A vehicle is stolen about every 44 seconds in the U.S., and it takes a car thief about two minutes or less to break in and take off with your car, according to Government statistics. Vintage cars are unfortunately the most sought after by professional car thieves, and here’s why:
- As opposed to new vehicles, vintage cars are easier to break into and steal
- It’s more difficult to trace them once they have been stolen
- There is a huge market for classic vintage cars
- Vintage car parts are highly valuable
So, if you are among the people that own that classic Volkswagen Rabbit or 1992 Civic or you are planning to buy a rare vintage to add to your classic car collection, this article could come in handy. One of the most significant downsides of owning these cars is the poor level of defensive tools available.
Here are some of the ways to protect your vintage car from potential thieves:
Lock The Doors And Take The Keys
About 40 to 50% of vintage car thefts happen because most drivers forget to lock up their cars and leave the keys in the car. It may seem like an obvious and straightforward thing to do, but people often ignore it. A car thief is most likely to go for the car whose driver was kind enough to leave the car keys behind, giving him or her access to everything.
Most of the vintage car owners prefer to leave their vehicles unlocked, so that car thieves don’t damage them. This may be an upside to a certain limit, but still, it’s essential to remember that car door locks are a theft prevention mechanism and should be treated as such. In case you have faulty door locks, its advisable to visit car locksmiths and have them fixed.
Park in an Open and Safe Place
In many cases, you’ll find a classic car parked in an isolated area in a parking lot as if the owner is trying to imply that no one should approach the car. This is not always a good idea because car thieves often look for cars packed in low traffic as it’s easier to find cover. No thief is going to mess with a vehicle parked in a busy area because they are afraid as any of the people walking by could be the owner.
If you are worried or unsure of the security at the place you are going, it’s safe to leave your vintage car home. If you must use it, ensure that it is parked in a well-lit and safe area with lots of traffic or a private garage with adequate security. Always try to avoid dark alleys or areas with significantly high crime rates, especially car theft.
Conceal Your Valuables
Sometimes a car can become a target to thieves due to the nature of items it carries. These days people bring so many valuable things in their vehicles like iPods, phones, tablets, laptops or anything that another person finds valuable. A phone sitting on the console or a leather jacket resting in the backseat could make your vintage car a target. Stolen items can be sold on Craigslist or eBay.
If you must leave a valuable item in the car, lock them in the trunk, glove box or carry them with you. Even if you are going for a coffee run, lock everything up as sometimes a car thief might be watching you. An item does not necessarily have to be expensive to be stolen so safeguard everything.
Drive a Manual
Surveys show that most drivers don’t know how to ride a stick, with a significant percentage not comfortable with riding one. Odds are most car thieves cannot drive a manual transmission car either. It’s a sad state, but it’s quite an advantage for many vintage vehicles since they are mostly manual.
Let’s face it -- if they can’t drive a manual they most definitely won’t steal it. Sometimes, it’s the little things that count, so go manual and minimize risks.
The goal is to ensure that your vintage car is as secure as possible. Incorporating these factors in the security of your vehicle will make it difficult for a thief to target your pricy vintage car.