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How do I Prevent Car Vandalism?

By Lori Smith
Updated May 23, 2024
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It may be difficult to entirely prevent car vandalism, but there are some notable ways to lessen the likelihood of becoming a victim. Most importantly, you should park your car in well-lit, populated areas. This helps to discourage vandals from destroying your property because they may be fearful of getting caught. Investing in a high-quality security alarm may also serve as an effective deterrent.

If you have a garage at your home, this is generally the best place to park your car in order to prevent damage to it. Otherwise, you may consider purchasing outdoor lights for your yard or driveway. Some security lights come equipped with automatic sensors that are programed to illuminate whenever someone approaches. Since vandals usually prefer to lurk in the darkness, they often shy away from homes and cars that are located in brightly lit areas.

Similarly, security surveillance systems can be quite effective. A strategically placed camera usually serves as a sufficient warning and successful deterrent for delinquents. The camera system does not have to be expensive. In fact, its mere presence is often enough to prevent car vandalism.

When you are away from home, try to park in areas where many other cars are also parked. You also should avoid locations in desolate areas such as alleyways or close to large buildings. Parking near large structures may give perpetrators easier access to your car. Furthermore, they may even serve as a convenient place to hide in case someone approaches. Keep in mind that car vandalism usually occurs in isolated areas where people are less likely to be noticed.

As a preventative measure, you should also be sure to secure your valuables and store them out of view. Your purse, wallet or cell phone, for example, should not be left on the seat, dashboard or floorboard of the car. Doing so may entice criminals to break the window or door locks in order to access these items.

While many vandals destroy property as a means to rob someone of their property, others simply do it for the sake of being destructive. Running a key or other sharp object along the side of a car, for example, serves no other purpose to the criminal than to cause grief to the car owner. Other forms of vandalism, such as when someone punctures a tire, may create an even greater dilemma. Not only does this cause the individual to incur the expense of tire replacement, but it may leave him or her stranded in a potentially unsafe area. For this reason, it may be practical to purchase run-flat tires.

Convertibles with soft tops are also frequent targets for car vandalism. Using a knife or other sharp object, vandals can easily tear into the fabric, causing costly repair expenses. If you do own one of these cars, it is especially important to heed these simple precautions in order to avoid becoming the target of car vandalism.

WikiMotors is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon940262 — On Mar 17, 2014

My problem isn't "mysterious hooded cliche breaks in and steals things."

They aren't after my things. My problem is that my car is the target. What do you do about somebody constantly breaking parts of your car? How do you even figure out who? After you've identified them, what do you do? What part of court does that belong to?

By Talentryto — On Feb 26, 2014

Parking in a well-lit area, even directly under a street light when possible, is also a good way to ward off would-be thieves.

By Rundocuri — On Feb 26, 2014

This article makes a good point about not leaving valuable items in a car where vandals can see them. Last year my sister left her purse sitting on the front passenger seat while she went into work to pick up her paycheck. When she returned, a vandal had shattered her passenger side window and had stolen her purse. Keeping such items well hidden is one of the easiest car vandalism prevention ideas you can do.

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