Not driving as much? How to keep your parked vehicle safe

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Extra caution and planning will help keep your parked vehicle safe.

Your car may be sitting idle more these days, but that doesn't mean it's not at risk for theft or worse. Since the implementation of the stay-at-home restrictions due to the current pandemic, many areas have seen an increase in vehicle theft. In seconds, someone can break the window, unlock the door, and steal your items or the vehicle itself. The worst part is that there are very few witnesses around when this happens, but by taking extra caution and planning, you can avoid burglaries and break-ins.

Keep your valuables hidden

Many drivers know to hide their personal belongings, but they may not realize the significance of doing this before arriving at your destination. No matter where you go, people in the area may be watching you scramble to hide your things under the seat or cover it up with a blanket. Doing so makes you an easy target and makes the thief's job easier. Instead, put your items in the glove box or trunk before you arrive or take them with you when you leave.

Lock it up

Don't think for a second that your car is safe just because it's in the garage. A burglar can get access to the garage if it's not locked. Make sure the door opener is out of sight. Close all windows and shut your trunk. Take your keys with you. Please don't leave them anywhere in or near the vehicle or the garage entrance. Lock all doors, including the garage, before going in and out of the house. Consider investing in a car alarm if you don't have one.

When you are out, avoid using the key fob to lock up. Thieves can trace the signal from the fob sends to your car, granting them access to your items. Instead, lock your vehicle manually. Always take your keys and belongings when you go out, even for quick trips. Never leave your vehicle unattended and running.

Protect her from lousy weather

The elements and changing weather patterns can take a toll on your vehicle, especially older or classic models. Protect it by parking in a garage or sheltered area. Another option is to invest in a car cover for when you're not doing frequent driving. Remember to wash your car often to remove dirt and grime to prevent further damage.

Watch out for wildlife

Cars that sit too long can become attractive habitats for small animals, like squirrels, mice, and raccoons. They can get into your vehicle and destroy the wires, leaving you with costly repairs or worse. You can avoid this by driving a few times a week and parking away from wooded areas or spots where wildlife is prevalent.

Patrons Oxford Insurance wants everyone to stay safe on the roads. Learn more about their company and services at patrons.com.

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