With much of the UK facing its first cold snap and significant snowfalls of this winter, the ABI is warning motorists not to leave their vehicles unattended, with the engine running to defrost and warm up. Thieves are increasing targeting cars left unattended in this way.
Cold weather leads to a spate of vehicles stolen by thieves on the prowl for vehicles left unattended with the engine running to defrost. During the last cold snap in January this year, Lancashire police alone logged 27 unattended vehicles left this way over just two hours. In one morning four cars were stolen this way in Greater Manchester. Last year, a gang of car thieves known as The Ice Bandits received prison sentences.
Leaving your vehicle unattended with the keys in the ignition could be seen as not taking reasonable care, and might invalidate any insurance claim if your vehicle is stolen in this way.
Nick Starling, the ABI’s Director of General Insurance and Health, said:
“No one wants to freeze while defrosting their car. But tempting though it is on freezing mornings, don’t leave your vehicle with the engine running to warm up while you nip back inside, even if it is only for a couple of minutes, as it only takes seconds for thieves to strike. Stay with your vehicle while it warms up, so that it is you that drives away in a warm car, not a thief.”
Source : ABI Press Release