Whether traveling locally or abroad, a rental vehicle can be an essential part of travel plans. However, a stolen rental can turn a dream trip into a nightmare. A few small proactive steps can help mitigate rental vehicle break-ins and thefts.
Ask the rental agency about additional security features: When selecting a rental company, opt for ones that offer advanced security features in their vehicles, such as alarm systems, immobilizers, and GPS tracking devices. Always ask about their standard and enhanced insurance coverage options to ensure you are fully covered in the event of a theft or break-in.
Park in well-lit and secure areas: If you’re in an unfamiliar location, check with your hotel concierge or host for advice on where to park. Look for designated parking lots or garages with surveillance cameras, bright lights or security personnel.
Remove valuables when you leave the car: Thieves are more likely to target vehicles with visible valuable items, so remember to take your belongings with you or keep them securely locked in the trunk. If the glove box is empty, leave it open to deter break-ins by showing there is nothing to steal.
Look like a local vehicle: Thieves know tourists may be travelling with important items, so attempt to blend in as a local. Keeping a local newspaper on a passenger seat can give the illusion you are a resident. If you can, remove any rental car company stickers or tags that could make your vehicle stand out. Additionally, avoid leaving your guide books, or any other indications you are visiting, out of sight.
Bring your own security devices: For added protection, consider investing in anti-theft devices, such as a steering wheel lock. These devices make your rental car more difficult to steal and can deter thieves.
Research local safety information: When traveling to a new destination, familiarize yourself with local safety advice from law enforcement agencies. Find out which areas have higher crime rates or theft hotspots. Stay informed about any recent incidents or security warnings to make informed decisions regarding where to park your rental vehicle.
By following these tips and being proactive about vehicle security, you can significantly reduce the risk of having your rental stolen or broken into.
For additional strategies to prevent vehicle theft, learn more about Équité’s recommended layered approach, which can help you choose the best ways to safe guard your rental vehicle. Watch "Protecting Your Vehicle from Theft," for additional guidance on protecting your vehicle.
Remember to prioritize the safety of yourself and your belongings throughout your journey. Stay informed, be cautious, and enjoy your rental car experience with peace of mind.