The holidays are a time for family, friends, and celebrating. But they’re also a time when criminals look for easy targets. Your car might be one of them. Additionally, the cold winter weather can cause car trouble and leave you stranded. To make sure your holiday season is stress-free, here are a few tips to keep your car safe and secure.
1. Keep it locked.
This one seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people forget to lock their doors, especially when parked in their own driveway. Anytime you leave your car, make sure all the doors and windows are locked. You can even purchase a club, steering wheel lock, or anti-theft device to give yourself an extra layer of security.
Some people also recommend leaving your car in gear when parked on a hill to prevent it from being stolen or rolled away. If you’re parking in a busy or unfamiliar area, consider parking in a well-lit area or where there are other cars parked to reduce the risk of it being stolen. This also applies to parking in garages or storage lots. Don’t forget to lock these areas too!
2. Don’t leave it out in the open.
The holidays often mean traveling, and if you’re leaving your car in a hotel parking lot or other public areas, avoid leaving it out in the open. Snow and ice can damage your car and make it easy for criminals to get in. There is also an increased chance of it getting damaged by falling branches or other debris. If you must leave it outside, use a car cover or tarp to protect the glass and interior.
Broken windows and windshields can be a hassle to repair, but auto glass centers have the technology and expertise to replace them quickly and affordably. Consider researching repair centers before traveling to ensure you’re prepared if something happens. They may even be able to come to you in an emergency.
3. Don’t leave valuables visible in the car.
If you have to leave valuables in your car, put them out of sight. An empty shopping bag or blanket thrown over items in the backseat can be enough to deter a thief. But if you can, leave the valuables home to be extra safe. Additionally, don’t forget to remove your garage door opener from the car, as this could give criminals access to your home.
Anytime you’re away from your car, make sure you don’t leave the keys in it either. Car thieves often look for easy opportunities, and leaving the keys in your car is like an invitation. Never leave your car running unattended, as this could lead to it being stolen or vandalized. And if you’re traveling with children, make sure they know not to play in the car and keep the doors locked at all times.
4. Invest in a security system.
A loud alarm is often enough to scare off a potential thief. And if someone does break into your car, a security system can help police track down the culprit and recover your belongings. You can also consider a GPS tracking system to locate your car if it is stolen.
Most car security systems will require professional installation, so make sure you do your research in advance. Many shops offer discounts during the holidays, so it’s worth checking around to find the best deal. You can also look online for DIY installation kits, but make sure you read reviews to ensure they work properly.
5. Pack an emergency kit.
Car trouble can happen any time of the year, and having an emergency kit in the trunk can help if you get stranded. Include various items like a flashlight, blankets, jumper cables, non-perishable snacks, and spare tires. You may also want to include a first aid kit in case of minor injuries.
Many auto stores sell pre-made emergency kits, so you don’t have to worry about gathering all the supplies yourself. This can be a great way to ensure you have everything you need and help save time and money. To further customize your kit, you can also consider adding a few other items, like flares or extra water bottles. You never know when you might need it.
The holidays should be a time for peace and joy, not worrying about your car being stolen. By following these simple tips, you can help ensure that your vehicle (and your holiday gifts) stay safe and sound all season long. Always be mindful of your surroundings, and don’t take any unnecessary risks. With a few extra precautions, you can rest easy knowing your car is safe during the holidays and beyond.