Is Your New Car Safe from Getting Stolen?

Driving out of the showroom, you have a wide smile on your face. The proud feeling of finally buying the car of your dreams is unmatchable. You drive the vehicle cautiously and care for her no less than a precious jewel. But one day, you wake to find the car missing. *Bam* You have become a victim of car theft.

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Prevalence of Car Theft in India

Auto theft is a sad reality in India. The number of cars on road is increasing every day and so is the number of car thefts. Whether you own a modern SUV, a sedan, a hatchback or a luxury car, it is at the risk of getting stolen. Similarly, your car can get stolen even if it was purchased a decade back or was just a week old.

The situation is particularly grim in metropolitan cities, which boasts of the maximum number of car thefts in the country. India’s capital city of New Delhi witnesses the maximum number of cars thefts in India. In fact, Delhi is notoriously called the ‘Auto Theft Capital’ of India.

Let’s talk numbers.

As per the data released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) in 2019, a vehicle is stolen every 12 minutes in Delhi, every 2 hours in Bangalore and every 4 hours in Mumbai. If you go by the data provided by Delhi Police, about 35,019 vehicles have been stolen in Delhi in 2020 alone.

Even during the COVID-19 lockdown period between 15-30 March 2020, when police presence was extremely high on the streets, auto thieves managed to steal about 1,243 vehicles with 83 alone in Delhi.

You must be wondering how did they pull that off.

Well! Experts believe that stealing a car is rather an easy affair for auto thieves than a risky one. The crime usually takes place in secluded areas or at night where the chances of an intervention by the car owner or the police are next to zero. Not to forget, stealing a car means more money than stealing a wallet or a mobile phone.

When it comes to the cars being stolen, newly purchased cars are equally at risk as old cars.

Ever wondered why? Let’s find out.

Why is Auto Theft Common in New Cars?

The automobile industry has evolved tremendously in the last few years. Carmakers have introduced modern cars with cutting edge technology in not just performance and features but also anti-theft car devices. With the kind of technology used in cars these days, you would hardly expect your brand new car to get stolen. In fact, you might think it’s impossible.

But haven’t you heard? ‘Impossible itself says I M POSSIBLE’.

Contrary to your beliefs, new cars are much easier to steal than old cars. Just like the cars are getting upgraded, the auto thieves have been enhancing their knowledge. They are constantly acquainting themselves with the latest car protection technology. Despite the efforts of carmakers to innovate better immobilizers, the auto thieves continue cracking the code.

The high-tech anti-theft car devices were supposed to be the answer to how to secure your car from theft. But the same technology has made it easier for auto thieves to steal a car if they have the right equipment and knowledge.

While earlier it used to take about two and a half minutes for an experienced thief to smash the window of a car, break the steering lock and steal the car, a modern car can now be stolen in less than 10 seconds without breaking anything. Let us tell you how.

Most of the cars today come with keyless entry, which means it involves software and technology. With the help of electronic devices available easily in the black market, auto thieves can transmit the electronic signal emitted by your key to unlock the car to their repeater device. All they need is to be within a certain distance while you are using your key and the signal will be transmitted. As a consequence, they will be able to drive away with your car without making any noises as if they had a key to it.

Besides, SUVs are a big hit among auto thieves, thanks to their popularity and demand. In the last few years, more numbers of sports utility vehicles are being stolen. Compact SUVs are also increasingly being stolen as they can be sold for both private and commercial use.

Are you thinking of how to prevent car theft at home or in public places? Let us help!

Car Insurance – Your Car Theft Saviour

First and foremost, you need to buy comprehensive car insurance for your four-wheeler. By covering your vehicle under car insurance with own damages cover, your car will be financially protected against car theft. It will ensure that your motor insurance company will compensate you for the financial losses that you may incur in case your car gets stolen.

But just any car insurance will not do.

The important thing is to cover your car under car insurance with own damages cover. Own damages cover pays for the loss of your car due to car theft, which is not available under a basic third party car insurance policy.

Chances are that you may have basic third party car insurance as it is mandatory as per India’s Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. But if you want coverage against car theft, you need to either buy comprehensive car insurance or own damages car insurance in addition to your third party car insurance policy.

Buying car insurance is a precautionary measure against car theft. But there are other ways to prevent car theft. Read on to know how to prevent car from being stolen.

7 Ways to Prevent Car Theft

Let’s check out seven simple and effective tips on how to prevent car theft home and in public places below:

  1. Always Lock Your Car– You don’t live in a country with no crime. So, locking your car is a must even if you are stepping out for only a minute. Even while driving, your car doors must be locked to avoid anyone from forcefully getting into your car during a red light.
  2. Park Your Car in a Secure and Well-Lit Area – Always park your car in a CCTV secured and well-lit area to make the theft of your car difficult. Auto thieves lurk in dark and secluded areas and the chances of your car getting stolen are more in such areas.
  3. Check the Locks Before Leaving –At times, you may forget to lock your car. It is always a good habit to check your car’s door after you step out of the vehicle to ensure that they are indeed locked. Also cross-check that the boot of your car is locked, the sunroof is closed and all the windows are rolled up.
  4. Never Leave Valuables in the Car – Leaving valuables in the car is a big no-no. A lot of auto thefts happen because car owners leave valuable things in the car, such as laptops, handbag, etc. Valuable items in a car are to thieves as honey is to bees. So, make sure to carry all your valuables with you when you leave your car.
  5. Install the Best Anti-Theft Car Lock – Prevention is always better than cure. Similarly, installing the best anti-theft car lock in your vehicle is your best bet to prevent car theft. Ant-theft car devices, such as dash cam, ant-theft alarm system, electronic immobilizer, steering wheel lock, etc. make it difficult for thieves to steal a car. Besides, anti-theft car locks can also help you to earn a discount on your car insurance premium.
  6. Get Your Car Number Etched on the Windows – Nobody likes additional expenses, including car robbers. If your car registration number is etched on the glass of all your car windows, car robbers will have to get all of them replaced if they steal your car. This would not only be more expensive for them but also a bigger hassle. Hence, they would avoid stealing such a car.
  7. Don’t Leave Your Car Documents in the Vehicle – Do not leave your car documents in the vehicle. This makes it easier for robbers to escape the police if your stolen car is stopped by them. They will be able to show the documents already present in the car and get away easily.

The Verdict

Car theft is a major menace in India, especially in metropolitan cities. You would expect your brand new modern car to be immune to auto theft but they are easier to steal in real. Although car insurance may be unable to protect your car against auto theft, it can certainly save you from incurring a financial loss. Just remember the tips on how to prevent car theft at home and in public places and you will be good to go.

Written By: PolicyBazaar - Updated: 05 October 2021
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