Cars are expensive pieces of machinery and you want to ensure that you’re doing everything you can to prevent it from being damaged or stolen. So whether you have a family 4×4 or a small city car, we’ve listed some tips and advice that you can use to keep your car safe at night.

How to keep your car safe

As the technology in modern vehicles has increased, it could provide an easier way for thieves to steal your car. Many cars now come with keyless entry. While this usually comes in handy, it could allow criminals easier access to your vehicle. Thieves can purchase a device known as a relay transmitter and this device can copy the wireless signal from your car keys to allow them entry. This is known as relay theft. If you leave your keys near the front door, the transmitter will be able to pick up the signal and your car could be stolen in under a minute.

To prevent this from happening, you should make sure that your car keys aren’t kept on the sideboard in your hallway or in your porch. You could even put the keys in a special metal box that blocks the signal so thieves cannot use the relay transmitter. Alternatively, you can lock your car doors manually. Every wireless car key can be opened to reveal a manual key inside. Doing so means the car won’t open even with the wireless signal.

Even if your car doesn’t have keyless entry, you should keep your keys away from the letterbox. Devices, such as long wire hooks, can be put through the letterbox and used to grab your car keys. If you have a porch, don’t hang your keys in there. Even if you don’t have a porch, avoid putting the keys on a sideboard in the hallway. Keep them well inside your home and even consider putting them in a safe overnight.

man in a hoodie stealing a car at night

If a thief did manage to get hold of your keys, you want to make it as difficult as possible for them to steal the car. You could consider using a steering wheel lock. While these don’t provide 100% protection, it makes the car much harder to take and therefore the perpetrator might not bother if there’s a risk that they’ll be caught.

You should avoid leaving anything valuable in your car and any evidence that there could be something valuable, such as sat-nav ring marks on the windscreen. Avoid keeping pieces of clothing in there too, such as coats, that might look like they’re hiding something. Some people claim that leaving the glove box open can prove to thieves that there isn’t any money or gadgets, such as sat-navs, in there. Showing that your car isn’t worth breaking into could keep it safer at night.

Finally, installing security lights outside your home that are sensitive to movement could also be a good idea. They will come on if someone is lurking around outside and could alert you or your neighbours to any unwanted activity.

Where can I store my car?

The three main places to keep your car overnight are a garage, a driveway or on the road.

A locked garage is the perfect place for your vehicle. It is harder to steal a car that’s in a garage without being heard or detected, so criminals might be deterred for this reason. You could even have an alarm installed in your garage that will sound if movement is detected.

According to Insure the Box, nearly 52 per cent of people keep their car on the drive. Depending on your property type, it’s the ideal location as you can see the vehicle out of your front windows and is often well-lit thanks to street lights.

If you’re parking your car on the road, it might not be fully visible from your home, particularly if you have high fences or hedging that blocks your view. This might make the car easier to steal. However, in some cases, if you’re parking the car on a relatively busy road, this can put thieves off. A busy road provides more chance of being seen and stopped, which is something that could put potential perpetrators off. If possible, park your car in a place where it’s visible to you and under a street light.

How to store a car without a garage

There are a few tips that you can follow to make sure that your car is stored safely when you don’t have a garage.

When you park on the drive, you should pull in forwards. This means that thieves would have to reverse the car to get out, which makes for a much slower getaway. You should try to park as close to the house as possible and inline with a large window – open spaces are likely to deter criminals.

You should turn your wheel in one direction as far as it will go so the wheels aren’t pointing straight. This is another thing that could slow thieves down and prevent them from wanting to take the vehicle.

Finally, if you’re parking your car on the road, do so underneath a street light if possible. This will stop criminals from lingering for too long as they’ll be clearly visible. This will also prevent accidents from happening, such as someone unintentionally hitting your car during the night.