Manufacturers are always working to improve the anti-theft measures in vehicles, but thieves work just as hard to defeat them. According to FBI statistics, in 2020 the U.S. saw an 11.8% increase in car thefts over the prior year, and the trend has continued. The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) reported that over 1 million vehicles were stolen in 2022. That’s a 7% increase over 2021, and the first time there were over 1 million vehicles stolen since 2008.
Thieves will always find high-tech ways to steal cars, including carrying around spare body and engine control units or even matched keys. However, there are steps you can take to foil them, or at least slow them down. Aftermarket car alarms are the first line of defense beyond the systems installed in your car at the factory, and a great way of protecting older cars that don’t have anti-theft systems.
Today, there are two basic kinds of car modern car alarms. Classic one-way alarms simply set off lights and a siren if someone tries to break in. Two-way alarms do that and send data to either your key fob or your phone, alerting you in real-time to threats. Two-way alarms often have additional features like keyless locking and entry, GPS tracking and other functions controlled through your cell phone.
In addition to protecting your car, aftermarket alarms can often result in lower insurance premiums. Check with your insurer before installation to see if an alarm discount is available, and what the requirements might be to qualify for the discount. Top considerations when alarm shopping are compatibility with your vehicle, the range in which your remote can communicate with the alarm, ease of installation, features, maintenance costs and price.
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