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When guarding your vehicle against theft, it’s just as important to protect the valuables inside your vehicle as it is to protect the vehicle itself. And while no car or truck can be completely theft-proof, there are ways to reduce the chances of your vehicle becoming a target. Each protective measure you take will lessen the chances of a break-in or car theft. Here are a few ways to theft-proof your vehicle:

  • Lock your vehicle: Whenever you’re away from your vehicle, lock the doors and roll up the windows. Even if you only plan to be gone for a short time, or don’t have any valuables in the car, an unlocked vehicle can be a tempting target.
  • Don’t leave valuables visible: One of the simplest ways to avoid a vehicle break-in is to keep valuables out of sight. Many car break-ins result in stolen property rather than a stolen vehicle, so remember to keep things like wallets, purses, computers and mobile phones out of sight when you leave your vehicle.
  • Park in a garage or well-lit place: Keeping your vehicle in a garage overnight adds an extra level of security to your vehicle, especially if your garage is kept locked. If a garage is unavailable, park your vehicle in a well-lit place to discourage theft.
  • Install an alarm system: A vehicle alarm system has been proven to reduce the chances of car theft. Most car alarms produce a loud noise if the car is broken into, which draws attention to the vehicle and usually scares off the car thief.
  • Install a GPS tracking system: A more high tech solution is to have a GPS device installed in your vehicle that allows it to be tracked. LoJack is a popular vehicle security system that alerts the police to the location of your stolen vehicle so that it can be retrieved. These services usually require an up-front installation fee, plus a monthly service fee, but these fees are often much lower than the out-of-pocket expense of a vehicle theft.

Knowing how to theft-proof your vehicle is especially important if you’re still making payments on a used auto loan. If your vehicle is stolen, you could be required to continue your monthly payments, since car loans don’t go away just because the vehicle does. To make sure you’re not stuck paying for a car you no longer own, ask your insurance provider about an auto policy that covers theft and break-ins. And to reduce monthly payments on your vehicle, call your lender to refinance your auto loan. You may even qualify for a discount on your insurance policy by having an anti-theft device like an alarm installed in your vehicle. Whichever prevention methods you choose, avoiding car theft and expensive monthly car payments is easier than you think.

Have you had any bad experiences with vehicle theft? It’s only personally happened to me once and I lost all my cds and some spare change.

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