With the busy and exciting Christmas shopping season upon us, thinking about keeping your car safe may be the last thing on your mind. Remember though, these simple but effective precautions to reduce your risk of becoming a victim of crime only take seconds to consider and could save you hours of hassle before you even consider the cost and insurance implications of having your car or belongings stolen:
- Lock the doors and close the windows and sun roof every time you leave your car or van, even for a moment.
- Don’t leave anything on display – even a jacket can seem like an appealing target if a thief thinks there might be something in the pockets. Be particularly mindful at this time of year not to leave presents on display.
- If you have a removable satellite navigation device, remove this wherever possible. Remember to also remove the support cradle and suction pad, and wipe away any marks left on the windscreen or dashboard.
- Store vehicle documents in your home, not your car or van.
- Keep your keys out of sight, even in your house. If your vehicle has keyless entry, keep the key in a signal blocking pouch or tin to stop a thief hijacking the signal from outside your property and using this to gain entry.
- Park in well-lit areas that are visible to others or covered by CCTV. If you have a garage at home, use it.
- On cold mornings, don’t be tempted to leave your vehicle running on the drive to defrost while you stay inside in the warm. It would only take a thief seconds to drive off and if your vehicle is stolen while left unattended with the engine running your insurance may well be invalid.