With warmer weather rolling in, we are all eager to get outside- spending more time outdoors and on the road. As beautiful as British Columbia is, it is ranked #3 in Canada for auto theft.
There are many reasons why individuals decide to steal cars. It may be to resell them above market value, to resell spare parts, or simply to get somewhere! A recent study reports that 2006 Ford F350’s were the most stolen cars in British Columbia in 2020.
Let’s look at Harbord’s top safety tips to keep you and your vehicle safe.
1. Don’t leave valuables in your car.
This might seem obvious, but in recent news, there has been a drastic spike in vehicle break-ins in BC when valuables have been left in plain sight. Always remove any valuables from your car, even if you are quickly running inside. This includes electronics, purses, wallets, clothing, sunglasses, and even your garage door opener! It can be easy to forget, but leaving your garage door opener gives thieves access to your home and they can easily check where you live by looking at your ICBC papers. This could also be a hassle when claiming against your house insurance. They just walked in the door using YOUR garage door opener. Consider that! At a bare minimum, just don’t leave anything in view. Thieves are opportunists and are looking for a quick grab. Don’t leave anything in plain sight and you’ll keep most of them running along.
2. Roll up your windows
We know it can be tempting to leave your windows down during the hot summer weather, but even leaving your windows slightly cracked can leave your vehicle vulnerable to car theft. A car thief can easily reach into your window through a small crack, gaining full access to your vehicle and the contents within it.
3. Be aware of your surroundings
Be mindful of where you park your car. If possible, park in well-lit areas with surveillance systems or video cameras nearby. Even better, park your vehicle in a well-lit garage. Trust your gut! If you ever have a bad feeling about your parking spot, always move your car.
4. Never leave your vehicle running
Never leave your vehicle running and unattended. Auto theft is typically a crime of opportunity. Even if you are quickly running into your home or into a store, always remove the keys from the ignition and lock your car behind you. This is also just terrible for the environment so it’s just a lousy thing to do all around.
5. Frequently change your key fob battery.
Always ensure that you have a working battery in your car keys. When the battery dies, we often don’t notice that our car is not locking properly behind us. Oh, and this should also be considered, never leave a spare key in your glove box or anywhere else in your vehicle.
6. Install a Vehicle Immobilizer System
A vehicle immobilizer system is a state-of-the-art anti-theft device that is fitted to your vehicle. It makes a vehicle nearly impossible to steal, preventing the vehicle from being hot wired. Not only do they keep your vehicle safe- they often lower your auto insurance costs.
7. Know your license plate and VIN number (Vehicle Information Number)
If your car is stolen, you will need your license plate and VIN number immediately accessible to notify the police. We recommended memorizing this information or putting a note on your phone so that it is easily accessible.
Get Free & Quick Car Insurance Quotes
Vehicle theft is preventable. The more security features and precautions you take, the less likely your vehicle will be targeted. Most stolen vehicles are never recovered and it’s important that you and your vehicle are covered in case of theft or break-in.
Give our Harbord Auto Insurance team a call if you have any questions about car insurance coverage. We are happy to provide you with free insurance quotes to ensure that you are covered.