Six Classic Car Security Tips
A classic car is like a historical artifact. Priceless and irreplaceable. The vehicle itself costs a fortune to buy and even more to maintain. A well-connected thief could earn exponentially more money than the cost of the car itself by taking it apart and selling the parts.
Don’t let this happen to your most prized possession. Secure your classic car with these simple security tips.
Select Your Dealership and Restoration Shop Carefully
If you're planning on purchasing a classic car, or if you already have one, join a classic car club and build up a network of fellow enthusiasts. They can help you find a reputable dealership and restoration shop. Your new friends can also help in vehicle recovery, should your classic be stolen.
Only deal with reputable businesses as shady dealerships are hot-spots for car theft. Speak to fellow classic car enthusiasts and do some research. Find a dealership and restoration shop without a history of theft.
Get a Car with a Manual Transmission
Most modern cars are built with automatic transmissions and a lot of drivers are not familiar with driving a stick shift. A car with a manual shift can stall and may cause a thief to give up immediately if they don’t know how to properly drive it.
Parking and Storage
Don’t leave your classic car parked on the road. Find a place on your property, ideally a garage or shed. Light is a thief deterrent. So, arm your driveway and entryway with motion sensitive lights. For a more elaborate solution, you could install a CCTV camera. The presence of a security camera may deter thieves altogether. Even if a thief is bold enough to steal your car, the footage will be immensely helpful in identifying the perpetrator.
Lock the door to your car’s storage and secure your keys. Store them in a secure location – somewhere in your private room, in a lockbox or hidden from pain view. If you’re out driving, park your car someplace where you can easily spot it. Make sure your keys are with you at all times. Consider attaching a large keychain to make them easier to spot.
Install a Killswitch
Older cars are easier to hot-wire and lack the safety features of modern cars, such as immobilisers.
Often found on motorcycles and 4-wheel drives, a killswitch can cut the power to your car’s vital systems when turned off. By placing the switch somewhere hidden, a thief cannot easily locate it and drive off with your car. Or, you could install multiple switches that need to be turned to a certain pattern for your car to start.
NB: You should only install a killswitch if you’re familiar with your car’s electrical systems. Hiring a technician may be necessary.
This is an inexpensive thief deterrent and involves having the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) etched onto the glass components of your vehicle. This acts as a unique identifier for your car. So, if stolen, you car can be easily identified. It is also a thief deterrent, as it makes your car less desirable to thieves because they won’t be able to sell the parts to chop shops.
GPS Tracking Device
As your last line of defence, install a GPS tracking device to track your car’s location remotely, on your phone, tablet or personal computer. Should a thief successfully manage to steal your prized possession, you can rest easily knowing that it can be swiftly recovered.
Trackers equipped with geofence alerts can notify you if your car leaves a set area. Should a thief disconnect or disable the tracker, the device will notify you and your car’s last known location is still a valuable lead for the police. These devices are covert and cost less than a monthly phone plan to connect. Compared to the value of your classic car, it’s a small price to pay for a peace of mind.
Black Knight’s Z3 High-Performance GPS tracker is ideal for classic cars. They are wired directly to the car’s battery and can be hidden almost anywhere – in the bonnet, the boot, back seat, you name it (just keep it away from excessive heat, water and clusters of metal). They are designed to run on minimal power, so you don’t have to worry about your battery draining, or the tracker adversely affecting your car’s performance. They also cannot extract information about your car, nor are they an exploitable loophole for government agencies to track your every move.