Your car – a safe place – with your own home comforts and mod cons – but opportunistic criminals often see them as easy pickings. You can take some measures to makes your car less likely to be targeted by thieves
Don't make it easy for thieves. Make sure you lock your car doors and windows every time you leave it.
Never leave the keys in the ignition: e.g. when paying for petrol or warming your car on an icy day.
Secure your car registration documents at home, never leave them in your car.
Think about where you're parking. Use a well-lit, secure car park.
Don't leave anything on show – CDs, cheque books, even an old coat on show inside as they may be tempting for thieves.
With satnavs in particular, make sure you remove the device from view including its cradle.
Consider investing and using an alarm as a deterrent.
Parking your car – at home and away
Making sensible parking choices is a great way to improve the security of your vehicle:
The most secure location 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.
Hide car keys in the house when you go to bed – never hang them near the door or leave them on a hall table
Avoid locations where your vehicle will be hidden from general view, like behind hedges or walls.
Busy, overlooked or CCTV-monitored parking areas are far safer than deserted side streets or back alleys.
When leaving your vehicle parked, consider that although it might be light now think about night time lighting and how remote the location may become.
Some of the safest public car parks are those displaying the Park Mark Safer Parking Tick. Find an approved car park in your area.
The potential for small vans to contain tools and petty cash can sometimes make them very appealing to criminals. There are many ways you can protect your vehicle and make it less desirable to thieves.
Keep doors locked, windows closed and alarms active at all times.
Never leave valuables or tools on display, and don't carry satnavs, trade spares or other unnecessary items if they are not being used.
Tools and stock items should always be removed from the van overnight – displaying signage to say 'No Tools Left in Vehicle'
Satnavs should be removed along with their cradle
Leave roof bars and external load boxes or tubes empty and unlocked to prevent forced entry.
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.