If you’re a business owner in the automobile industry, be it a repair shop or a dealership, you’re used to your assets sitting out in the open.

While cars can be locked when not in use, there are better ways to protect them from getting stolen. After all, about $5.9 billion was lost to motor vehicle theft in 2016. Thieves are constantly figuring out more inventive ways to get away with car theft.

How can you protect against automobile thieves? We outline three key tips below.

1. Use High-Quality Surveillance Cameras

Surveillance cameras are an effective tool for monitoring lots and your business as a whole.

Cameras are helpful for many reasons:

  • The presence of cameras by themselves could deter thieves from choosing your lot.
  • In the event of a car theft, footage can be reviewed to catch the identity of thieves. The better the footage resolution, the more likely you’ll be able to identify the perpetrator.
  • If an employee is watching the live feed on a closed-circuit television (CCTV), the incident may be avoidable altogether. However, they may not need to be stuck in the office—there are mobile solutions available to review security feed remotely.

Cameras can be used to protect your business in other ways, too. One dealership was experiencing an issue where customers claimed damage to their vehicle was done while the car was in for service. After installing cameras that could accurately ascertain the state of the vehicle when it came in, the dealership was able to identify whether damage actually occurred. This action gave them the ability to protect themselves against false claims, and they estimated that it saved $20,000-$30,000 in two years.

2. Keep a Sophisticated Inventory System

You already know it is essential to keep track of all vehicles at your business closely.

But, are you watching car keys just as closely? Here are the best practices regarding keys:

  • To ensure maximum safety of vehicles, only allow one set of car keys per employee at a time.
  • Secure the rest of the keys in a locked area with access control. That way, each employee can be held accountable to the keys they have accessed.
  • Be aware of which keys are in or out of the system, so you can be in the know about which vehicles need attention.

Keeping track of keys is a vitally important role, and can be assisted with certain security technologies.

3. Lessen Available Entry Points

Depending on the setup of your lot, there may be many points where a person or vehicle can sneak in. Use a form of defense, such as barricades or fences, to surround the perimeter and decrease a thief’s ability to drive a car off the lot.

If putting up barricades is too difficult for the lot setup or is cost prohibitive, it becomes especially imperative that you use other measures discussed in this post.