Car Dealership Security: The Complete Guide on Better Video Surveillance


Table of Content


March 23, 2023

This is a one-of-a-kind, comprehensive guide to video surveillance for the best car dealership security. In this guide, you’ll learn about everything you and your security installer should think about when designing a dealership security system plan.

With threats to car dealerships on the rise across North America, remote video surveillance is the most efficient way to stop crime in progress, such as car and catalytic converter theft.

The question is: what is the most effective way to protect your car dealership from crime while incorporating car dealership security measures? Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about automotive dealership video monitoring in this handy guide.

Not quite ready to invest in remote video surveillance for your dealership just yet? Here are 13 Effective Ways for Auto Dealers to Prevent Car Theft (Prior to Video Surveillance).

Why write such a guide?

As I said in the beginning, there are more and more crimes happening in the car dealership industry. Remote video monitoring has been shown to be the most effective way to protect valuable assets and deter criminal activity.

By explaining the different aspects of automotive dealership live video surveillance, car dealers will learn:

  1. How to create the safest outdoor perimeter for their business.
  2. How to get high-quality video footage that can help catch criminals and bring them to justice.
  3. How to save money by making sure they use their security resources in the most effective and strategic way possible.

Our expertise

With hundreds of car dealerships already connected to our security operations center, Sirix is a trusted leader in remote video monitoring. We are the designated experts to write a guide on car dealership video monitoring because we have years of experience in physical security.

Who is this guide for?

This guide is intended for auto dealers. You will gain a better understanding of how to effectively use remote video surveillance to protect your business against theft.

Step 1: Position the car dealership security cameras correctly

Proper camera placement is vital for ensuring effective auto dealership security. Surveillance cameras need to be positioned in a way that provides an unobstructed view and allows analytics to detect the movement of classified objects. If the cameras are not correctly placed, intruders could easily gain access to the premises undetected.

1. Locate the power outlets

For security devices to work, they need electricity. The first thing you should do is find out where the power outlets are on your property so you can start designing your surveillance camera plan.

2. Set up cameras on the outside perimeter of your business

There are two key reasons why you should install security cameras around your dealership’s perimeter rather than only on the building itself.

  • To prevent obstacles from obstructing the cameras’ view

Cameras mounted on the building rarely provide an unobstructed view of the entire parking lot. Thieves could hide themselves behind cars or other objects and slip in undetected. Installing cameras around your property’s perimeter helps you to keep an eye on the entire dealership, including any potential entrance points. In this manner, intruders will be identified by the security cameras’ AI regardless of where they attempt to get access.

  • To make sure the cameras’ analytics are working well

To effectively classify objects such as humans, cameras’ AI must view a large portion of their bodies and be captured at an angle of no more than 45 degrees from the horizontal. These requirements are typically unfulfilled by building cameras. This is why installing cameras around the perimeter is critical for effective car dealer video surveillance.

3. Transmit the AI signal to your building

When the cameras are situated more than 300 feet from your main building, which is almost always the case when they are on the outside perimeter, the AI signal from the cameras must be transferred back to the dealership to be recorded and analyzed.

To do so, you can choose between these 2 options:

  1. Unidirectional antennas (wireless solution)

Unidirectional antennas can be used to relay the signal to your dealership. Ubiquiti provides a dependable selection of unidirectional antennas.

  1. PoE extender (hardwired solution)

With PoE (Power of Ethernet) enabled devices, electrical current passes through the ethernet cable along with the data normally carried by an ethernet cable. Veracity offers reliable PoE solutions.


Security cameras in auto dealerships must be appropriately placed. First, locate the electricity outlets on your property. Then, carefully set cameras around the perimeter to avoid blind spots and ensure that the AI works properly. Finally, use antennas or PoE extenders to relay the cameras’ signals to your main building as needed.

Next, you need to know the basics of camera analytics if you want to design a safe video surveillance system for car dealerships. Not to worry, we’ll keep it easy!

