Best Anti-Theft Options for Your Vehicle

By Angela Monroe - September 8, 2020


Having your car stolen is awful: Discovering your vehicle was violated and having unanswered questions – what happened to it, or in it? And that’s if you get it back in one piece, or at all. Many stolen vehicles are used in serious crimes and torched – it’s horrible but avoidable.

We go over some of the best anti-theft options for your vehicle.

2020 Quick Stats:

  • Most commonly stolen car: Holden Commodore VE MY06-13
  • Most common theft location in Australia: Brisbane (City) QLD
  • Most common time for car theft: Friday 4:00pm – 8:00pm
  • Most common way cars are stolen: Keys stolen in a burglary
  • State with highest car thefts: VIC


Nissan Z in garage

Thieves are opportunistic. Vehicles in locations that give them time to break in without being disturbed are more at risk. If possible, park your car in locations where people frequent and with adequate lighting at night. Street parking under a light can be safer than in a dark driveway with no lights.

If you’re not parking with peace of mind at home, consider CCTV security. You’ll be surprised how affordable smart home products are becoming.

Keep your keys hidden. It’s tempting to hang your car keys on hooks near the front door but as mentioned above; the most common way cars are stolen in Australia is through theft of the keys. This accounts for 37% of vehicle thefts.

If a criminal breaks in through the front door and the keys are hanging on the wall or on a table nearby, your car will likely be gone.

Solution: Hide your keys when at home and park in the most secure location you can. Some car anti-theft options are free.

Did You Know? Unbelievably, around 18% of vehicle thefts happen due to keys left in the car!

Remove Temptation:

bag in car

“If they’re already in, they may as well (try to) steal it”. This means a break-in turns into a theft. The likelihood of a car break-in increases with visible valuables. Obviously, hiding things like phones, iPads, wallets and laptops is a no-brainer but envelopes and bags attract attention too.

If a criminal sees a backpack on the back seat, for example, there’s only one way they’ll know if there’s anything inside worth stealing.

Solution: Keep bags, folders, envelopes or anything else that might arouse curiosity out of sight and out of temptation.

Know Where Your Car Is:

phone in hands

“You hear car alarms all the time, no one cares”. There are other options. A GPS tracker is a small device that is hidden in your vehicle. They connect via a downloadable app and can send you notifications and alerts for different things. For example:

  • Your car’s ignition starts
  • The car moves (is towed)
  • Shock (someone or something bumps it)
  • The car travels outside a ‘geofence’ (outside a pre-set boundary)
  • The car travels over a certain speed

Note: These also come in handy for parents of learner and provisional drivers.

Solution: Install a GPS tracker. 

Modernise Your Car:

new bmw interior

Old cars get stolen more often than new ones. It’s as simple as that. This is because of new security systems that haven’t been hacked or cracked.

Cars that are 9-14 years old are the most likely to be stolen according to statistics. This is where outdated security becomes less of a deterrent. For example, thieves become familiar with ignition wiring locations and find ways to get around old factory alarms.

Solution: Upgrade your car. It’s important to know when to trade in or sell your car as you’ll be able to get the best deal to suit your circumstances.


car keys

Don’t assume a car has an alarm because it has a keyless entry. Make sure your car actually has an alarm by checking the owner’s manual if you’re not sure. 

If you’ve been avoiding an alarm because ‘you hear car alarms and no one comes running’, look at them as a deterrent rather than a method to catch crooks. If a thief triggers a car alarm, they are likely to leave the vehicle. Secondly, if you know your alarm’s sound, you’ll likely be the person who does come running. For example, if your car is broken into in your driveway, you’ll be alerted and the thief deterred therefore the alarm has done its job. Alarms have always been great car anti-theft options.

Solution: Install a car alarm or upgrade your current one. 

The bottom Line

torched car

Taking steps to ensure your vehicle’s safety can be a chore: parking in secure places, installing alarms, GPS trackers and CCTV and always remembering to hide your belongings and keys. 

Weigh up what’s worse – having your car stolen and possibly used in criminal activities or taking the steps mentioned? Utilise some anti-theft car options. Don’t be left car-less with a police report and thinking: ‘If only I’d …’.

Angela Monroe
Angela Monroe is the Community Manager at The Positive Group, specialising in giving people the information that they need when they need it, and putting you on the path to a fair financial future. She has 8 years of experience in helping Australians find the right finance solutions, and regularly contributes articles to empower Australians with the knowledge they need to become financially healthy.


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