Top home security tips to deter car thieves

Published: July 27, 2023 by  Marguerite Cotter

Car theft continues to be a problem in Ireland. In 2022, there was a 52% increase in car theft versus 2021. 

Car theft continues to be a problem in Ireland. According to  statistics from the Gardai. 2022 saw a 52% increase in car theft versus 2021 with over 4,000 vehicles stolen in Ireland during 2022. It’s not just outside in public environments where your car is vulnerable but also outside your front door!

With this in mind PhoneWatch, Ireland's leading home security company have prepared the following home security tips that homeowners can implement to deter car thieves.

  1. Lock your vehicles

    It may sound obvious but so many people leave their car unlocked thinking that just because they are home, their car is safe. Both home burglaries and car thefts, often occur when a person is at home or near their vehicle. Always lock your car doors and windows, even when parked in your own driveway. Many car thefts occur because owners have left their vehicles unlocked. This makes the car an easy target for potential car thieves. Make it a habit to lock the car whenever you exit it.

  2. Use a steering wheel lock or immobilizer

    Consider using a visible anti-theft device, such as a steering wheel lock or an immobilizer. This adds an extra layer of difficulty for car thieves to hotwire your car. These devices act as deterrents as they require additional effort to bypass. Car thieves like most burglars are usually just looking for a quick theft.

  3. Install a car alarm system or dashcam

    Most cars should already have a car alarm system. Check to ensure it works. They can be an effective deterrent against theft. A dashcam with sensor detection which operates when motion occurs near the car can also act as extra security. Burglars will be wary that they may have been recorded while scoping out a vehicle to steal so if they see it has a dashcam, they may choose another target.

  4. Park in a secure well-lit area

    Whenever possible, park your vehicle in a well-lit and secure area. If you have a garage, use it to park your car overnight. This is especially true if your car is new or expensive as burglars may see it as a wealth indicator. This could lead them to also target your home for a potential burglary. If parking on the street, choose a well-populated and well-lit area. A monitored house alarm with a bellbox may serve to let potential burglars know the property is monitored.

  5. Don't leave valuables in your car

    Avoid leaving valuable items such as laptops, purses, or electronics in plain sight inside your vehicle. These can attract thieves and increase the likelihood of a break-in. If you must leave items in your car, store them in the trunk or use a car cover to hide them from view. Even having items like loose change or alcohol could attract burglars with dependency issues. Often burglars are desperate and trying to feed a habit so try not to tempt them by leaving items like these on display.

  6. Store your keys securely

    Keep your car keys in a safe and secure location inside your home. Avoid leaving them near windows or doors where they can be easily reached by thieves. To home burglars particularly, you are just giving them an escape vehicle by storing your keys somewhere easy to reach.

    Key storage is particularly important considering the increasing rise of keyless car theft affecting modern cars that don't require the key insertion for entry or ignition. Car thieves are increasingly using relay signals according to the Gardai to gain entry to the car. In these instances, if the car key is stored near the car even if in the home, a signaling device is used to copy it and for burglar to gain entry and steal the car. You can protect yourself from this by storing your key in a faraday box or biscuit tin which restricts the signal.

  7. Install outdoor lighting

    Adequate lighting around your home can make it less appealing for car thieves to approach your property. Use motion-activated lights or install well-positioned, bright lights near your driveway, garage, and any other areas where your vehicles are parked.

  8. Install security cameras

    Consider installing a home security system that includes alarms, surveillance cameras, and even smart home integration. These systems can deter potential car thieves near your home and provide you with peace of mind. CCTV and outdoor security cameras can also provide evidence in case of a break-in or theft. Place cameras in strategic locations around your property, including near your driveway or garage entrance, to capture any suspicious activity. Display signs or stickers indicating that your home is protected by a security system. Research shows that homes protected by a monitored home alarm from PhoneWatch are 4.5 times less likely to be burgled.

  9. Be aware of your surroundings

    Stay vigilant and be mindful of any unfamiliar or suspicious individuals loitering near your property. Report any unusual activity to the Gardai and encourage your neighbours to do the same.


Marguerite Cotter, Marketing Director of PhoneWatch, said “Remember that while these tips can help deter car thieves, there is no fool proof method to prevent all car thefts. It's important to stay proactive, aware, and maintain good security practices to protect your property.”


From house alarm systems to tailored home security, PhoneWatch create and install alarm systems to match your budget and give you peace of mind. We are trusted by over 118,000 homes in Ireland to keep them safe every day. Get a personalised home security quote today.

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