Business drivers are likely to have valuable tools or equipment on-board when out on the road, not to mention the vehicle itself being a target. This week’s tips give advice on how to keep valuables safe and prevent vehicle theft.
- Park in an appropriate place. Theft can occur in the nicest parts of town but try to park in well-lit areas – thieves don’t like to be observed at work! If you have a choice use a car park that is a member of the Safer Parking Scheme and displays the ‘Park Mark’ logo.
- If you are out, keep your keys in a pocket close to you rather than a jacket or bag. Using the keys is the only way to steal a car equipped with an immobiliser.
- At home, leaving your keys next to a letter box or open window is a serious opportunity for thieves. ‘Fishing’ through the letterbox for keys using a hooked length of wire has become popular.
- Keep your valuables out of sight. This may sound obvious but when you’re rushing around you may forget what’s on your dashboard or seat. Most thieves are opportunists and will look for small items that are visible – what can’t be seen can’t be stolen. Rub away the ring mark made by a sat-nav as it could alert thieves to valuables in your glove compartment.
- Make sure to hide important paperwork. Client data, invoices, and even licences documents can prompt other issues such as identity theft.
- Don’t leave your vehicle running unattended. It’s illegal and unsafe but also an open invitation that will almost certainly invalidate your insurance claim. Remember even going to the boot with the engine running is long enough for an opportunist to strike. Make sure your car is also locked and secure when you get out to pay for fuel.
- Some thieves use remote jammers that can read your vehicle’s details so watch out for anyone watching you a little too closely when you get out of the car. If in doubt move on.
IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards, Richard Gladman said: “Although we hear a lot about high tech criminal gangs targeting expensive cars, most car theft is from the easiest targets. Making a few simple checks when you park means that the thieves will walk past your car and on to the next lazy driver who didn’t bother to secure their vehicle or hide their valuables.”
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