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Car rental & theft prevention

We're planning to rent a car in Prague to drive around the Czech Republic (Cesky Krumlov, Austria, & Mikulov). In reading one of Rick's older guide books (2010), he cautions that car theft is a problem in Prague & recommends that one rent some type of anti-theft device for rental vehicles (e.g., a steering wheel lock). Since we're not driving or parking in Prague but only renting to drive to other locations in the Czech Republic, any strong recommendations on whether we should consider an anti-theft device for our rental? Thanks!

Posted by
23472 posts

Ask rental car company for guidance.

Posted by
4637 posts

Rental company does not want their car to be stolen even more than you. You don't have to rent an anti-theft device. It comes with the car and you are very much encouraged by the company to use it. But times are changing. Since early nineties I am a customer of rental company in Sumperk. Because of that I am getting better rates from the owner. In those early years I remember renting a car with all those antitheft devices including a steering wheel lock. Not any more. Times changed. My educated guess is that you run higher chance to have your car stolen let's say in Seattle than in Czech Republic (even in Prague).

Posted by
3392 posts

I wouldn't worry about it...
We spent a little over a month in the Czech Republic a few summers back. Our base was just outside of Prague and we drove into the city center many times. In the city there are quite a few parking garages that are nicer than many I've seen in the USA. Wide parking spaces, well lit, security, escalators exit to ground level...I never once worried about the car. Even on the street there were nicer cars around and I didn't worry about parking there either.
In places like Cesky Krumlov there are large lots for day visitors just outside the main entrances to the old town and there are cars parked there from all over Europe as visitors come to spend the day. I think that car theft is probably no more prevalent in the Czech Republic than it is in many other places.
For Austria there is really no concern there...again, depending on where you plan to go...there are often large garages for day visitors or lots that are well maintained and managed.

Posted by
425 posts

Most rental cars have GPS trackers now so they are less likely to be stolen. More important is to insure yourself against damage to the car. Some car hire places have a "minimum" excess figure up to CZK10,000 so check the insurance for "zero excess" options as very often it will be less than CZK1000 for full cover on a 3-day rental. Usually the company separates damage to wheels, hubcaps and windscreen from it's basic insurance. For renting a car for a few days I'd pay the extra for peace of mind.