How to Keep Your Vehicle Safe in College: Alarms, Locks, Cameras?

It could happen to you. You walk toward your campus parking lot after the final class for the day. But upon reaching your car, you stop and gasp. The shards of glass on the asphalt next to your car say it all.

Your car has been broken into.

How can you avoid being another statistic, another victim of car thieves? By securing your car in college. And here’s how.

1: Install a Car Alarm

Like most college students, you likely drive an older model. And no one, at least no one in their right mind, would dare to steal that old wreck, right? Wrong.

The wreck may not be worth much. Heck, it may even be practically worthless. But to a desperate criminal, it’s an easy target.

After all, it lacks the one theft deterrent all modern cars have – an alarm. So install one and for only $150.

2: Install a Dashboard Camera

Back in the day, dash cams were the preserve of cops. But not anymore. Now you too can own one for as little as $100. Why? For the same reason that cops do – to catch criminals on tape.

And after leaving for class, you don’t even need to turn it on. It does that by itself the moment someone jolts your car. And it doesn’t stop there.

It then streams the live footage to your phone. So you’re guaranteed to catch the guy who rips off your car stereo or even dares to scratch your car.

3: Secure all Doors and Windows

Never leave a car door unlocked or a car window rolled down. You’ve heard this sound advice all your life. But since owning a car, how often have you heeded it? Probably never.

For instance, when did you last check to see whether all your car doors and windows were secure? Don’t remember? Then someone could be ripping off your car stereo as we speak.

4: Never Leave Valuables in the Car

You leave a laptop or tablet in the backseat of your car. And then head off to class. How likely are you to find it when you come back? Not at all. And here’s why.

As any cop will tell you, thieves are lazy. Rather than seek out an opportunity to steal, they seize it. In short, if you give them a good enough reason to rob you, they will and without hesitation.

So don’t. Never leave a single valuable item – whether it’s a credit card, phone, or spare key – in your car. Don’t even lock it in the glove compartment lest somebody sees you stashing it away and comes back for it later.

5: Park in Secure Parking Lots

No matter the campus, parking space is always at a premium. So when you find an open parking spot quickly, you thank your lucky stars and grab it. But how lucky are you?

Look around. Is the parking lot secluded or poorly lit? If so, your luck may run out sooner than you think. For it’s here, away from view, that car thieves either break into or make away with your car. So look around some more for more open parking lots.

6: Secure Your Wheels

Tire clamp

In the secluded parking lot, whether on campus or otherwise, auto thieves have the time to do more than steal your stereo. More often than not, they also steal your tires. And why wouldn’t they?

Tires, especially new ones, cost more than a stereo. And there are four of them. So it’s four times the fun. How do you avoid finding your car sitting on bricks with its tires gone? By installing wheel locks.

These nut-like devices fit into your rims in place of the regular lug nuts, one for each wheel. And of course, you can only remove them and, in turn, the wheel with a key.

Kompulsa also mentions wheel clamps that can be used to attach to the entire wheel itself. There mixed opinions about the usage of locking lug nuts and how easily they can actually be removed.

7: Register With Campus Parking

This may come as a surprise. But you need to protect your car against your college. You heard that right – against your college. Don’t believe it?

Then here’s what your school can do if your car fails to meet certain requirements. Fine you. Bar your car from its grounds. Or, call the tow truck on you.

So what are these requirements? Your car must be registered with campus parking. And it must bear the college decals anytime its on campus.


Don’t become another statistic. Secure your car against being broken into or, worse, being stolen. And lucky for you, that’s an easy thing to do. Install the right gadgets, keep valuables out of the car, and play it safe.