Step 2: Learn the basics of camera analytics to get the ultimate automotive dealership video surveillance

Using AI-based camera analytics is a dependable way to safeguard your car dealership. To make sure security is optimal, it’s important to understand a few things about camera analytics, like camera overlap, object detection, and the length of coverage. By doing so, you can ensure that there are no blind spots on your premises and that each camera is providing the highest level of protection, ensuring best car dealership security.

1. The overlapping of cameras


When two cameras are positioned to detect the same zone from different angles (as shown in the above image), it is said that the cameras are overlapping.

This practice is critical since it doubles the likelihood of detection in these zones. For example, if one camera misses the intruder because the detection angle is too steep and the visible area of the individual’s body is too small for the camera to categorize it as human, another camera detecting the same zone from a different angle may catch the trespasser.

Review your automotive dealership security surveillance design plan with your security installer to make sure two cameras’ fields of view cover all vulnerable areas to lower the likelihood of car theft. 

2. The object detection function

The camera analytics’ object detection feature is a critical component of car dealership video monitoring. Without it, your security team will not be alerted of an intrusion, putting your vehicles at risk.

Object detection is a computer vision technique that allows cameras to identify and locate objects within their field of view. It works by analyzing the video feed from the camera and applying advanced algorithms to detect objects of interest, such as people, vehicles, or other items.

In other words, this function acts as the brain behind the camera’s optics, interpreting what it sees. When it detects a human or a vehicle in the camera’s field of view, it sends an alarm to the security team and continues tracking the object within the limits of the camera’s field of view.

3. Understanding camera coverage

How far can your camera see and detect intrusions?

To answer this question correctly, you need to know THREE BASIC VALUES:

  1. The camera manufacturer’s minimum pixel per meter (ppm) or pixel per feet (ppf) required to classify an object correctly.

It tells you the minimum pixel density required for your camera to be able to recognize humans and vehicles and then send an alarm to your security team.

  1. The megapixel value used by the AI engine

You also need to know the true megapixel count used by the processor while analyzing the video feed. Indeed, to facilitate the analysis on the camera’s CPU, the AI engine uses a pixel density that is less than the full camera resolution.

  1. The Horizontal Field of View (HFoV)

The HFoV is the width of the zoom. 

What you need to remember is:

The narrower the camera’s field of view, the longer the area of detection.

The larger is the camera’s field of view, the shorter the area of detection.


You should contact your security professional to find the three values mentioned above.

But, if you are unable to obtain them, you can adhere to the following general values:

  • 30 ppm for well-lit sites or 40 ppm for sites with insufficient lighting
  • 720p (1024 x 720 pixels) for the megapixel value
  • HFoV varies depending on the zoom required

4. The height and angle at which the camera is placed

The height and angle at which the cameras are placed are the final considerations for an optimal camera analytics surveillance system for auto dealerships. 

Intruder detection is dependent on your cameras correctly interpreting what they see. To do so, they must capture the majority of the human body or vehicle. And for the camera to get a better view of most of the body or vehicle, it needs to be installed at the right height and angle.

Here are some general rules to follow:

  • Cameras should be put up at least 2.8 m (9 ft) above the ground (for outdoor areas) and at a maximum of 3.7 m (12 ft).
  • For optimal object classification, cameras should be tilted around 30° from the horizontal and no more than 45° from the horizontal.
  • To reduce vibration and movement, cameras should be positioned on a stable surface.


In a nutshell, camera analytics is an integral component of car dealership security systems. It detects intrusions and sends alerts to your security personnel before a crime is committed. To gain the best protection, you must grasp a few features of camera analytics, such as camera overlapping, object detection, camera coverage, and the height and angle at which cameras should be placed.

Now, you need to determine whether the lighting on your property is adequate for the best automotive dealership surveillance security.

Step 3: Choose the lighting settings for the best auto dealership video monitoring results


Lighting is critical for analytics to function well and correctly analyze images, as well as for security operators to receive clear video feeds that they can adequately interpret.

1. Check how well your car lot is lit

Your car dealership’s lot needs to be well-lit for two main reasons to ensure effective car dealership security. First, thieves like to operate in the dark. So, having lights on your property will keep intruders away. Second, your camera analytics need enough light to work well and make sure that the images sent to your security team are clear.

