How to prevent car theft in Malaysia? Is it even possible?
We will try to share some tips below.
We love self-drive holidays in Malaysia. The freedom along the highway, the food, the scenic beach, hills and old rustic towns. The exchange rate is super attractive but not news about car jacking.
We shared some tips about driving in Malaysia (read article here), GPS Navigation, Tolls, and Safety.
Some tips and scenarios have not changed. Example :
1) Always Park Head in to discourage towing. Refer first photo above, add steering wheel lock (and pedal lock) and hope robber will find an easier target.
2) I am still trying to find a gear-shift lock. You cannot shift the gear, and like point 1 above, I hope it will deter a potential hijacker. But it seems this lock is only available in Malaysia as there is “no demand” in Singapore :p
(Image credit http://www.solex.com.my)
3) I have recently added a kill switch (On/Off) for $60. If someone managed to go inside your car, he cannot start the ignition unless he knows the switch’s location.
(Email me for the workshop and contact, I know it works for Japanese/Korean makes, not too sure about continental. (Disclaimer : Car distributors might claim Kill-switch can void warranty)
4) In worse case, if car is towed away. You will make a police report, and “hope” some syndicate will return your car for a ransom. (This is hearsay, I cannot verify).
We can do tracing with GPS tracker app too.
– I am using Life360 app. This nifty app is compatible with both IOS and Android smartphones. Easy to setup, and it is FREE! Touch wood if car is stolen, app will guide you to the last known location of your car.
Just hide an old smartphone in your car, subscribe to a Malaysia data plan, and pray battery does not fade before your car is recovered. As a bonus, this app can trace your kids too.
(I tried another app “GPS tracker” but it did not work on my spare Android)
4a) Updated 2020Jan. Google Map Location Sharing would provide real-time update. Just ensure you have a Malaysia data plan and mobile phone battery lasts long enough for you to trace.
Do not share your “location” with strangers!
Points 5 to 7 are more common sense. We sometimes like to broadcast our locations to the whole world.
I can never understand the rationale, why do we want to make it easier for crooks to locate and target us?
5) Displaying your bags in full view, or not locking your car doors. This smash and grab Youtube (link) shows how brazen and efficient the robbers can be!
5a) Invest in window film for your ride. If your window is smashed, we hope the film will allow the window to fall in one piece, and not break into smithereens. This will prevent cuts on passengers and make it easier to “clean” your car if you intend to drive to workshop for repairs. (if budget allows, go for IR and UV protection)
6) Cute family stickers, announcing your three generation family members and pets too. Kids and grandparents are easier targets (right?), rookie crooks might just be tempted to ambush the vulnerable car occupants.
(image credit Google search)
7) Share your location on all your social media network, Check-in, #Hashtags, Tag the resorts and what have you. We like to tell everyone on the WWW where we are, and make it easier for people to spot us.
We can always share our recommendations and locations 48 hours after checkout. Our friends would not mind #Latergram.
From Honda to Toyota to Continental cars, no brand is safe.
If it is any comfort, Proton is the number 1 target.
We should always remain vigilant when overseas (not only Malaysia), and try not to make the robbers’ job easier.
Back to our first question, How to prevent car theft in Malaysia?
Short of not driving into Malaysia, we can only deter the robbers by making our car a little bit harder to crack. If robbers are determined, nothing will stop him from getting away with your car.
Your family’s safety must always be the first priority.
If you have more tips to share, do let me know.