How to secure your car and the possessions inside

8 Practical tips to protect your vehicle and the valuables inside

Sheryl Thiel
car safety
vehicle safety
statssa

None of us want to experience that stomach sinking feeling of discovering that your car has been broken into. It’s gut wrenching, when you return to your car, after a quick shop, to discover the window smashed and your belongings taken – even worse, is returning to find your car missing entirely.

 

According to STATSAA, there were an estimated 88 000 incidences of theft of motor vehicles in SA during 2019/20, and according to SAPS crime stats, there were approximately 22 697 incidences of people who were victims of the theft of valuables from inside their cars during 2020.

 

Here are 8 tips to help you protect your car and the belongings inside it:

 

1. Be cautious about where you park your car. Park your vehicle in a well-lit, secure space preferably where there is security guard. When possible, park in a secure garage.

 

2. One of the simplest ways to protect your car is to lock the doors and close the windows, whether you are in the car or not (keep them closed and locked when driving too).

 

3. Be aware of remote jamming – check physically that the door handle is locked, even if the locked alarm sound has activated. The rising trend in theft, is the use of remote jamming devices, which stops the car from locking and you’re completely unaware of this unless you double check that the vehicle is locked.

 

4. Never leave your keys in your vehicle, even if you're just getting out to open the gate and be mindful of where you keep your spare key.

 

5. Be vigilant as you get out of your car – opportunistic criminals who appear to be simply walking by, could take a chance by opening the car door just before you are able to lock it.

 

Read "10 tips for women driving alone" here.

   

6. Valuables that are visible within a vehicle can be attractive to would-be criminals. Avoid having your purse, phone or any other expensive items visible. This also applies to when you are travelling.  It’s a good idea to keep your handbag, laptop and other valuable items safely locked in your boot.   

 

7. Install extra security features like a vehicle immobiliser, steering wheel lock and anti-smash-and-grab film on your windows to offer an additional layer of protection against break-ins.

 

8. Be extra alert when stopped at traffic lights and when approaching driveways. Ensure your car radio is off and focus on your surroundings.