Here's how to prevent your car from being stolen or broken into

No one thinks it will happen to them. Until it does. Imagine walking to your parked car only to find out it is not there. In a split second, you become a victim of a dangerous and ever-growing criminal business. Learning how to prevent your car from being stolen or broken into can save you time and money and bring you peace of mind.

In 2022, the National Insurance Crime Bureau reported that more than 1 million consumers were victims of motor vehicle theft. This figure has been growing annually, up from just over 800,000 vehicle thefts in 2019. Here are some car theft prevention tips to help ensure your vehicle is not an easy target for thieves.

Secure and close it up

  • Lock your doors.
  • Don’t leave your keys in your car or a spare key near your car.
  • Close your windows when you leave.

Park smartly

  • Leave your car in well-lit areas, especially at night.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and park in a secure garage if possible.

Avoid being a target

  • Never leave your car running and unattended.
  • Don’t leave valuables in your car. If you must, put them in an area where they cannot easily be seen from outside the vehicle, such as the trunk or the glove compartment.

Take proactive measures

  • Install visible anti-theft devices, such as a steering wheel lock, to help deter thieves.
  • Add a tracking device to help locate your car if it has been stolen.

With a vehicle reported stolen roughly every 39 seconds, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), it’s important to create new habits now – before it’s too late.

Has your vehicle been stolen? Here’s what to do next.

If you are a victim of vehicle theft, the NHTSA recommends these steps to take:

  • Contact the police right away and file a stolen vehicle report. You may need to include details, such as the license plate number, make/model/color of your car and the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
  • Contact your insurance company to file a claim within 24 hours of the theft. You will likely need to provide them with a copy of the police report. If you're a customer of The Hanover, you can file a claim easily online through My Hanover Policy.
  • If you find your car after being reported as stolen, contact the police and your insurance company immediately. 


National Insurance Crime Bureau

National Highway Transportation Safety Administration

This material is provided for informational purposes only and does not provide any coverage or guarantee loss prevention. The examples in this material are provided as hypothetical and for illustration purposes only. The Hanover Insurance Company and its affiliates and subsidiaries (“The Hanover”) specifically disclaim any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations contained herein will make any premises, or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. By providing this information to you, The Hanover does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you. The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.

LC 2023-094