The five golden rules to keep your vehicle safe

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1. Park in well-used and brighter locations

Vehicles parked in dark and less busy areas are more liable to be damaged or broken into because the suspect cannot easily be seen by anyone; it’s always advisable to park somewhere that’s well lit and where people are walking and there is likely to be passing traffic. The busier the better, as a rule. What’s more, if your car stands out as being, say, more expensive than others in the area, it could be a target. That’s when it’s worth considering parking somewhere where your car is likely to be safer. It might not always mean the shortest or most convenient route back to it, but it could help prevent damage to your vehicle. Better to be safe than sorry.

2. Hide your stuff away

Leaving items like iPads, mobiles and laptops in plain view is asking for trouble. If you can’t take it with you, then hide it. The same goes for bags and clothing. As for Sat Navs, it’s good to hide the device and the rubber suction cup that sticks to the windscreen, but don’t forget to check if there’s a mark on the glass that gives away the fact that you have one on board.

3. Protect your windows

Consider using security film. It comes in either clear or opaque options and really does strengthen the glass and leave minimum damage if someone tries to smash their way into your vehicle.

4. Pick your car park carefully

The Safer Parking Scheme is a national standard that benchmarks the safety and security of car parks. A ‘Park Mark’ means the site has been assessed and vetted by the police. Check out the Park Mark website for more information and to find ‘marked’ car parks.

5. Make space

If possible, when you park, try to leave some space between your car and other cars. It not only prevents accidental damage, it also means thieves or vandals are more likely to be seen.

Your checklist

When you park your vehicle, just follow these simple tips:

  • Close your sunroof.
  • Check you haven’t left your keys in the ignition.
  • Don’t keep your log book in the car.
  • Double-check your central locking has actually locked – listen for the clunk/click noise (if you’ve got keyless then look through the window to check).
  • Don't leave your car with the engine running.
  • Don't leave anything of value in the car.

Report it

Most people fail to report criminal damage or vandalism to their vehicle but, if it ever happens to you, we urge you to report it immediately.