Tips to Prevent Vehicle Theft
For contractors, vehicles are just as important as any other tool. Instead of an inconvenience, having a vehicle stolen threatens your very livelihood. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than three-quarters of a million vehicles were stolen in the United States during 2020. Vehicle theft is a multi-billion-dollar crime, costing vehicle owners more than $7 billion in 2020 alone.
July is Vehicle Theft Prevention Month, and in that spirit, we are providing tips to help you prevent theft of your vehicles.
- Do not leave your keys in or on your vehicle.
- Close and lock windows and doors when your vehicle is parked.
- If possible, park in well-lit areas.
- Don’t leave valuables in your vehicle (laptops, phones, tools), especially if they can be seen from the outside.
- Deter vehicle theft by investing in an alarm system or steering wheel lock.
- Install vehicle tracking hardware to help both you and law enforcement locate and recover a stolen vehicle.
If your vehicle is stolen, follow these steps:
- Contact the police and file a stolen vehicle report. You’ll need this to give to your insurance company when you file a claim. You may be asked to provide identification information for your vehicle, so have this information stored in a safe location you can access:
- License plate number
- Make, model, and color of the vehicle
- Vehicle identification number or VIN, and any other identifying characteristics
- Contact your insurance company and file a claim within 24 hours of the vehicle being stolen.
- If you find the vehicle before authorities do, contact them and your insurance company immediately.
For more information on Vehicle Theft Prevention Month, including fact sheets, infographics, and other information, see the NHTSA website.