These basic common sense vehicle safety tips and reminders will help keep your vehicle – and any valuables inside it – safe and secure from “smash and grab” thieves who smash the window and grab your stuff while you cross items off your shopping list.
Keep Purchases Out of Sight
For most car owners, it’s as simple as locking anything valuable in the trunk.
If you have a hatchback or SUV, be sure to use a cargo cover. It’s also safe and convenient to store smaller items in the glove box or the center console.
Drop Off Items at Home
If you’ve purchased a big-ticket item or if you’ve completed a big shopping trip and need to go somewhere else, make a detour home to drop off your purchases.
A few minutes of your time could save you lots of holiday disappointment.
Use Valet Keys and Valet Mode
If you don’t already carry a valet key with you, this is the season to start.
Whether you’re valet parking at a mall for convenience or having dinner after shopping, this key will keep a prying valet or a larcenous passerby from getting into the trunk of the car.
If you want to keep your infotainment data private, many newer vehicle models offer a valet mode, which locks the screen until a pin code is entered.
Those three tips are from Edmunds.com, my go-to site for car shopping and vehicle information.
Here’s another tip, from me –
Park in a Well-Lit Area of the Mall or Garage
My daughter likes to park at the edge of a lot, to protect her vehicle from dings and dents.
That’s great if you are parking and shopping in daylight, but such outlying spots offer too much opportunity for the bad guys after dark, both to break into your vehicle or to follow you.
While these tips are especially important for Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping, you should use these simple common sense tips year-round.
This article was first published in 2013 and has been updated and republished periodically since, including for the 2023 holiday shopping season.
ecoXplorer Evelyn Kanter is a journalist with 20+ years of experience as a newspaper and magazine writer, radio & TV news producer & reporter, and author of guidebooks and smartphone apps – all focusing on travel, automotive, the environment and your rights as a consumer.
ecoXplorer Evelyn Kanter currently serves as President of the International Motor Press Assn. (IMPA), a former Board Member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) and a current member of the North American Travel Journalists Assn. (NATJA) and the North American Snowsports Journalists Assn. (NASJA).
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright (C) Evelyn Kanter