The Best Types Of Anti-Theft Devices For Cars

Published on
September 9, 2022

The thought of a vehicle getting stolen would probably cause anyone to freak out. Your car is more than just a machine that gets you from point A to point B. It is a necessary part of your life and one of your most valuable possessions.

With automobile thefts on the rise, it is crucial that you take the right steps to protect your car. You’ve poured too much money, time, and energy into your vehicle to let a criminal get away with deciding that it belongs to them.

Fortunately, there are resources available that can aid with keeping your car more secure. This article will inform you on the best anti-theft devices for cars and how you can use them to provide a top-notch security system for your vehicle.

What Are the Best Anti-Theft Devices to Keep My Car Safe?

The high value of automobiles makes them big targets for criminals.

Having an alarm system and following good driving advice like locking your doors and putting your windows up every single time after you park, will definitely help make stealing your vehicle less of a cakewalk. Yet, it won’t be enough to stop a seasoned car thief who knows what they’re doing.

There are several quality anti-theft systems and devices designed to make your car more challenging to steal or easier to trace and recover if it does get stolen.

Steering Wheel Lock

They might be a bit old-school, but steering wheel locks have a proven track record as a solid anti-theft device for cars. They work by locking your steering wheel into place and preventing it from being able to turn. Even if a thief is able to break into your car and start it they likely won’t get very far without having the ability to steer.

There are a few different designs on the market, but the most common steering wheel locks are rod-type devices. The elongated bar creates a barrier and prevents the free movement of your steering wheel.

These tools are among the simplest DIY car anti-theft devices to install, taking no more than a few minutes to implement. Some models hook to each side of the steering wheel and stretch across it horizontally while others extend from the wheel to the brake pedal.

Although, even the best steering wheel lock can't fully protect your car from being stolen. A motivated criminal with the right tools will likely be able to bypass it. But even if the device can’t stop the thief, it will certainly slow them down. That will likely be enough to deter a car thief whose objective is to get out of dodge with your car as quickly as possible.

With the cheapest versions selling for around $20, a steering wheel lock is a decent enough theft deterrent that will cost you next to nothing.

Wheel Clamps

Infamously known as “The Boot,” wheel clamps have been used by law enforcement to crack down on illegal parking for decades. They are now becoming increasingly utilized as an effective motor vehicle security device that can prevent potential car thieves from making a run at your car.

When a wheel clamp is attached to your car tire it can only rotate until the clamp makes contact with the ground and brings your vehicle to a halt. A criminal might still be able to break into your car and get it running but, they won’t be able to drive more than a few inches before the vehicle is completely immobilized.

There are a couple of wheel clamp designs available. The right one for you will depend on your budget, priorities, and preferences.

The most basic wheel clamps are compact, easy to install, and transportable. Their composition of solid, durable steel makes them nearly impossible to break apart and remove without the key.

The downside is that they do not shield the lug nuts holding your tire in place, which could be a problem if someone wants to take your wheel or has the means to replace it with one that will be able to spin freely.

The cheapest wheel clamps can be purchased for around $30. If you are willing to sacrifice some convenience and a little extra cash for more security you can purchase a larger wheel clamp that also has a round, steel disc to cover your lugnuts. These models are a bit more expensive – often costing over $100 – and their bulkiness makes them less convenient to transport and install. But they are far more difficult for a car thief to bypass.

Kill Switch

A kill switch is one of the most effective anti-theft devices for cars. By preventing your vehicle from starting for anyone with bad intentions, a kill switch can stop a carjacking dead in its tracks before it ever gets going.

This intimidating anti-theft device disrupts the electrical connection to one of your vehicle’s critical systems such as the fuel pump, ignition, or battery. When the switch is in the ON position, the power is cut off from the component it is connected to which prevents your car from running. To make the vehicle run again you have to manually flip the switch to the OFF position.

The switch itself should be in an accessible but, discrete location in your car so that it won’t be easily seen by a car thief. Under a seat or dashboard should do the trick.

Installing a kill switch may be a slightly more difficult DIY project than some other anti-theft devices. The good news is that you only have to install a kill switch once. After that, your car can be secured by a simple flip of the switch.

GPS Tracking Device

It’s best to take a multi-layered approach to secure your automobile. A GPS tracking device would make a great addition to one or more of the anti-theft devices listed above. Installing a GPS device can help you track down your vehicle if a car thief does steal your car, regardless of any other security systems you have in place.

A tracking device by itself may not be able to stop a criminal from taking your car but, it can help you locate and recover it.

A tracking device will provide real-time data to your smartphone detailing the precise location of your vehicle so the police can catch the carjacker and bring your car home in one piece.

Most tracking devices are fairly easy to install. They typically plug directly into your car’s OBD2 port, also known as the diagnostic port, which is often located just under the driver’s side dash. The price of GPS trackers can range from $30 to over $100. Just keep in mind that many of them require a monthly subscription for their services.

Does a Car Insurance Company Even Care if You Have Any Anti-Theft Devices?

When we asked Jonathan Seibold, Head of Underwriting at LOOP, he told us, “The party that benefits the most from having an anti-theft device in your car, is yourself, as it is a good investment for your financial security.Your automotive insurance provider doesn’t want your vehicle to get stolen any more than you do. So at the end of the day, you want to make sure that your car is as secure as possible and always make sure your alarm is working!

If you fall victim to automobile theft and you carry comprehensive insurance your provider must pay to replace your vehicle in full.

Many insurance companies offer discounts to policyholders who have comprehensive coverage and an approved anti-theft device equipped in their vehicle. Some companies may even offer a reduced deductible if you make a claim on a stolen vehicle that had an anti-theft device, even if it didn’t stop the car thief. If you’re not sure about whether or not your insurance carrier includes this in their policies, just contact an agent and they should be able to help you.

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