Avoid car theft and increase security with these car safety tips from our experts…
1. Lock your doors
Always make a point of locking your doors and taking your key with you, no matter how short your stop and never leave your car with the keys inside or the engine running.
2. Choose the right place to park
Don't just park in the first space you see - try to find a place that's well-lit and open to public view. If you need to use a car park, try to find one that's security patrolled, covered by CCTV, or that's approved for safer parking by Park Mark.
3. Don't display any valuables
Avoid car vandalism by taking your belongings with you when you park. Having your coat or bags in view, or just leaving loose change on the dashboard could be enough to tempt somebody to break in and leave you with a repair bill for a broken window.
4. Take out your stereo and GPS
If your car stereo has a front panel that stops it from working when it's removed, take this with you. If it has a flap or cover, remember to shut this to shield your stereo from view. Take your GPS system with you too and clean any telltale suction marks from the windscreen
5. Add a car alarm or immobiliser
Most modern cars will come with a factory fitted immobiliser, but adding a Thatcham-approved car alarm can reduce your car insurance premium as well as the risk of car theft. If you have no car security at all, make fitting an immobiliser a top priority.
6. Be seen to be secure
Adding a visual deterrent to your car is a good way to avoid car theft and often enough to make a thief look for an easier option. Use a sturdy steering lock and have your car's registration number etched onto the windows.
7. Take good care of your keys
As cars have become more secure, stealing car keys has become a top priority for car thieves. Never leave your keys unattended in public and when you're at home make sure your keys are both out of sight and out of reach.
8. Keep your documents at home
Don't leave your logbook or service records in your car. It might seem like a sensible place for them, but if you're a victim of car theft, the documents will make it easier for the car to be sold and you could become a victim of identity fraud.
9. Don't lose your wheels
Alloy wheels can make your car a target for thieves, so protect your alloys with locking wheel nuts. These are cheap to buy, easy to fit and can be virtually impossible to remove without the correct key.
10. Stay safe in traffic
Car safety is just as important when you're in the car as it is when you're parked. If you're in slow-moving traffic or stuck in a jam, close your windows, lock your doors and keep valuables out of sight.