Nothing beats driving over rough and unpredictable landscape. Indeed, Australia offers some unique and challenging 4x4 trails in the word – opportunities to challenge your driving skills and pushing your vehicle to greater heights and distances, the perfect bond between man and machine.
Should someone sever this bond, you’d be devastated. The unfortunate reality is that 4x4s are targeted by thieves, often to be shipped overseas to countries with undeveloped roads. Or chopped up and its parts sold to garages that don't care where their parts come from.
The most stolen 4x4 in Australia is the Toyota Hilux. High domestic and international popularity and demand for replacement parts make it a highly sought-after target by thieves. Nissan’s D40 Navara and GU Patrol are also among the top three most stolen 4x4s in Australia, again, because of their sheer numbers on the road.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Thief-proofing your 4x4 is not a major undertaking, nor will it break your budget. It’s as simple as applying common sense and investing a few bucks on some essential security accessories.
Parking and Storage
Like any vehicle, finding a safe parking spot is the first step to securing it. When at home, park it somewhere on your property, either in your car port or garage. Arm your driveway with a motion sensitive light, or even go a further step and set up a CCTV camera. If you have to park it on the street, find a spot that’s well lit and close to your home. If your 4x4 is only used occasionally, find a safe place to store it – either in a garage or shed on your property. Don't forget to lock the door.
When you’re on the road (and off), find a secure parking spot. Either in a garage, or if that’s unavailable, pick a spot that’s well-lit and in plain sight – light and people are the best thief deterrents.
Secure Your Keys
There’s been an alarming increase of vehicle theft occurring in residential areas as thieves are targeting the vehicle’s key found inside of the owner’s home.
This means storing your keys somewhere secure, so not on a keyhook or in a bowl. A secure location means somewhere in your private room. Store your keys away from plain sight and/or somewhere only you know.
On your travels, make sure your keys stay close to you. Frequently check that they are in your bag or in your pocket. Don’t carry them out in the open. Attach a large keychain to make them easily spottable inside your bag. That way, a simple glance can help confirm you still have them.
There are various types of locks available at your local auto shop or hardware store such as steering wheel bars, wheel clamps and pedals jacks than can immobilise your vehicle when attached. The sight of a large chunks of metal on your car may be enough to deter a thief. However, they are cumbersome and must be detached and re-attached every time you go driving.
For a more sophisticated solution: you could install a killswitch, which can disrupt the flow of electricity from the battery to critical systems, making it impossible to start without flipping the switch first. Install the killswitch somewhere out of sight so that a thief will get frustrated and give up trying to drive off with your vehicle.
Investing in a GPS tracking device is the best anti-theft solution. A covertly hidden tracker can give you real-time updates on your vehicle’s locations and notify you on any geofence breaches and speed alerts.
Vehicles that are marked as being monitored are less likely to be stolen and GPS trackers cost less than a monthly phone plan to maintain connectivity. However, it’s a small price to pay for a peace of mind knowing that your 4x4 is recoverable, should the worst happen. They can also potentially lower your insurance premium if you show that your vehicle is trackable (check with your insurance provider).
More than just an anti-theft device, a GPS tracker can log every trip you make which could potentially help you monitor your vehicle’s fuel use and assist in vehicle maintenance. You could even share your tracker login details with your friends, so they can track you on your latest off-roading adventure. This can also come in handy for any emergency situations.
With the Black Knight Z3 GPS tracker, you can wire it to the battery and hide it virtually anywhere: in the engine bay, the boot, under the driver’s console, the choice it yours. Or for a simpler solution, try the X3 plug-and-play tracker which connects directly into your vehicle’s OBD-II.
Theft proofing your 4x4 is simply a matter of applying common sense and investing a few bucks on some anti-theft accessories. Park your 4x4 somewhere secure and store your keys somewhere safe. Consider purchasing some anti-theft devices such as wheel clams and pedal jacks or install a killswitch. However, the best solution is installing a GPS tracking device. A small piece of mind that does more than theft-proof your 4x4. It’s an essential item that all off-roaders should be equipped with. Visit the Black Knight online shop today for your GPS tracking device.