How to Stop Car Vandalism

by Patti Wigington

So you've got a great car, but your neighborhood has a problem with vandals. Although you could go out and spend hundreds of dollars on a car security system--which will probably just end up annoying the neighbors--there are inexpensive ways you can make your car less desirable to vandals. The trick with stopping car vandalism is to eliminate the things that make a car an easy target.

Park your car in a place that is well lit. If you have a driveway or a garage, put a security light up. These are reasonably inexpensive. If you have on-street parking, try to make sure your car is near a streetlight or other source of light that stays on all night long. Back your car into the driveway, if you have one. That makes anyone trying to hotwire your car visible to anyone who drives past.

Park the car in a garage, if you have one. Make sure the garage is locked at night. If your garage is detached from the house, make sure there is a light on between the house and the garage.

Invest in a car cover. Although they can be a bit pricy, they don't cost as much as a top of the line alarm system. Also, a full sized car cover is a deterrent to vandals. After all, if they have to lift a cover to damage your car, that's usually more work than a vandal wants to put into things.

Add a security system decal. This can often fool a vandal into thinking you have an alarm system, but make sure it's from a real security system, not one that is noticeably fake.

Get to know your neighbors. If you haven't met any of the people who live by you, now's the time to do so. Frequently, people see suspicious activity taking place but fail to report it. Reduce the risk of that apathy by being friendly with those who live in your community. Someone who knows you is far more likely to pick up the phone and call you when they spot someone spray painting your car.

Install a steering wheel locking device. This won't keep people from vandalizing your car, but it will prevent theft and often the two go hand in hand.

Tip

  • check Check with your local police department to see if they have a VIN etching program available. This puts the VIN number on the windows and other parts of the car, and discourages people from removing parts and stealing them.

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About the Author

Patti Wigington has been writing for nearly twenty years. Her work has appeared on a variety of websites and in a number of print publications, and she spent five years as a staff writer for a Columbus, Ohio, newspaper. She is the author of a children's book, a novel for middle grade readers, and two adult novels.