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When is a Car Alarm Installation Your Best Choice? A Pragmatic Look at Car Security.

Why choose a car alarm installation? Why Not?

For the average consumer, when they want to protect their car, a car alarm installation is their immediate solution.

However, the important question to ask yourself is: What do I want to do? Do I want to protect my car from theft? Do I want to protect my car’s contents from theft? Do I want to get back something thieves have stolen? These are all different goals and understanding what your objective is will dictate which direction to go.

“I want to protect my car from theft!”

Get an immobilizer like the Ravelco Anti Theft Device, not a car alarm. Car alarm installations are wired to the car right under the dash, right where the thieves expect and want them. Thieves are hidden from view when they’re under the dash, so they know they have time. Anyone bold enough to break in and steal your car is not only expecting an alarm to go off, they know if they silence it quickly no one is going to look. We’ve documented a number of simple ways thieves use to defeated car alarms.

The Ravelco is not connected under the dash. It is wired under the hood, buried in your car’s electrical system. Why is this type the best? Thieves are limited by time and resources. Your job is to ‘target harden’ your car, making it take too long, and require to many resources (tools, smarts, etc.) to get away with your car.

Most car thefts are drive-aways.

If you have a Lambo or a Ferrari, they most likely will come after the car with a tow truck. If you don’t drive a Lambo or Ferrari they’re going to drive it away. They know how to start it, and they’re not going to go through the additional hassle of a tow truck. So, a solid immobilizer that has been around a long time with a proven track record is your best bet.

“I want to protect the contents of my car!”

If it’s not bolted down, take it out. The best way to protect the contents of a car is to not have any. Take that leather jacket out. The $5 bill in the cup holder will disappear in 3 seconds. A briefcase will be grabbed and gone before the alarm goes off, or even if one does, they’ve got their loot before anyone has time to care. An alarm will not stop this. A stereo can be yanked out fairly quickly. Get a head unit with a removable face plate so they can’t see the brand, and they know it’s useless without the face.

Unfortunately a car alarm will NOT prevent your contents from being stolen. Anyone bold enough to break in is going to be ready for a car alarm. A quick clip of the red/black wire disables most alarms. But most people don’t look twice when a car alarm goes off. That’s their biggest weakness. If you’re the person that calls the police when you hear a car alarm, then get one. If you don’t call the police, don’t waste your money on an alarm. If you do get one, please get one that pages, and doesn’t make noise.

“I want to get back what the thieves don’t want!”

An alarm isn’t going to help you here either. If you want to get back the thieves’ leftovers, then you want a tracking device. GPS or radio tracking systems have nothing that prevents the vehicle starting, and you have to pay a monthly service. If not, ask if there’s a lifetime warranty. Some of the most popular ones require you ‘renew the batteries’ after 5 years.

Also, keep in mind, that if your car is stolen, it’s going to be worth less when you sell it or trade it in. CarFax gets that information from the DMV, who is alerted by police when you call to report the theft. You get the car back along with a 5 to 15% reduction in value. The cost of a tracking system just went up.

The Bottom Line on Car Alarms

There are several reasons why people don’t buy car alarms these days.

1) The sound is a nuisance. No one pays attention, no one bothers to look. Thieves know this.

2) They are wired right under the dash, where the thieves know and expect them. They can work without being seen to quickly silence them.

3) They are not an effective deterrent.

So our advice is this: protect the car from being stolen in the first place. Get a Ravelco.

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