With darker mornings and evenings during the winter, our cars are at a higher risk of being a victim of theft.
IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards, Richard Gladman, suggests a few top tips to help you protect your vehicle and its contents on a daily basis.
Top tips from IAM RoadSmart | Protecting your vehicle during dark mornings and evenings
- As we finish our supermarket shop, we’re always eager to unlock the car as soon as possible to avoid the hassle of finding our keys when we get to the car. However, unlocking your car before you reach it gives thieves a longer amount of time to gain access to valuables and make a run for it, especially if you have an automatic boot. Only unlock your car when you reach it to prevent any risk of theft.
- Don’t leave your keys lying around; whether you’re out for dinner and leave your keys on the table or if you’re at a friend’s house, you may not know everyone around you. Making your keys visible often means a greater risk of them being taken. Be conscious about code grabbing from your keyless entry system – are you being watched?
- Hide any valuables. Before you leave your car, make sure valuables are secured and kept out of sight. Putting them in your glove compartment or in the boot of your car will help avoid them being seen.
- Don’t hang up your keys next to doors or windows. Thieves often use a ‘fishing’ method where they insert a hook through a letter box or window to search for keys. This can even be done when you’re at home and you may not even notice until you look for your keys and find that you’ve “misplaced” them. Put your keys somewhere safe and secure, far away from windows and doors.
- Choose your parking neighbours wisely. In a busy car park, don’t just go for the first space you can find. Parking next to a flatbed truck filled with rubbish may not be as good a choice as parking next to a pristine, well-kept vehicle. The potential of damage is higher if the vehicle you park beside is already full of dents and scrapes.
- Is your parking space secluded? If you will be returning to the car in the dark and/or alone, make sure you stay alert – ideally, park it in an area which is well lit and easily accessible.
“We often just pop in somewhere and then get distracted, so it’s crucial you never leave your car running whilst going back indoors to pick something up. It will only take an opportunist a few seconds to drive away.
“Try to park your pride and joy away from shopping trolleys and flying doors, although we all know the empty part of a car park will fill up as soon as you leave your pristine motor in a space. And remember to always consider your safety, as a car park looks different in the night than it does during the day.”
To find out more about IAM RoadSmart products and services visit the new website www.iamroadsmart.com.