Niche Stories

Prevent Car Theft: Loss Control Measures for Auto Dealerships

June 22, 2020
Niche Stories | 3 minute read

When you’re in the business of selling cars and trucks, your #1 goal is to make the vehicles on your dealership lot attractive to potential buyers. Unfortunately, in the process of attracting car buyers, you might also be attracting thieves.

Different types of car theft are a sign of the times we live in. Years ago, smash and grab of car stereos was the big concern for auto dealers. However, today’s complex “infotainment” systems aren’t interchangeable in the same way they used to be—which means stealing car parts like stereos are mostly a thing of the past. But car thieves never go away, and they’re always on the lookout for the next best thing to steal.

So, what is the shiny object drawing criminals to your car dealership today? Look no further than those nice 20” or 22” wheels on the cars and SUVs you sell. Car thieves are targeting wheels and tires because they can quickly steal them and sell them online—it’s almost the modern-day “smash and grab.” Worse yet, car thieves might just drag the whole vehicle onto a flatbed and be gone.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make your auto dealership a lot less vulnerable to car thieves. By making it tough for criminals to steal cars or car parts, they’ll likely give up and move on. Here are some risk prevention steps to take today to help keep the vehicles on your lot safe and secure.

Drive Car Thieves Away with These Loss Control Measures:

  • Make sure ALL dealership lots and building doors are fully illuminated at night, including secondary car lots for excess inventory.
  • Install motion-sensitive cameras around your dealership that can record and store events for at least a few days. Make sure to also include VERY visible signs that state: Video surveillance 24/7.
  • Store expensive vehicles (or vehicles with expensive parts) inside a locked building whenever possible. Consider wheel locks for costly cars or SUVs that must remain outside.
  • Keep all keys and dealer plates in locked cabinets, including customer vehicles that have been brought in for automotive service. (Lock boxes on vehicles are not very secure and will only succeed in slowing down a thief momentarily.)
  • Keep the entire perimeter of your dealership lot secure during off-hours. Park large vehicles across driveway entrances so no one can pull in with a trailer or flatbed truck, or use a heavy steel, locked swing gate.
  • Make sure you have concrete or metal barriers or fencing around the entire car lot so no one can drive vehicles off the lot easily.
  • Keep a regular and accurate inventory of vehicles, keys, and plates. If something is missing, you’ll know immediately.
  • Develop and enforce an end-of-day lockdown procedure for your dealership, which should include disabling and locking down all overhead doors for the night.

When you put smart procedures like these in place, you’re taking a proactive stance to minimize your car dealership’s risk and exposure to theft. Turn to ProSight for auto dealer coverage that addresses your specific insurance needs, as well as add-on endorsements designed to keep your dealership purring like a well-oiled machine.