Whether you’re shipping a newly purchased vintage vehicle home, exhibiting at a car show in California, or just taking your baby out for a drive, you should know that your classic car may be a target for car thieves.
That’s because classic cars:
- May be easier to break into and steal than new cars
- Are typically harder to track down or identify by licensing authorities when they’re stolen
- Include parts that are considered valuable
- Are in high demand, particularly in international markets
So, what’s a classic car owner to do? Consider following these steps to protect your car:
Fully insure your car.
Make sure you have a current appraisal and your car is protected by an insurance company who understands your passion for your ride. Insist on Agreed Value coverage that is consistent with how much the car is currently worth.
Select a qualified shipper.
If you have to ship your classic car, contact your insurance agent to make sure your insurance policy will cover a car in transit and to get a referral for a qualified and properly insured shipper that uses covered transport vehicles. In addition, the shipper should use a variety of safety devices, including:
- Warning and anti-theft devices
- Immobilizing devices that will disable vital automobile functions
- Tracking devices (i.e. GPS)
- Proper locks on enclosed trailer doors at all times
- Security camera
Make sure the shipper stops in safe locations.
If your car’s carrier must stop en route to the final destination, the trailer should be parked in a well-lit spot or locked at a storage facility with the door backed against a building, fence or another vehicle.
If you’re driving it yourself, install anti-theft devices.
Here are a few ideas:
- Battery cut-off switch on the battery terminal
- Immobilization device designed for theft prevention
- Hidden transmitter that allows police to track your vehicle
- A way to disconnect the battery cable when the vehicle is parked
Lock the doors and take the keys.
This may sound like a no-brainer, but according to the National Highway Safety and Transportation Administration, 40 to 50% of all car thefts occur because the driver forgot to lock up and left the keys in the car.1
Get an alarm sticker.
You’re wise to install an alarm on your classic car, but take the next step too and announce it to the world – by putting a sticker on your car window that says you’ve got a security company behind you if someone tries to steal the car. The sticker itself may be enough to deter a thief from trying to tamper with your car.
Don’t leave valuables out.
These days, we take all kinds of valuables and electronics with us when we travel, including cell phones, tablets and GPS units. Leaving them out on the car seats or where they can be seen can be tempting for a car thief. Either leave them at home or store them where they can’t be seen.