So maybe you read my car theft story or not, in any case, I resolved that I would not have another car stolen…at least not as easily this time so I got to work and put together a vehicle security plan for my ‘new’ (25 year old) 4×4. Implementing a vehicle security plan actually isn’t that easy. It takes time, effort and money. I just hope by sharing it I can help someone else out.
So getting a car stolen is basically one bad event which has a probability of somewhere between 0 (impossible) and 1 (certain). What we want to do is make it close as possible to impossible to steal as we can given our time and money. As it happens, the vehicle security plan I developed covers a few “events”, not just vehicle theft. For those who want to cut to the chase here it is in table form…
The events it covers are:
- Theft of accessories on car
- Theft of items in car
- Theft of Vehicle (without using the keys)
- Theft of Vehicle (with keys)
- Recovery of Stolen Vehicle
When I say ‘covers’ I mean decrease the likelihood of the negative events and increase the likelihood of the positive one (i.e. recover the stolen vehicle). These are risk controls, we do something to alter the likelihood of the risk.
The controls I have in my plan are:
- Additional physical barriers (lock)
- COTS Alarm System
- COTS Immobiliser
- Kill switch
- Paging (Phone)
- GPS Tracker
- Camera (internal to car)
- Camera (external to car)
You can see from the table that no single control covers all events. You need a combination of approaches. As a future project I’m going to do some posts about some of the challenges I faced when implementing some of these.
I hope this article gives you some ideas and inspiration for better security on your vehicle. Feel free to comment if you have any other ideas or questions.
PS – What I talked about above are a number of risk management controls but that isn’t the whole story either. There are other things you can do…
- Avoid risk – Just don’t park in dodgy places if you can avoid it. For me, I no longer don’t park on the street outside my house. It’s been nicked from there once, so it could happen again. Some coppers once told me when I was burgled to expect it again. The burglars often come back to collect the newly purchased replacements once the insurance has paid out 😐
- Control risk – As I talked about above.
- Accept risk – Sort of obvious. It’s kind of the default. If you don’t do any avoiding, controlling or transferring of risk you are by default accepting it if it happens whether you like it or not.
- Transfer – Get some vehicle insurance with theft cover. Just be aware that you really only can transfer part of the risk. My car as stolen was covered for $8,500. I’ve spent over double that for both car and accessories on the replacement. That’s money I never would have had to spend if I’d secured it with this approach from the outset.