How to Keep Someone From Breaking Into Your Car

Read this guide to find out how to prevent car break-ins, such as parking in a well-lit spot, keeping valuables out of sight, and setting the alarm.
Written by Rochelle Miller-Hernandez
Reviewed by Carrie Adkins
If you've ever walked up to your car and realized that it's been broken into, you know what a terrible feeling that can be.
Your car's been broken into and you feel violated, cheated, and helpless. Not only does a break-in feel terrible, but it can also become a financial hardship due to necessary repairs, stolen property and insurance deductibles. The whole experience can easily turn into a nightmare.
If your car is broken into, make sure to
file a claim
in a timely fashion. But while there's no fool proof way to avoid theft, there's a few steps you can take to prevent car thieves from targeting your vehicle, such as using
anti-theft devices

Tips to prevent your car from being broken into

Always lock your car doors

You just finished filling your car up at the gas station and now you want to run inside real quick to buy a soda. You don’t bother locking your car because you’ll be right back.
Stop. It only takes a few seconds for a thief to steal your valuables. The laptop you left on the passenger seat will be gone faster than you can reach the store’s door. Always lock your car doors. A would-be thief will pass the opportunity up if the right deterrent is in place.

Park in the garage or a well-lit area at night

Sometimes you might pull up to your house, unload your cargo, and decide to skip parking in the garage that night. You are thinking no one will mess with your car because it is in your driveway.
Chances are high someone will at least glance inside your car window to check out what’s inside. It might be a curious kid, but it could also be someone interested in stealing your belongings.
Do yourself a favor and
park in the garage
. Don’t have a garage? Park under a light, even if it means walking a little farther to your doorstep. Thieves love the dark.

Keep valuables out of sight

Store your purse, shopping bags, laptop and anything of value in your trunk. Better yet, leave what you can at home. But if you must have it, keep it out of sight.
Thieves are looking for an easy hit. They don’t have time to pop open a trunk. They want to get inside and take what they can in less than a minute. If you have a SUV, purchase a cargo cover to hide items and deter thieves.

Set your car alarm

Just as you should always lock your car, you should also set your car alarm. While many people think society has become indifferent to car alarms going off, the noise still draws attention. Someone will at the very least look in your car’s direction.
If the alarms goes on too long, someone is bound to investigate. Either case, a thief doesn't want any attention. Remember, a thief’s objective is to get your stuff and leave as fast as possible!

Stop someone from stealing your car

Want to know what's worse that your car getting broken into? Walking up to your parking space and your whole car is gone! First, you might think you got confused about where you parked. However, soon enough you will realize your car has been stolen.
The thief was probably only looking for valuables when he hit the jackpot by finding your spare keys in your glove box. Now he has the option of investigating further and opening your trunk or just driving off to take his time searching around. Even worse, your house keys might be attached. Now you have to
change the locks at home
as well.
If you want to stop someone from stealing your car, keep your keys on you at all times, and don't keep a spare set of keys in your car.
Key Takeaway: You can help avoid break-ins by locking your doors, parking in safer areas, hiding your stuff, and setting the alarm. Make sure to always keep all keys on you so you don't lose your car if someone does break in.

What to do when someone breaks into your car

First, don't panic. Try to record everything that could be missing or damaged. Take photographic evidence of damages and make a list of everything that's gone. You'll then want to file a police report. This step is important if you want to file a claim on your insurance.
Then, file any insurance claims you need to make. Damage from a break-in should be covered by
comprehensive car insurance
, and stolen items might be as well, but it's much more likely that stolen items are covered by your renters or homeowners insurance.
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Check your coverage

While these steps cannot guarantee your car won’t be targeted by a thief, they can go a long way in possibly preventing it. You may never know if what you did kept someone breaking into your car, but that is a good thing. That means it didn’t happen!
It is very stressful when your car gets broken into and valuables are stolen. The stress can elevate if you don’t have the right
car insurance
which covers damages and theft related to break-ins.
It's important to know if your policy covers things like damage to locks, windows, doors, any theft of built-in stereo equipment, custom parts, or property left in the car. Check your coverage to be sure, or shop for new coverage with car insurance comparison shopping and broker app
Jerry is a personal insurance broker that lives in your pocket. Once you download Jerry, just answer a handful of questions that will take you roughly 45 seconds to complete and you’ll immediately get car insurance quotes for coverage similar to your current plan. Jerry customers save an average of $879 a year.


What do I do if my car's broken into, but there's no damage?

In any situation where your car's broken into, you should file a police report. Even if you don't notice damages, an officer or mechanic may find something that you looked over. Either way, you'll want to check for stolen property, and even if you don't notice anything, you may realize later that something was stolen after all.

How do thieves break into locked cars?

Thieves most often break into locked cars when they're well-hidden at night, so they can use force to get through the windows. There are also rising car thefts, as thieves are using new keyless fob technology to break into cars.
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