How To Prevent Auto Theft

By: Brenden Somerville   |   07 Mar 2017
Thief breaking into car

It’s fair to say that exotic SUV and luxury car owners have more to worry about than the Average Joe who drives your everyday sedan.

On top of preserving its interior and exterior appearance, luxury vehicle owners inevitably think about the extra steps they can take to safeguard their new set of wheels against auto theft. Let’s face it: not everybody can afford to buy a luxury vehicle and for that reason alone, that shiny new Maserati Quattroporte isn’t fooling anybody in the neighbourhood.

According to a report released in December 2016 by the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), full-size luxury SUVs are the most common vehicle to steal in Ontario. In fact, less than a month prior to that report, York Regional Police busted a $5M car theft ring, which saw 23 luxury vehicles stolen and transported internationally for profit. As it stands, auto theft is up six percent nationally, and five per cent in Ontario alone.

Luxury vehicles are meant to be enjoyed. You’ve worked hard for the purchase and auto theft shouldn’t deter you from showing off your vehicle. However, in a big city like Toronto and the surrounding urban sprawl of the GTA, extra precautionary measures can’t hurt.

Here’s how you can prevent auto theft from happening to you:

Don’t Make It Easy

As a homeowner or a renter, by now you should have a good idea of what your neighbourhood is like. When possible, always keep your vehicle in the garage. If you don’t have a garage, park in your driveway, not out on the street--and definitely not a few blocks away, or behind your house. You should always be able to see your vehicle from your house window, and the area you keep it in should be well-lit. If your home or building has a security system, try parking our luxury vehicle right beneath a security camera.

Even though the mornings are still chilly, never leave your car running unattended. All it takes is a few seconds with your back turned for somebody to seize the opportunity (especially with the keys in) to take off with your vehicle. The same goes for the warmer months. Although summer heat can make it tempting to leave the windows down a crack so that the air can circulate, this is just another opportunity for thieves to gain access to your vehicle. The IBC estimaes that it takes less than a minute for a thief to drive off in your car, with or without your keys, so exercising caution is crucial. You should also remember the following:

  • Don’t leave valuables (purse, wallet, cell phone, shopping parcels) in plain sight.
  • Never keep personal documents (licence, registration, ownership) in the car.
  • Manually check your locks every time; don’t rely on auto-locking systems.
  • Consider purchasing an anti-theft unit for your vehicle.
  • Do not give anybody a spare key to your car.

Consider Extra Protection

Many newer models by Audi, Mercedes-Benz and BMW provide built-in anti-theft programs for your vehicle which are designed to deter thefts from taking action. Audi After Care Anti Theft, for example, works to recover your vehicle the minute it’s taken. BMW, on the other hand, uses an electronic immobilizer which secures your vehicle through a chip, and denies entry unless the exact personal code is entered.

At Somerville Auto, all of our pre-owned vehicles come warranty-backed, but warranties generally don't cover theft. If you own or lease a luxury vehicle or are planning to, contact your insurance company to confirm details on the monthly and annual costs of insurance for a luxury vehicle and what the potential deductible would be if you're ever in an accident. Shop around for the best rate and if you need advice, contact our finance team - they are always happy to give our customers free advice and guidance.

Do you currently own a luxury vehicle, and want to guard yourself against auto theft? Shop our must-have accessories and keep an eye out for any anti-theft devices or items that could increase the level of security on your vehicle. For added peace of mind, book a service appointment to be sure that all of the expensive parts on your vehicle are secure and aren’t at risk for being swapped out or stolen. Call us today at 1-(877) 503-5102 or contact us online for more information on ways to protect your vehicle, and yourself, from auto theft.

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