We suggest that you go to your vehicle lot at night to see if it is well-lit. All entrances and parts of the lot should have lights. Most car dealerships already make sure their whole lot is well illuminated because they want potential customers to be able to see their cars.

2. Where to place additional lights, and how to do so


If bright light sources shine straight at the camera, it could be temporarily blinded. Therefore, place the camera so that the sun, headlights, or other sources of light do not shine directly into the lens.


Substantial shifts in illumination result in big shadows and contrasting colours in the space. Such modifications may result in inconsistent detection findings.


Reflections could lead to more false alarms.

3. Stay away from cameras with built-in infrared

Cameras with built-in infrared are NOT reliable automotive dealership security camera solutions. With these kinds of devices, things like heavy rain, snow, spider webs, fog, and obstacles reflect light onto the lens. This renders the image unclear and hard for the AI to understand. Because of this, its analysis and decisions may not be as good as they could be or may be plain wrong.

Instead, use a regular camera with a nearby light source or a thermal camera.


In short, achieving the best car dealership security through video monitoring relies on sufficient and strategically placed light sources. First, make sure that at night your car lot is well-lit. Then, if you need to add lights, ensure that you adhere to the best practices we talked about earlier, like avoiding straight light sources. Last, stay away from cameras that have built-in infrared.

Next, you need to think about how you will arm and disarm your site.

Step 4: Select a good car dealership arming and disarming strategy

An effective arming and disarming plan is critical for both ensuring your business’s security during off-hours and reducing false alarms. A surveillance schedule, a method of arming and disarming for employees and subcontractors, and no detection corridors are all things to think about.

1. Set up a surveillance schedule

In an ideal world, the last person to leave your business should arm the security system, and the first person to arrive should disarm it. However, oversights happen. This is why we suggest setting up a default surveillance schedule to ensure car dealership security in such cases. We recommend a forced surveillance schedule that begins 30 minutes after closing time and concludes 30 minutes before opening time.

2. Choose a means of arming and disarming

To minimize excessive false alarms, the first employee on site or any subcontractors that visit during surveillance hours (cleaning crew, delivery personnel, etc.) must be able to disarm your security system.

Many options are available. Mobile apps, remote controls, and keypads are some of the most useful tools for car dealerships.

3. No detection corridors


No detection corridors are zones where people can walk during surveillance hours without setting off the alarm. (see above image)

In car dealerships, they are usually used for two things:

  • To let the first employee on the premises disarm the zones using a keypad or reader.
  • To create accessible areas in the car yard for specific functions, such as a drop-off point for towing and accessory delivery.


To achieve the best car dealership security, including optimal car dealership video surveillance, a proper arming and disarming strategy is essential. Implementing a surveillance schedule, choosing an appropriate arming/disarming method, and considering no detection corridors are all vital components.

Now, it’s time to discuss voice talk-down.

Step 5: Understand why voice talk-down is an essential component of an effective video surveillance plan for car dealerships

Voice talk-downs, which can be recorded or done live by remote security operators, are an important part of a video monitoring system for car dealerships. In fact, they deter crime by scaring thieves away from your business without the need to contact law enforcement.

1. How does voice talk-down work?

The next steps may be a little different from one security company to the next, but this is how most voice-talk down interventions go:


Unusual behavior is detected by the camera AI (usually people or vehicles on your premises).


The security operator gets a live video feed of the event and analyzes the situation.


Recorded or live vocal interventions are sent in real time to your site in order to warn the intruder to leave the premises.


Sometimes, the first vocal intervention does not work. Then, a second vocal warning is made.


In the rare cases when voice talk-down does not work, the security operator will follow the pre-established SOP. Usually, they will call the authorities or the first person on the emergency contact list.

2. Where should you put the speakers on your property?


Each corner of your building should have a speaker. This way, the intruder will be able to hear the warning wherever they go and, hopefully, leave your property as a result.

