Warning issued to drivers over keeping Christmas presents in cars

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Experts at  Quotezone.co.uk have revealed that more than one in 10 Brits leave their precious presents in the car during the festive season, presenting an ideal opportunity for heartless thieves to ruin Christmas. 

New data from Quotezone.co.uk revealed that 11 percent of Brits admit to leaving gifts in their cars while they continue their Christmas shopping or enjoy a night out. 

The car insurance comparison experts also asked 1,000 drivers if they had experienced a vehicle break-in, with almost one-third (31 percent) confirming they had. 

Now they are warning car owners to be more careful this year and ensure presents are kept in the safety of the home, or at least well hidden from view in vehicles. 

Better still, drivers should take presents straight home from the shops and get them wrapped and placed under the tree.

Greg Wilson, Founder of Quotezone.co.uk said: “It must be a terrible feeling to have carefully chosen or sentimental Christmas presents stolen from a car just before the big day. 

“Our data shows that almost one-third of drivers have experienced a car break-in, yet 11 percent of us still leave presents in a parked car. 

“Christmas is a time of goodwill but sadly for some thieves, it’s a time of opportunity.

“It’s also an incredibly busy time of year, drivers need to remember to be careful and always keep presents hidden out of sight under the boot cover or in the glove box, ideally parked next to a streetlight on a busy street.

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“If the car is left unlocked or the stolen items are in full view, it may invalidate an insurance claim. 

“Fully comprehensive car insurance usually includes cover for some possessions damaged or stolen from a car but there’s usually a cap on this amount. 

“If drivers know they’ll be travelling to see family this Christmas and have a large sack of expensive gifts in the car, it would be worth informing their insurer to double-check they’re covered and potentially increase the price cap temporarily. 

“Also don’t forget to keep all receipts, they may be needed if they have to make a claim.”

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To further prevent car break-ins, drivers should park in a well-lit, populated area, and ensure that all windows are rolled up.

Motorists should also consider installing a steering-wheel lock, car tracker and immobiliser – if the car doesn’t have one as standard. 

Car security is really important any time of the year, but especially during the festive period with expensive and sentimental presents in danger of being stolen and ruining Christmas.

If cars are broken into, drivers should take photos, identify the damage and inform the police – obtaining a crime reference number, also inform the car insurance company as soon as possible.

Ken Munroe, a car security expert, also warned that thieves can use a device to fool the vehicle into thinking that a car key is nearby, with the relay device then unlocking the car and starting the engine. This is done by capturing the signal that the car key emits.

Mr Munroe said: “The many cases of theft through keyless entry ‘relay’ attacks is a problem. The auto industry was alerted to this many years ago but failed to address the problem at first, thinking that car thieves were not sufficiently skilled to effect such an attack.

“They didn’t appreciate that relay kits would be created and sold on the black market, bringing a relay attack into the capability of any non-techie thief.”

Thankfully, there are steps drivers can take to reduce the chances of sophisticated criminals stealing their car:

  • Keep the car key well away from the car while you’re at home.
  • Reprogramme the keys if you have just bought a second-hand keyless entry car.
  • Buy a signal-blocking pouch to keep the key in, such as a Faraday Bag.
  • Switch off wireless signals on the key fob when it’s not being used.
  • Don’t put your keys in the microwave – Physical security protections cannot be overlooked.

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