The steering wheel lock is an old-time effective way to deter car thieves.
9 The Tire Lock
There are probably better ways to save your vehicle from theft, but as a last resort, the tire lock works perfectly. These devices are so effective they are favorite of law enforcement authorities, used on illegally parked vehicles. It's important to note that you’ll need enough trunk space to carry this gadget around since it's big.
It’s also useful if you have a sufficient amount of time to set it up. Over time, a lot of its users get tired, setting it up. But if you come from a neighborhood that’s prone to car theft, it's worth the pain looking like a complete weirdo than having your car stolen.
When shopping for a dashcam, the last thing on your mind is using it as an antitheft device. Most people get them for accident documentation purposes. However, Dashcams make excellent antitheft devices for your car. While it won’t prevent the theft, you’ll be able to capture the face, movements, and activities of the car thieves as well as their location.
Most car thieves avoid stealing vehicles with dashcams visible through the window. When shopping for this device, get one with enough storage, as well as an audio receiver. A downfall of this device is, nothing stops the car thief from yanking it out.
7 Kill switch
The kill switch is an advanced anti-theft device that works by disrupting your vehicle’s electrical flow to your fuel pump once it triggered. You won’t be able to start your vehicle without flicking the switch. Some advanced kill switches have a timer that lets the vehicle roll for few seconds before shutting it down.
The whole idea behind a kill switch is to frustrate the car thief, forcing them to panic and abandon your car. It's important to hide your kill switch in a not so obvious location. If you are going to install it in plain view, be assured, the thieves will spot it.
6 Vehicle Tracking System
If a carjacker wants your vehicle, they’ll do all they can to get it. There are cases of vehicles that have been hauled or put on flatbeds before disappearing. There are even thieves who have gone the extra mile and changed a tire or steering wheel to bypass the locks. While tracking devices are not ideally anti-theft devices, they are an ingenious way of retrieving your vehicle and potentially helping authorities capture the bad guys.
Vehicle tracking systems are used for fleet management and are fitted with GPS systems that can locate vehicles even in dense locations like forests or underground parking lots. It's important to note that most of these devices need a monthly subscription fee.
5 Brake Lock
The brake lock is an ingenious antitheft device. It is attached to the brake (Automatic transmission vehicles) or clutch pedal (Manual transmission vehicles) and prevents a car thief from depressing the pedal in an attempt to steal your vehicle. These car lock systems work by locking in place, and come with a set of keys, that the user can use to lock and unlock the device.
Unlike the wheel lock and tire lock, the brake lock comes with one more feature—the element of surprise. It's very difficult to notice a brake lock from outside as you would a tire or wheel lock. Once the car thief gets into your vehicle and cranks it up, they are unable to manipulate the clutch or the brake to roll the vehicle.
4 Keyfob Bag
Most vehicles in production come with keyless entry features, and vehicle owners only need to press the keyfob to open their vehicles. This technique has worked perfectly for some time. But with tech, everyone gets smarter, and with time, car thieves catchup with hacks to bypass security systems. Advanced car thieves use devices that copy or mimic your wireless fob code when you lock or unlock your vehicle.
They make identical copies of the fobs and use them to get unrestricted entry into your vehicle. Getting a keyfob bag helps prevent thieves from copying your code, keeping it safe. They use materials that offer forensic grade shielding that block the signals 100% after you secure your keyfob.
3 Gear Lock
It's perhaps the oldest anti-theft gadget used, and more common on manual transmission vehicles. This lock is attached to the gear leaver holding it in place and preventing it from moving in either direction. It comes with a set of keys used to lock and unlock. Once a thief gets into your vehicle, they will be unable to shift the vehicle into gear.
The gear lock is less cumbersome compared to the wheel lock and steering wheel lock, and with time, the user could get used to using it. It takes less than a minute to lock and unlock.
2 The Alarm System
It’s perhaps the most popular antitheft system used by most vehicle owners; in some models, it comes standard with the vehicle when purchased. With advancing technology, alarm systems are becoming more advanced. Some new alarm systems have Kill Switches that will kill the engine from a remote location. However, the main functionality of an alarm is to produce a loud siren-like sound that will alert the vehicle owner someone is trying to get into their vehicle.
Depending on the alarm system you put in your vehicle, you could set it to sound an alert in case of heavy sound, vibration, mild to excessive contact on vehicle's windows, locks, headlights, and tires. Though car thieves have perfected the art of immobilizing alarms, they are still the preferred antitheft device globally.
1 Deceiving Decals
Believe it or not, a simple decal could prevent your vehicle from getting stolen. They are perhaps the cheapest method of protecting your vehicle, and its all thanks to a bluff. The NICB even recommends these stickers. They work by warning thieves to find easier target cars. These decals could have anything from “Satellite Tracking System Installed” to “Video Camera Surveillance.”
Unless the thieves are 100% sure it is a bluff, they won't risk stealing your vehicle even if they doubt it has the mentioned security systems. These stickers are normally bold and around four inches wide, it will hardly go unseen by a troublemaker.