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Motoring Advice

Winter Car Theft

Car Theft

Many of us will jump in our cars start them up and leave them running, whilst we finish of our coffees in the warm comfort of our homes.  Many of us will not give this a second thought, some of us are more cautious, but we should all be aware that around the next corner could be an opportunist car thief.

It’s not just the early morning winter car warm up that increases the risk of car theft but also the night’s drawing in, allowing car thieves more hours to work under the cover of darkness.
Many different stats show there is an increase in car theft during the winter months

So what can we do to help prevent our cars from being stolen?

Car theft can be avoided when warming up your car

If you are fortunate to have your own driveway, don’t be fooled as this does not mean that you are safe to leave your car running unattended.  Depending on your car make and its locking system, you could always have your spare key to hand.  Get your car running and then lock it with the spare key, you will then have peace of mind.
Remember you will find it hugely difficult to convince your insurance company to pay out on your stolen car if you have left it running with the keys, unlocked!

car theft

Parking your car safely to minimise car theft.

If you are leaving your car parked anywhere for any length of time and will be not returning before it is dark, try to park under street lighting.
Another ideal place is outside a residential house, very irritating to the person who lives there if they do not have a driveway, but much safer for your car.  No thief is going to risk being seen.

Has your car locked?
We all do it, casually walk away from our cars, blip the fob and assume that the car has locked.  It is always worth double checking, especially if you are leaving it for any length of time.
car theftIf you do not hear or see the usual array of signals from your car, your fob may need a new battery or perhaps something more sinister has happened.  As our cars get smarter so do the car thieves and in some cases the thieves can use remote locking jammer’s. This stops the car locking and not only leaves your car open and available to steal but any valuables you have inside.
It never hurts to give the car door handle a little try to ensure that it has locked, however that does not always work especially if you have a keyless entry system.

As cars improve and become more sophisticated, the more they become key less entry.  Obviously trying the handle here will just reopen the car, so learn what your car does when it locks so you can check through the window to make sure that it is safe before walking away.

Its not just Car theft itself that’s a problem, it is also your belongings

car theftIt is an obvious thing to point out yet when you are in a hurry it is easy to do and that is leaving your belongings in clear view for all passers-by to see.  If you do need to leave valuables in your car, place them under the seat, in the glove compartment or put them in the boot.
Try to avoid placing a jumper or coat over your belongings to hide them, most people know this trick. Try to avoid leaving clothing in your car as this may give the wrong indication to a thief and they may break in thinking that there is something under there worth stealing.
Remember that electrical’s are not the only items of interest to thieves, paperwork can also be stolen along with your identity.
Most modern cars these days have good security features on them, if you have an older car that does not perhaps its time to upgrade? 

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