Your vehicle may feel like a safe place – perhaps even your own little bubble full of comforts and mod cons – but opportunistic criminals won’t see it that way.
Thankfully, protecting your vehicle from would-be thieves is easy. Follow these basic steps to protect yourself from becoming a victim.
Don’t make it easy for thieves. Believe it or not, most cars are stolen because they’re unlocked.
Never leave the keys in the ignition: a prime example is when paying for petrol or warming your car on an icy morning.
Hide car documents and keys at home.
Think about where you’re parking. Use a well-lit, secure car park rather than a dark alley. Also, think about your personal safety when returning to your car.
Don’t leave anything– CDs, cheque books, even an old coat – on show inside as they may be tempting for thieves.
With satnavs in particular, make sure you not only remove the device from view but also its cradle – and don’t forget to wipe away any telltale sucker marks on the windscreen, too.
Consider investing and using an alarm as a deterrent.
The most secure location to park your car is in your locked and alarmed garage, while the next best thing is to park as close to your home as possible – whether that be on a drive or on the street directly outside your property.
A well-lit drive where another vehicle is present also makes a great deterrent to put off any would-be thieves.
Avoid locations where your vehicle will be hidden from general view, like behind tall bushes or advertising boards.
Busy, overlooked or CCTV-monitored parking areas are far safer than deserted side streets or back alleys. When leaving your vehicle parked after dark, consider the lighting and how remote the location may become in the early evening and overnight.
Some of the safest public car parks are those displaying the Park Mark Safer Parking Tick. To find an approved car park in your area, visit parkmark.co.uk.
The potential for vans to contain tools and petty cash can sometimes make them appealing to criminals – but there are many ways you can protect your vehicle and make it less desirable to thieves.
By keeping doors locked, windows closed and alarms active at all times, it will be harder for them to break in and steal either the vehicle itself or anything inside.
Never leave valuables or things that could resemble them on display, and don’t carry satnavs, trade spares or other unnecessary items if they aren’t being used.
Tools and stock items should always be removed from the van overnight – displaying signage explaining this to be the case is also very helpful.
Satnavs should be removed slightly prior to your destination, along with their cradle and any lasting sucker marks on the window, while leaving roof bars and external load boxes or tubes empty and unlocked can help avoid any costly inquisitive forced entries.
If possible, park your van so the rear and side doors are tight to walls, garage doors or other vehicles to hinder direct access and any physical attacks