Vehicle security system that sends an alert when it's moved (i.e. stolen)?

I bought a brand new car. The security system is only an engine immobilizer. At work, I have to park several blocks away in a parking structure. My car is unattended for up to 9-10 hours most days. No security staff in the structure. Anyone can drive or walk in. (My only alternative is to take the bus to work, but that adds on an additional 80 minutes to my daily roundtrip commute). So I’m insured for vehicle theft with a low deductible. However I’d like to know when/if my car has been stolen so I can get off work early enough to rent a car or catch the last night bus home.

My car doesn’t have GPS navigation or On-Star etc. Is there a security system I could have installed onto my car that immediately alerts me via cell text whenever it is moved after being parked? Or something similar to that? If one exists, is it able to track a car parked inside a covered parking structure?

Lojack is one of the originals:

so I can get off work early enough to rent a car or catch the last night bus home.

Just call a cab and bill it to the insurance company.

Otherwise, the nice thing about Lojack is that they don’t charge a monthly subscription. The not-so-nice thing is that they require a police report to be filed and sent to the national stolen vehicle database in order to activate it. You can upgrade for a 50% price increase to a system that emails you if the car moves without your security fob being in it, but it still won’t give you realtime updates on the vehicle’s location until the police report gets into that database.

Otherwise, you can choose subscription services from major car alarm companies (I recommend Compustar or Viper personally) that will let you real-time track your vehicle via your smartphone at any time whether the alarm gets triggered or not.

Will the tracking system for LoJack and Compustar/Viper work in a concrete parking structure? Or would their system just say my vehicle is not locatable (even though it is sitting safely in the parking structure)?

I just looked at the LoJack. Ouch! $995, plus $99 every two years to inspect that the unit is still working.

I called LoJack and found out the LoJack Alert system uses RFID chip (FM signal) rather than GPS. So no need for me to have GPS/Satellite connection in the vehicle for an alert to be sent to me. It also works in parking structures.

Here is what I’m thinking to avoid the $99 inspection by doing my own self-inspection: Just remove the LoJack key chain fob, and drive the car for five minutes. If it still sends me a text alert, then the LoJack system is working. (The rep said no alert will go to the police until I call them directly).

You have insurance, find something else to worry about. Besides if it is stolen it may be 1. wrecked 2. chopped to sell pieces from 3. trashed so bad you don’t want it back. Now relax and just drive the silly car.

I guarantee that not paying for that inspection will absolve LoJack of any liability if your car does get stolen and the thing doesn’t trigger an alert. :wink:

Is there a high rate of theft from that garage?

If the crime rate in that area is not too high (you can use cityrating to check) my vote would be to not worry about the ride getting heisted.

If the crime rate is high then I might be more worried about getting mugged in the parking garage than the car ending up as MIA.

Have you done a cost/benefit analysis on the likelihood of theft to even see if a anti-theft system is positive “expected value?”

Compare the cost of the alarm (Ca) to probablilty car gets taken §, times the cost of it getting taken (Ct) which is mostly your deductible (plus the PITA factor of finding a new way home).

If Ca > p(Ct), then it makes no sense to get the alarm. I almost convinced this is the case.

Most people are irrationally “risk averse”: they spend more to avoid a bad outcome than logic warrants. Don’t be THAT guy!

I would make sure I always locked it up with nothing in sight inside the car. Car thefts have dropped off in the last several years because the factory systems work pretty well.

drive a beater and always know that thieves will always choose the next car over your pos.

I’m with gdawgs on the beater theory.
I spent thirty years playing weekends at the local bars and clubs. Only once, just once did I have any vandalism on my vehicle . ( two tires slashed at one time. )
Even when my 92 Explorer was new, I left it dirty so as to belie its attraction…and that worked.

Don’t give them a reason to notice yours…no labels, names, and fancy stuff.

Well, @HondaGuy70, which Honda did you buy?

The beater is more likely to get stolen because it doesn’t have any anti-theft hardware from the factory.

Yes, some of the most stolen cars are older Hondas, because they are easy to steal and the demand for parts is strong.