Which is the best automatic economical car

System comparison: what protects against car theft?

According to information from the General Association of the German Insurance Industry, more than 16,000 fully insured cars are stolen every year. An economic loss of over 300 million euros. Is there an effective cure for car theft? Our experts have examined various mechanical and electronic types of theft protection for their effectiveness. We will explain the most common ones to you.

Since no system alone promises effective protection, consumers should combine several anti-theft products and also conscientiously activate or maintain them (e.g. charge batteries). Busy or guarded parking spaces and lockable garages offer additional protection. At the same time, the vehicle manufacturers are called upon to offer up-to-date theft protection as standard.

Mechanical products

Steering wheel lock

The metal construction is attached to the steering wheel and prevents steering. The costs for this vary between 30 and 60 euros. A steering wheel lock has a deterrent effect, but assembly is cumbersome and the lock must be stowed safely while driving.

Park Claw

The metal construction on the wheel prevents driving away and acts like the steering wheel lock for thieves. Costs: There is something for every budget from 20 to 150 euros.

Valve guard

The valve monitor is an attachment for the tire valve, which lets out air through the centrifugal force while driving. However, this anti-theft protection can quickly become dangerous if the owner forgets to remove the guard and the car skids due to insufficient tire pressure. The cost is around 50 euros.

Steering column lock

This is a mechanical lock that prevents the steering wheel from turning and prevents the engine from starting. The lock must be activated each time you leave the vehicle. The installation is only possible by a specialist company, the costs may vary depending on the provider.

Gear lever lock

It prevents gear shifting when reverse gear is engaged. Here, too, installation is only possible by specialist staff.

Rim lock

One fastening screw per wheel is replaced by a special screw that can only be loosened with a coded key lock. The wheel lock costs around 10 to 30 euros per set. Disadvantage: thieves often have socket wrenches in stock.

Electronic products

Radiation protection / key box

A case is supposed to shield keyless keys in order to prevent the radio extension. The protection does not always work reliably, however, and not every key fits into the container. It also takes the keyless locking system ad absurdum.

GPS tracker

A module stored in the vehicle transmits the vehicle's location via smartphone or tablet. Sometimes an automatic alarm warns when leaving a certain geo-zone. The costs can vary between 30 and 300 euros.

Alarm system

Hidden electronics trigger an alarm in the event of vibrations, glass breakage, a change in inclination (e.g. when towing or lifting onto a trailer) or voltage drop (e.g. due to interior lighting that switches on when the door is opened). In this case, our experts recommend CAN bus products, as they involve less wiring and can be defused with the original vehicle key. Disadvantage: The alarm system is often prone to false alarms and is therefore less effective in the event of an actual theft.

OBD saver

OBD stands for Onboard Diagnostic Socket and is a lockable cover that is intended to prevent the immobilizer from being programmed. However, installation by the specialist workshop costs around 200 euros.

Other methods

Etched codes in the car windows are intended to prevent theft (price: around 70 euros). Disadvantages: Etchings can be partially reversed. And: thieves who target luxury cars are often not put off by this. You simply exchange the affected windows and give the stolen car a new "identity".

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