Bollards & Post Covers

Car Dealership Security

Reliance Foundry retractable bollards protecting a car lot.

Protecting your inventory from auto crime

Reliance Foundry retractable bollards protecting a car lot.
Physical barriers are one of the most effective ways to prevent car theft.

In recent years, Canada has experienced a disturbing surge in auto crime, particularly in places like Ontario and Quebec. Many of these stolen vehicles are new, some of which are stolen from car dealerships and destined for other countries.

These thefts are not isolated incidents committed by opportunistic individuals. Instead, they are often linked to highly organized auto theft rings with international ties. These rings use sophisticated methods to steal and smuggle vehicles across borders and via ports, and they are becoming increasingly brazen and aggressive in their tactics. Not only do they pose a significant threat to public safety, but they also cause significant financial losses to the auto industry and insurance companies.

Considering this upward trend, it is crucial that auto dealerships take proactive steps to protect their inventory from theft. This includes implementing advanced security measures such as surveillance cameras, security guards, and alarm systems, as well as physical barriers such as bollards. By doing so, auto dealerships can help deter would-be thieves and protect their business interests.

Perimeter Barriers

A woman in a parking lot from which her car was stolen.
Auto theft can happen anywhere, anytime, leaving vehicle owners stranded.

While alarm systems and security cameras are important components of auto dealership security, they may not be enough to deter determined criminals. To prevent stolen vehicles from leaving the lot, using physical barriers at all entrances and exits is crucial. Bollards are an effective option for creating such barriers, but they must also allow for controlled access.

There are several types of bollards that can be appropriate for use as removable entrance security, such as removable, foldable, or retractable bollards.

Removable Bollards

Reliance Foundry removable bollards creating a temporary barrier.
Removable bollards create versatile barriers that can be used to control traffic flow in many locations.

Removable bollards are a popular choice for creating access controllable barriers due to their flexibility and ease of use. As the name suggests, these bollards can be easily removed and replaced as needed using a simple padlock method. For auto dealerships, these bollards allow for controlled access while still providing a strong physical barrier against theft after hours.

When the dealership is closed, removable bollards can be installed at entrances and exits to prevent unauthorized access. During business hours, the bollards can be removed and stored out of sight. This makes them an ideal choice for situations where access needs to be restricted on a longer-term basis, such as overnight when the dealership is closed.

One advantage of removable bollards is that they are relatively affordable; however, they do require some effort to remove and store when not in use. This means that they may not be the best choice for situations where access needs to be restricted on a more frequent basis.

Folding Bollards

Reliance Foundry folding bollard in a parking lot.
Low-profile collapsible bollards leave plenty of headroom for vehicles.

Foldable bollards are a versatile option for auto dealership security as they offer the same level of protection as removable bollards, but with added flexibility. With the twist of a key, they can be easily folded down when access is needed and then raised back up to create a barrier as necessary.

Unlike removable bollards, folding bollards stay in place but lie flat when collapsed, allowing vehicles to pass over them. This can be particularly useful in situations where there is limited space or where access is required on a more frequent basis. For example, an auto dealership that frequently receives large truck deliveries after hours may benefit from using foldable bollards to allow quick access. While the delivery is being unloaded, the bollards can be easily lifted back into place to provide continued protection.

One potential disadvantage of collapsible bollards is that they are typically used in environments where high visibility is a priority, such as in warehouses and production facilities. They often come in bright colors such as yellow, which doesn’t provide the aesthetics luxury dealerships might be after.

Retractable Bollards

Reliance Foundry retractable bollards outside of a Porsche dealership.
Retractable bollards can be used to prevent unauthorized parking at building entrances.

Retractable bollards are often used in high-security areas where access needs to be tightly controlled at a high frequency. This makes them an ideal option for auto dealerships that are in high-risk areas or that have a large amount of high-value inventory to protect. By incorporating retractable bollards into their security plan, auto dealerships can prevent unauthorized access and deter potential thieves from attempting to steal vehicles.

In addition to their security benefits, retractable bollards can also provide a cleaner appearance when not in use. As they can be lowered into the ground, they don’t take up space or create obstacles that could hinder dealership operations. This can be particularly useful for auto dealerships that want to maintain an open and welcoming atmosphere for customers.

Whether they are automatic or manually operated, one disadvantage of retractable bollards is that they can be significantly more expensive than other types of bollards and more complex to install, requiring digging deep into the ground to allow for enough space to retract them.

A used car lot full of cars.
Car dealerships often have millions of dollars in new and used inventory to protect.

With the rise in theft, car dealerships face significant challenges when it comes to protecting their inventory. Fortunately, bollards offer a practical and effective solution for creating controlled access points and preventing thieves from getting vehicles off the lot. Whether they choose removable bollards for long-term access restriction, folding bollards for flexibility in tight spaces, or retractable bollards for high-frequency security, they can take proactive steps to reduce the risk of theft and create robust barriers against auto theft rings.