The current market is filled with all kinds of anti-theft devices and services for cars, but not all of them are effective at actually stopping thieves from stealing cars. Automotive journalist and car expert for The Autonet Shawn Molnar sat down with us to let us know his thoughts revolving around the world of anti-theft protection for your car.
Anti-Theft Devices Verses Manufacturer Solutions
When purchasing a car, one of your first thoughts should revolve around the idea of protection. A car is a very expensive purchase, so you don’t want to make the mistake of letting yourself believe that your car will never be stolen as there is always the possibility. But with so many choices on the market, what is the best way to go in order to protect your car? Ultimately, it depends on what type of protection you are looking for.
“If you are looking to stop thieves from actually stealing a car, most third-party anti-theft devices will probably not do a good job. The systems offered by manufacturers are usually much better at protecting your car from thieves, because they are seamlessly integrated with the vehicle,” states Molnar.
The Best and Worst Anti-Theft Devices on the Market
While anti-theft systems have managed to lower the number of cars stolen each year, they still aren’t 100 per cent full-proof to car thieves. Most people assume that when a car is stolen, it was stolen because of the car itself. However, it is quite common for car thieves to also steal a car just to take the car apart and sell the different parts separately.
If you’re going to buy an anti-theft device, Shawn Molnar recommends the GPS locater. Using a GPS locater allows you to receive location and speed updates, including telling you exactly where a vehicle has been, where it’s headed and how fast it’s travelling.
So what anti-theft device should you stay away from? Although one of the most popular and cheapest anti-theft devices on the market, Shawn recommends to stay away from purchasing and using the club to protect your car. “Some argue that it’s indestructible due to the material it’s made of, and maybe it’s the truth, but you don’t need to melt the club to successfully remove it from the steering wheel,” says Molnar. “You can just snip the wheel in the right places and that’s it.”
Exploring Various Manufacturer Solutions
Various manufacturers will often offer additional protection for your car with their own anti-theft solutions. While you are offered better anti-theft protection, be prepared for it to come at possibly a higher cost. If you’re willing to pay a bit more for better protection, Shawn Molnar recommends this as the best solution when compared to purchasing third-party anti-theft devices.
It’s usually the high-end, luxury car manufacturers that offer the best anti-theft protection as their cars tend to attract a lot of thieves, recommends Shawn. “I would say Mercedes-Benz and BMW offer the best anti-theft technology,” states Shawn Molnar. “I’m not saying other brands don’t offer great security devices, but these brands were always ahead of the curve, offering stuff like vehicle immobilization, with a complex key and ignition lock.”
One of the most widely-offered and popular anti-theft protection methods among dealerships is VIN etching, where you mark specific parts of your car with your VIN. “It’s not the most effective method of theft protection because it doesn’t actually stop thieves from stealing the car. And by the time the police find the vehicle, thieves may have already swapped out the parts with the VIN etched in – unless they use the GPS tracker to locate it faster,” states Shawn. “I would say it doesn’t hurt to have VIN etching, but it won’t stop car thieves.”
Investing in Anti-Theft Protection – Is It Worth It in the End?
At the end of the day, car security and anti-theft protection should be at the top of your mind as the owner of a car. However, Shawn Molnar explains that there may be some situations where it might not be worth it to you, depending on your insurance premium.
“Usually, cars that have a smaller risk of being stolen cost less to insure, which in part depends on how good their security measures are,” says Molnar. “If a manufacturer designs a very effective anti-theft system, the cars that have it become more difficult to steal, which in turn lowers the insurance premium.”
If you are curious to learn more about anti-theft protection for your car, check out Shawn’s latest article on The Autonet.