Theft can be catastrophic for any business, but it’s particularly costly for car rental lots, which have numerous high-value items out in the open and waiting for opportunists to take advantage.
There’s no way to eliminate the risk of car rental lot theft altogether, but you can significantly reduce the risk by taking the appropriate precautionary measures.
This blog outlines some of the most effective safety and security strategies car rental lot owners and managers can implement today, along with additional tips on how to prevent theft.
Car Rental Lot Security Solutions
The right security solutions play a significant role in reducing the risk of theft on car rental lots. Here are some of the most popular and influential security options to consider:
Installing physical barriers, such as spike strips, helps to deter thieves and also reduces the likelihood that they will be able to remove vehicles from the rental car lot.
Don’t underestimate the benefits of other barriers, like gates and electric or barbed wire fences, as well. Not only do gates and fences make it more difficult for unauthorized people to take cars off the lot, but they also make it harder for those people to enter the property in the first place.
Having security guards patrolling the lot, including interior areas like the office where keys are kept, can also deter thieves. Knowing that someone is surveilling the area and will contact the police if they notice anything out of the ordinary discourages thieves from attempting to victimize your facility.
Security cameras also help to protect your rental car lot, whether you install them alone or use them alongside security guards and other protective measures like physical barriers.
The presence of security cameras will reduce the chances of someone entering the lot and trying to steal a vehicle, vehicle parts, etc. Because you have cameras consistently recording, it’s also easier for you to gather information related to the robbery and potentially catch the culprit.
Keep in mind, too, that car dealership/rental lot security cameras can cost up to 75 percent less than security guards, so if you’re working with a tight budget, consider cameras to get the most bang for your buck.
Preventing Theft at Car Rental Lots
In addition to investing in physical barriers, security guards, and/or security cameras, you can prevent theft at car rental lots in many other ways, including the following:
Light It Up
In addition to acting as a deterrent against thieves, lights help your security guards see what’s happening and allow you to see clearly when reviewing surveillance camera footage.
A brightly lit car rental lot is less likely to be victimized compared to a sparsely lit one. Install lights throughout the lot and around the office, service area, etc. Consider installing motion-activated lights, too, to alert security guards or cameras when someone is moving around the property.
Place Reminder Signs
Visible cameras and on-premise security guards play a significant role in deterring thieves. You can’t always trust these people to look for guards or cameras before they try to enter your facility, though.
To prevent them from trying in the first place, hang signs around the exterior of the property reminding people that you have cameras, alarms, security guards, etc., and that the lot is monitored 24/7.
Install Car Parking Lifts
If your car rental lot includes a parking garage, consider installing car parking lifts, which park two vehicles in one spot by stacking one of them on a sturdy platform.
Car parking lifts, naturally, make it harder for thieves to take vehicles off the lot. While this is a more expensive solution, it can make a significant difference and save you plenty of money in the long run (think about how expensive it would be to deal with a stolen car).
Keep Track of the Keys
It’s common for car rental lots to hang keys on the wall where everyone can see them (and anyone can access them with minimal difficulty). Be sure to store keys securely in a place that’s hard to see and access. Avoid leaving keys in the cars’ ignitions or glove compartments, too.
Did you know you can protect your car rental lot from theft by changing the way you park the vehicles?
When parking vehicles, turn the wheels sharply to one side and put the emergency break on. These extra steps make it more difficult for thieves to tow cars off the lot, especially when they’re in a hurry.
Enforce a Strict Sign Out Process
Keep detailed records so you always know who has which vehicle, when they rented it, when they’re supposed to return it, etc. The stricter you are with your sign-out and record-keeping processes, the sooner you’ll be able to tell if a vehicle has gone missing.
Change Locks and Passwords Periodically
Employees can play a critical role in both protecting the car rental lot and making it more susceptible to theft. For example, if employees share protected information with others, they may make it easier for those people to enter the lot and get a car or car parts out undetected.
One way to prevent disgruntled or careless employees from jeopardizing the business is to change locks and passwords regularly. It’s especially important to do this after an employee leaves the company.
Stick to a Closing Routine
A solid closing routine — one that includes making sure cash is secure, locking up inventory, and checking that all keys, license plates, and vehicles are accounted for can make a big difference when it comes to protecting your car rental lot. Make sure all employees know the routine and go through a specific set of steps each night before they leave.
Protect Your Car Rental Lot with Mobile Video Guard
Is it time to step up your car rental lot’s security game? If so, invest in Mobile Video Guard’s car dealership surveillance system.
This system provides everything you need to rest easy, knowing your vehicles are always protected. Reach out and get a quote today.