Driving tests

Christmas shopping driving tips

Road safety charity the IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists) is offering weekly motoring tips from Britain’s top advanced driver, Peter Rodger. This week, he is giving advice for staying safe and secure at Christmas.

IAM chief examiner Peter Rodger said: “Christmas shopping brings with it countless stresses as well as joys, but getting your car broken into is one you can avoid by remembering a few festive tips.”

Rodger offers tips on keeping your car safe this Christmas:

  • Park your vehicle in a well-lit and open area – ideally a CCTV-protected car park.
  • Some areas offer free parking over Christmas – it is worth checking on your local authority website or contact centre.
  • Keep all valuables, including presents out of sight – if the boot is full, try to store items out of sight elsewhere in the car.
  • Steering locks serve as an effective deterrent; if you have one, be sure to secure it whenever you leave your vehicle.
  • Remove all traces of your satnav, including cradles and tell-tale ring marks on the windscreen.
  • Check you have locked the car before you walk away – it’s all too easy to think you have done it when there’s something not properly secured.

Rodger said: “Christmas sends shoppers to local shopping centres and supermarkets. Don’t let your car become a target for thieves while you wander seeking inspiration on what to buy for someone.”

The other thing you can consider is where you park. Car parks are likely to be absolutely packed with drivers jostling for position. Shoppers will be coming back to their cars laden with goods. Overall, there’s a higher likelihood of your car becoming scratched as people struggle between rows, trying to manage children and shopping trolleys. We have 33 tips for reducing damage to your vehicle in the low-speed manoeuvring course.

It’s all common sense, right. Of course, you could do it online and avoid the Christmas music and crowds.

Darren is a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists and the NZ Motoring Writers' Guild

Posted in Advice
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