Rental vehicles provide the freedom of seeing your destination and the things it has in store for you. They also allow traveling on a tight budget possible. However, thieves are known to target people who rent vehicles more than those who drive their own cars. They know that you are likely to let your guard down during the holidays because you will be very busy enjoying yourself.
Further, blending in with the locals, regardless of the country, can be hard. You will always stick out in crowds, and thieves might follow you. Thieves also know that you might leave most of your valuable items in the rental car.
Do not panic. The following tips will help you protect the rental of your car from thieves when traveling.
1: Never Leave Your Valuables in the Rental Car
While this might sound very basic, it is worth stating. When traveling with anything that is of significant value, whether financially or sentimentally, you have to leave it in your hotel room, apartment, or move with it at all times. If you must leave it in the rental car, hide it properly.
Thieves are opportunists. They would not want to spend their time searching for valuables in every part of the rental car.
2: Choose Gasoline Stations Wisely
For most travelers, the fuel price is among the factors that attract them to gas stations. While the criterion might be enough, you have to choose gasoline stations carefully to protect your rental car from thieves. Ensure that the gasoline stations you choose are equipped with surveillance cameras. Further, the gasoline stations should be situated far from the areas widely known for high crime.
If you have to refuel your car rental in Dubai car at night, choose a station that is well lit to improve your safety. Thieves prefer working in the dark for obvious reasons. Better yet, car thieves hate witnesses, so selecting gasoline stations that are busy with customers will increase the chances of having your rental car stolen.
3: Know the Location of the Fuel Door on the Car
You would not want to pull your rental car into a fuel station and stepping outside only to realize that you have situated the fuel door on the wrong side of the gas pump. That will tell everyone that you are unfamiliar with the vehicle.
The small triangle on the side of the gasoline pump icon directs you to the side of your car to pump the fuel. It directs you to the location of the fuel door so that you can avoid pulling up the car to a pump incorrectly. You have to avoid drawing unnecessary attention at the gas stations.
4: Never Leave Your Rental Car Running
Leaving the car running is more like giving it to potential thieves. Even though leaving the car running in winter can help warm the interior or cool it in winter, it will attract more thieves. You had better suffer from the cold or heat, which your car will rectify within minutes after you start driving than dealing with the inconveniences associated with a stolen rental vehicle or going through the recovery process. Apart from attracting thieves, you will spend more on fuel.
5: Never Leave Your Children or Child Alone in the Rental Car Unattended
Never leave your kids in an unattended rental car alone. Thieves will place them in potential grave danger if they steal the car. In most cases, thieves have no idea that there are children in the car because all they care about is stealing the car within the shortest time possible. They will not check the back seat.
Although they are unlikely to kill the child for being in the car, they can harm the child both psychologically and physically. Further, thieves are known to dump kids in dangerous locations. That alone might place your child in different types of danger.
6: Remove the Keys Always
The number of people who leave their keys in their cars – whether rental or personal vehicles – might surprise you. Whether you are just leaving the vehicle to buy a snack or pay for gas, you have to move with your keys. With the keys inside the car, a thief can steal it within 30 seconds.
Statistics show that nearly 13 percent of all stolen vehicles had keys inside them. Removing keys from your car will not only discourage potential thieves. It will also reduce the chances of locking yourself outside the car accidentally.
7: Park the Rental Car with its Wheels Turned Towards the Curb
No one will tow your rental car if its front wheels are turned towards the curb. After turning the wheels, engage the emergency brake and leave the car in gear when possible. Further, remember to lock the steering wheel to give thieves a hard time. Actually, you should remember to secure the vehicle this way before parking it in any place – including the service station.
8: Never Leave the Title or Registration inside the Car
This might not be important when driving rental cars. However, thieves can use the documents to sell your car. They can also use them to escape traffic stops. Sometimes, car rental in Dubai agents will tell you not to leave your document in the rental vehicle.
9: Rent a Car that Cannot Attract Attention
Perhaps, you have spotted envious people starring at you when driving an exotic shiny red sports car or rental convertible in town. To avoid that, you should choose cheap rental cars that will not attract the attention of thieves. An economy car or typical sedan will not catch the attention of thieves.
Thieves do not keep the vehicles they steal. They sell them or their parts in the black market. So, they will always be looking for expensive cars.
10: Lock the Car Properly
Before locking the doors of your car, you should remember to lock the windows and sunroof properly. The windows and sunroof are known to provide easier access to vehicles. An unlocked car will invite many thieves who might choose to drive it away.
When renting a car, you might want to drop some insurance coverage to save money. That is particularly if your personal car insurance covers rental vehicles. You have to know that your personal auto coverage may not cater for stolen or damaged rental cars.
Further, the insurance might exclude some countries from the coverage. So, you have to contact your insurance company before booking any car to get the information you need.