Having anti-theft devices installed in your car can help to reduce your insurance rates. Many companies offer reduced rates to consumers who have made the effort to protect their vehicle against theft. Car theft is not as unusual as you may think. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) over 700,000 cars were stolen in the year 2011. This resulted in more than four billion dollars worth of financial loss. You can imagine how insurance companies would thus reward those who took steps to prevent their car or other vehicle being stolen. Following is a list of 10 anti-theft devices you can have installed in your vehicle to both foil thieves and reduce your insurance rates.
- Steering Wheel Locks. You may know about the mechanism known as “The Club”. It was the first mass marketed steering wheel lock that proved quite effective, and still is. The down side however is that thieves can still cut your steering wheel and slip the lock off, but it is a strong deterrent to most amateur car thieves.
- Ignition Kill Switches. Kill switches are one of the most effective and cheapest ways to thwart a car thief. Installing one in a hidden location will not allow your car to be started, and the best ones can only be over-ridden with a key.
- Floorboard Locks. Floorboard locks are designed to disable the brake and gas pedals of an automobile. They are a simple mechanism similar to a steering wheel lock, and can be an inexpensive yet effective way of thwarting a car thief.
- Gearshift Locks. Another inexpensive but effective deterrent to thieves is a gear-stick lock. It can be used with both standard and automatic transmissions; though can be a bit tedious to install. It is basically a mechanism which prevents a potential thief from changing gears so that they won’t be able to drive your car very far without gaining attention.
- Armored Collars. These contraptions wrap around your steering column and prevent car thieves from hot-wiring you car by securing the wiring in the steering column. Some are permanent, but others are electronic that must be continuously activated. They generally cost between one and two hundred dollars to have installed.
- Window Etching. Window etching can serve as a deterrent to car thieves. Vehicles that have a Vehicle Identification Number etched into their window are more easily traced and identified than ones who don’t.
- Audio Alarms. We’ve all been irritated by the sound of a car alarm going off, but they have put off many a thief as well.
- Hood Locks. Hood locks are easily installed and prevent thieves from accessing your battery, security system, or starter.
- Tire Locks. These are the same thing that parking monitors use to clamp a car that is illegally parked. They are bulky and a bit costly, but just the sight of them is enough to deter a would-be thief.
- Vehicle Tracking System. This operates much like a GPS system. When your car is stolen, it alerts police as to its location so that it can be quickly recovered.
It is best not to rely on any single anti-theft device to protect your auto. Though many of the above are effective on their own, car thieves are constantly coming up with ways to dismantle them. Though it may cost you a few hundred dollars to have two or three installed in your vehicle, you could save much more than that on insurance rates over the course of your vehicle’s life.