Keep Your Collector Car Safe
For a collector car enthusiast, walking around a car show looking at beautiful vehicles is a way to spend an enjoyable day. For a car thief, it’s an opportunity to shop. More and more collector cars are being targeted by thieves, to be sold intact or chopped up for parts. After putting so much work into restoring your car, you don’t want to lose it. We have some helpful suggestions on how to keep your collector car safe.
Car Thieves Know the Value of Your Car
Car thieves are not dumb. They know what’s in demand and which cars are the most valuable. It is up to the collector to make sure their cars are secure. With a plethora of options to choose from, you just have to decide if you want modifications done to your car. Wiring for an alarm or etching your glass with a VIN number are visible changes. If you show your car at a high level of competition then these types of visible security measures may not be what you want. Never fear, there are plenty of ways to keep your car safe without modifications.
Protect Your Car at Home and Away
Take steps to protect your car whether at home or away. Collector cars should always be kept in a closed, locked garage. If you are running to the parts store even for a minute, lock your garage. Make sure the windows in your garage are covered with blinds or shades. Put a cover on your car to shield it from prying eyes as well as to keep it clean. Never leave your keys in the ignition, over the car visor or on a peg on the garage wall marked “My Jag”. It may sound silly but it’s the little things that trip you up.
Keep Your Doors Locked
While you and your collector car are away from home be sure to keep the car doors locked and the keys on you. It may be hard to do at hotels but avoid parking your car trailer behind buildings. Try to park it in a well-lit area with security cameras. An alarm on the trailer would be a wonderful investment.
(Photo courtesy of www.archive.meguiarsonline.com)
Check on Your Car and Garage Frequently
If you store your car away from your house make sure to fit all outside doors with deadbolt locks. Renting a storage garage? Find one that has closed circuit cameras and on-site security. Check on your car frequently. You may not be able to go there every day but don’t let too much time lapse between visits. Report any suspicious activity to the police. Let the thieves know someone is keeping an eye on the area.
Try Etching VIN Number in Windows
Audible car alarms are the first thing we think of for car security but thieves can easily disable these. Identification markers like VinShield, a kit designed to etch your VIN number onto the car’s glass, might help ward off a thief especially if he is looking for parts. The etchings are faint and hard to see during daylight but this is still a modification to your car.
(Photo courtesy of www.vinsheild.com)
Immobilize Your Car with an Anti-Theft Device
One way to stop a thief in his tracks is to install a Ravelco anti-theft device. It acts like a second key. You have to insert this multi-pinned key into the unit in your car or the car will not start. In the 37 years Ravelco has been in business, no car with this system has ever been stolen. This device will have to be professionally installed but the wires are very well hidden and the startup plug can be placed out of sight.
(Photo courtesy of www.ravelco.com)
Don’t Want to Modify Your Car – Try These Security Methods
If modifying your car is not an option for you don’t fret. Keeping a thief from starting your car can keep them from taking it. Try one of these low tech methods to secure your car:
- Steering wheel lock like “The Club” (may be old school but it works)
- Brake pedal lock
- Remove the ignition rotor, distributor cap or high tension lead
- Remove the fuel pump fuse
- Disconnecting the battery cable
- Install a battery cut off switch on the battery terminal (be sure to lock the engine lid, too)
Report Your Stolen Car Immediately
Unfortunately, despite all your best efforts, your car may still be stolen. Report your missing vehicle immediately to police and then to your insurance company. Always keep the information on your car (tag number, VIN number) handy. Remember all those selfies with your car. Supply the police with a few of those, too. Reporting the theft quickly can help in its recovery.
Invest in a Security Tracking Device
By installing a Lojack system on your car you have a better chance of getting your car back before it goes on the chopping block. Monitored by police in 22 states, Lojack is basically a GPS monitoring system for your car. For a onetime fee, this self-powered system is professionally installed and does not interfere with your car’s wiring.
Keep Collector Cars Safe
Protecting your car is vital. Don’t lull yourself into thinking “no one will break into my garage” because they can. Review your insurance policy. Make sure you have the right kind of coverage to protect you from loss. Even if your collector car is up on blocks and not on the road, get insurance! As they say, “parts is parts”, folks – and the thieves know that. Let’s keep our collector cars safe and where they should be – in our garages.
Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less
Having your collector car stolen is a gut-wrenching event. Protect your investment with the right insurance coverage. Let our friendly staff at Classic Auto Insurance help you find the right policy for your needs. Visit our website at www.classicins.com and see how we can help safeguard your dream car.