10 Ways To Protect Your Car From Theft In Canada

10 Ways To Protect Your Car From Theft In Canada

October 4, 2023

In Canada, a vehicle is stolen approximately every 6 minutes, according to a report by the Canadian Finance and Leasing Association. Thieves can break into and steal most vehicle models in under a minute. This issue poses a significant annual financial burden, costing Canadians billions of dollars. 

It has also increased the cost of insurance in certain cities and for certain types of cars.

Car theft not only leads to unexpected financial setbacks but also inflicts emotional and psychological distress from losing a valuable possession. Fortunately, there are some effective strategies and precautions that drivers can implement to protect their vehicles and deter potential thieves.


Here are ten ways to prevent car theft:


Do not leave the vehicle unattended while the engine is running

This practice can be an irresistible temptation for car thieves. Especially during the frigid winters in Canada, the desire to warm up your car for a while before you actually get in can be strong. However, auto thieves require just a few seconds to seize the opportunity and drive away with your vehicle.

Instead, you could use remote start systems. These devices enable you to start your car with the simple press of a button, all while keeping the vehicle securely locked. This way, your car will be comfortably heated by the time you're ready to hit the road.


Park your vehicle in a secure garage

Opting for a private garage as your parking spot significantly enhances the security of your parked vehicle. If you have the option to lock the garage, that's even better. 

A private garage not only keeps your vehicle hidden from view but also presents an extra hurdle for potential thieves. The more time and effort it takes for criminals to reach your car, and the more obstacles they encounter, the less likely they are to target your vehicle.


Use the emergency brake while parking

When parking your car, remember to use your emergency brake. Some criminals have taken to using tow trucks to steal vehicles. Tow trucks can swiftly approach a car, hoist it up, and drive off undetected. However, utilizing your parking brake adds an obstacle in their path. Parking brakes typically lock the rear tires, making it much harder for thieves to tow your car away, especially if it's backed against a wall or another obstruction.


Protect your key fob

Protecting your car from theft when you have a smart key fob is really important. These key fobs make it easy for thieves to steal your car, and they don't even need to take your key fob from you.

Here's how it works: Your key fob sends a signal to your car to start the engine and unlock the doors. Thieves can use a device to pick up this signal, send it to another device near your car, and then they can take off with your car in just a few seconds.

So, don't leave your key fob near the front of your house or windows. Keep it far away from your driveway or garage. You can put them in a bag or pouch or a metal container that blocks the signals when you store your keys at home. This will help keep your car safe from thieves.


Install a steering wheel lock

Once installed, this device renders the steering wheel immovable, rendering the car undriveable. A clearly visible and robust steering wheel lock proves to be a potent deterrent against thieves. These anti-theft tools create a substantial obstacle for would-be criminals, making it extremely difficult for them to maneuver or operate your vehicle, effectively discouraging any attempts at theft.


Always lock your car doors and windows

To safeguard your vehicle, always roll up the windows and double-check that all the doors are securely locked. Unlocked vehicles are a prime target for thieves, but even if you've locked the doors, a determined thief might find a way in if the windows aren't fully closed. Don't forget to also close the sunroof to prevent any unauthorized access. 


Etch your VIN on the car windows

Secure your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) by etching it onto the windows and other visible areas of your car if it hasn't been done already. The VIN is crucial for the police to identify stolen vehicles, increasing the chances of recovery if your car is stolen. Thieves are less likely to target a car with a visible VIN since they'd have to take extra steps to make it sellable. Additionally, ensure you have a copy of your VIN at home for easy access in case you need to provide it to the police or your insurance company. This helps streamline the process if it becomes necessary.


Use a tracking device

Consider using a tracking device for your car. It's not only an effective method to discourage auto theft but can also be a valuable tool for law enforcement if your vehicle is stolen. A GPS tracking device sends out a signal to the owner or a monitoring service, enabling them to potentially pinpoint the vehicle's location from afar.


Use a kill switch 

Consider using a kill switch, a simple yet effective addition to your car's security system. This device integrates into your vehicle's circuit, allowing you to control whether the circuit is active or deactivated, effectively turning the car on or off. By installing a kill switch that interrupts either the fuel supply or ignition system, you can thwart potential thieves from starting your vehicle. 

Typically, these switches are discreetly placed in locations that are not easily noticeable. This hidden switch provides an additional layer of protection, ensuring that even if a thief gains access to your car, they won't be able to drive it away.


Stay informed about the latest vehicle theft trends

Keeping an eye on local news, police reports, and community forums can provide valuable insights into the tactics and methods thieves are employing. This knowledge will enable you to tailor your preventive measures accordingly, ensuring you are better prepared to protect your vehicle.

One emerging vehicle theft method involves attaching a tracking device to a desirable car, allowing criminals to monitor its location and strike opportunistically. To safeguard against this, it's a good idea to periodically check common areas where trackers are hidden. These include under bumpers, inside wheel wells, behind gas caps, and within front grates. This simple precaution can help ensure that no such device has been planted on your vehicle.