As a classic car enthusiast, you understand the appeal of vintage vehicles. You’re not alone. The global collectable cars and parts market has recently increased dramatically and should keep growing for years. Many collectors appreciate these rare or antique vehicles because of an interest in style, craftsmanship, history, and design. Others simply like to stand out or want to invest in an appreciating asset.
At the same time, the increased demand for rare and antique cars partly explains why they’ve become a prime target for thieves. Just as important, older vehicles generally lack the security features that automakers include in new models. If you want to deter thieves and protect your investment, consider a few of these simple tips to prevent classic car theft.
Five Tips to Prevent Classic Car Theft
Appreciating value, high demand, and the lack of modern security systems can make your classic car attractive to thieves. Consider these five tips that can keep your valuable vehicle protected.
#1: Add High-Tech Vehicle Security
The latest generation of aftermarket car security systems come with premium features, like GPS, alerts, and the ability to immobilize vehicles. You can have them installed discreetly, and the appearance of the sophisticated security system won’t intrude on your vehicle’s vintage charm.
If you’re handy with cars, you might try installing the security system yourself, though it may take several hours. Most manufacturers suggest hiring a certified professional to save time and ensure everything works as advertised.
#2: Keep the Vehicle Locked When Parked
This might seem like obvious advice to help prevent classic car theft, but it’s important to remember. Recently, the Toronto Star warned readers to lock their vehicles. Still, when police officers checked a grocery store in Ontario recently, they found that only about half the vehicles in the parking lot were locked. A constable mentioned that unlocked cars naturally attract more thieves because they won’t need to spend time prying the door open.
#3: Keep Cars Tidy and Hide Valuables
Some criminals don’t want to steal an entire car, but seeing electronics or a purse on the seat can provide even casual thieves with an irresistible opportunity. If you can, remember to remove expensive items from your classic car. If removing valuables isn’t possible, be sure to hide them from plain view by locking them in the glove compartment or hiding them under the seat.
#4: Remain Mindful of Where You Park
Ideally, keep your classic car in a locked garage at home when you’re not using it. Even if a criminal knows about the vehicle, they will have to break into the garage before they can steal the car. In the best case, thieves won’t ever see the vehicle, so they won’t know you have something they might want to steal.
Consider spending more on a secured parking garage or lot when travelling with a classic vehicle instead of risking street parking. If you must park on the street, look for well-lighted and visible parking spaces. It’s best to avoid secluded areas where a thief might feel comfortable breaking into a car.
#5: Sport an Alarm Sticker
You can buy stickers that state that there’s an alarm system installed in the vehicle. These stickers indicate to people passing by, including any potential car-thieves, that your vehicle is protected. Ideally, the alarm sticker will come from the company that manufactured a security system installed in the car. Even without the security system, more than one source suggested that the sticker alone could deter opportunistic thieves.
Protect Your Investment with the Right Insurance
Wise choices can help reduce the risk of theft. At the same time, clever thieves can sometimes bypass even the most careful owners and sophisticated security systems. Find out more about classic car insurance to ensure you’ve done everything possible to protect your vehicle and investment.