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Safety Tips for Taking Your Classic Car in Public


Any time you take your classic car into public, it’s going to attract a lot of attention. That’s just the nature of owning a classic car—and one of the reasons to own one, if we’re being honest.

Whether you take your classic to a car show or simply out for a spin, it’s important to make sure you’re taking the appropriate safety measures to protect yourself from potential theft or damage.

The classic MG MGA Mark II in the wild

Here are a few tips that you should consider every time you’ll be driving or transporting your classic car to a public location.

Make sure you’re fully insured

You should know the value of your car (get an appraisal, if you haven’t done so), and have an insurance policy on your vehicle that protects its full value. Look for insurance companies that understand classic cars and the unique considerations that go into caring for them and protecting them. At the very least, an insurance policy will protect you in the event something happens.

Battery Disconnect Switch

Implement some anti-theft devices

This is especially important if you regularly drive or transport the vehicle yourself. There are a variety of anti-theft devices that can be used in any cars, and are especially ideal for classic cars that need additional protection and may be bigger targets for theft. These features include battery cut-off switches, immobilization devices, methods of disconnecting battery cables while the vehicle is parked, and hidden transmitters that allow for vehicle tracking by you or by the police.

Classic car being loaded and shipped using our Trailer Ramp
Classic car being loaded and shipped using our Trailer Ramps

Work with a trustworthy shipper

If you’re going to be shipping your classic car to shows or other locations, make sure the shipper you work with is qualified and trustworthy. They should be properly insured, use covered transport vehicles and have a variety of safety devices at their disposal, including tracking devices, immobilizing devices, security cameras, locks and other types of anti-theft devices.

Consider location

Try to stop only in safe locations en route to your final destination, and make sure any shipper you work with does the same. The trailer should be parked in well-lit locations, or locked at storage facilities with the door of the trailer backed up against a building, fence or other structure or vehicle.

GPS alarm sticker

Add an alarm sticker

You should, of course, have an alarm on your vehicle, but you should also broadcast that fact by putting a sticker on the window that says your car is protected by security features. This will act as a deterrent to potential thieves who might otherwise be interested in trying to steal your car.

Hide your valuables

If you have any valuables located inside your classic car, make sure to stow them away in the glove box or any other compartment the vehicle might have. You don’t need to give would-be thieves any additional reason to try to break into the car. This includes cell phones, tablets, GPS devices, money, jewelry or other valuables.

Windows up and locked door of red retro classic car
Windows up and locked door of red retro classic car

Close and lock

This might seem like a bit of obvious advice, but you should always lock your vehicle doors, keep the windows rolled up and take the keys away with you. It doesn’t matter how nice of a day is outside, or how long you’ll be away from the vehicle—these simple steps are effective measures for preventing theft and protecting your vehicle.

Keep watch

When you’re with your vehicle at a public auto show, make sure you or someone else always keeps an eye on the vehicle, especially during set-up and take-down. You never know when someone might try to get too hands-on with your vehicle as they’re admiring it. Even if they have no intent to steal, it’s better to avoid having people touching your vehicle and potentially damaging it.

Proper safety and security is critical for protecting the financial and emotionally investment you’ve made in your classic car. Take the aforementioned steps to keep your vehicle safe and deter or prevent would-be thieves from trying to take it for themselves.

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