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One of the most stressful parts of car ownership—aside from the constant expenses, is keeping it from being broken into or stolen. Other than the obvious, like not keeping your keys in the car or leave it idling while you run inside, here are a few additional tricks:

Know Where Your Keys Are

This probably seems like the top rule of basic car ownership, but how often do you lose track of your keys? We’re not just talking about the set of keys with the dinged up keychains, we’re talking about spare keys, whether you’ve hidden them around the house, in your purse, or given them to a trusted loved one. One of the first things officers will ask when you report your vehicle as stolen is “do you have the keys?”

Someone who is out to steal a car is likely aware of the places unsuspecting car owners typically hide their keys, so get creative– it’s probably best that you don’t use and of your first few ideas because they are more common than you’d think. Once you’ve figured out your secret spot, make sure you don’t make it to sneaky, ultimately hiding it from yourself as well.

Hide Your Valuables

Keep anything that may be enticing out of sight from lurking thieves. Everything from high-ticket items like a cell phone, tablet, laptop, or purse to things you may not consider valuable like auxiliary cables, loose change, and phone chargers. By safely tucking these items in the glove compartment, center console, or truck, you’ve already lessened your chances of having your vehicle broken into or stolen.

When hiding your valuables, keep in mind that someone looking to steal from you may be keeping an eye out for any viable option. The best thing you can do to protect yourself and your belongings are to simply leave them at home whenever possible.

Use an Anti-Theft or Tracking Device

No matter how high- or low-tech you want to get, there are tons of options to keep your vehicle safe. Simple items like a steering wheel lock will quickly discourage a thief when stealing a vehicle something like this will take too much time for them to work around. However, if you are wanting additional security you may want to invest in a GPS type system that will monitor your driving habits and send notifications to your phone when unusual activity is tracked. This way, you will know as soon as something happens to your car giving you a higher chance for a positive outcome.

Be Mindful of Where You Park

Unfortunately, you can never be too cautious, and being mindful of how, when, and where you park your car can help keep both you and your car safe. Park in a well-lit area as close as possible to either an entrance to the building you’re entering or a security camera. Additionally, parking with the front of your car up against an obstacle, like the wall of a parking garage or a railing, or parking on the street with your tires turned to the curb will make it more difficult for thieves to tow or push your car away from the scene.

Lastly, talk to your insurance company about enrolling in a comprehensive car insurance plan. Comprehensive coverage will take care of almost any type of damage your vehicle may incur: third party property damage, hail, collision, and even vandalism or theft. To make sure you and your car are adequately covered, you can find comprehensive car insurance with iSelect.

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