Consult this blog Audio Talk-Down: Its Benefits for Your Business in 5 Simple Points to learn more about voice talk-down, how it works, and how it can benefit your business.


Ultimately, integrating voice talk-downs into your video surveillance design plan is crucial for car dealership security and crime prevention. They can stop thieves before they do any damage. Make sure to put speakers in each corner of your building for the best results.

Now, what about the use of a key box?

Step 6: Use a key box to improve the effectiveness of your auto dealership’s video surveillance system

By implementing a reliable car dealership security system, including video surveillance, most intruders can be stopped before causing any damage. In the unfortunate event that a thief gets into your main building, a key box with a pin code can keep your car keys safe and out of reach from any malicious hands.

Why should you use a key box in your car dealership?

  • To keep all keys secure and in the same location.

The key box is typically kept in an easily accessible room where all employees enter and exit. When you use a key box, you ensure that only authorized individuals have access to them and that they are returned to a secure location at the end of each workday.

  • To protect them from thieves

If someone with bad intentions gets into your building, the key box will work as a good deterrent by keeping them from getting to your car keys and making it much harder for them to steal your cars. 

Example of a key box solution:

Image courtesy of Dealer Security

For car dealerships, the KEYper MX Electronic Key System is an excellent security solution. It has a capacity of 2000 keys with audit trails that reveal who has your keys and when they were taken.


In short, using a key box with a pin code adds an extra degree of security by ensuring that all of your keys are kept in the same safe location and out of the hands of malicious people.

Before we wrap things up, here are two additional measures for the best remote video surveillance for car dealerships.

Bonus Step 7: Add a camera in your server room

Because anyone with access to your server room can tamper with the video recorder or your security system, a security camera is a smart option to preventing theft.

Installing a camera in this room will not only deter malicious individuals from entering, but it will also provide you with footage of the event if an intrusion occurs. This will be critical later in identifying and maybe charging the intruder.

Bonus Step 8: Install an access control system to your server room

The simplest method for enhancing car dealership security and protecting your video recorder and entire security system from tampering is by installing an access control system on your server room door.

An access control system also tells you who came in and when.

Finally, if a thief gains access to your main building, it will be difficult for them to enter your server room, which may deter them from robbing your dealership.

Do not miss our blog Top 10 Benefits of Automotive Dealership Live Video Monitoring to discover how remote live surveillance can benefit your automobile dealership.


What is a theft deterrent at a dealership?

At a dealership, the best basic theft deterrent is adequate lighting that covers the entire property, especially remote car lots.

What is the FTC safeguard rule for auto dealers?

From June 9th, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission rule for auto dealers requires dealerships to have a comprehensive information security programme in place to protect customers’ personal information.

Do car dealerships have security guards?

Yes, many car dealerships hire security guard companies to protect their property’s perimeter. This practice, however, can cost thousands of dollars per year. Other solutions, such as remote live monitoring, may be more cost-effective.


That’s it!

You now know how to get the best video surveillance for car dealership security.

A few key points to remember:

  1. Set up security cameras all around the perimeter of your car dealership to catch intruders.
  2. Overlap your cameras’ fields of view and place them at the right height and angle to detect intrusions.
  3. Make sure your car lot is well-lit at night and avoid using cameras with built-in infrared.
  4. Set up a surveillance schedule, choose the appropriate arming and disarming means, and consider using no detection corridors.
  5. Get the most out of voice talk-down by placing speakers in each corner of your dealership.
  6. Use a key box to protect your car keys.
  7. Consider installing an access control system and a surveillance camera in your server room.

Did you find our guide helpful?

You are welcome to leave a comment below.

If you have any further queries, please contact us and one of our security specialists will respond as soon as possible.

Sirix is a leader in the North American physical security business. We provide the best remote live monitoring solution for the automobile industry currently available on the market. Hundreds of car dealerships are already connected to our state-of-the-art security operations center, demonstrating their trust in us.

Visit our industry web page to find out more about our remote car dealership security solutions.

Don't compromise on safety.

Sirix provides robust live remote monitoring to ensure your business and belongings are secure. Reach out now!


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