Right Driver

When travelling, how can you stop things in your car being stolen?

You park up at that nice secluded spot for a magical walk in the forest or across the downs, but always in the back of your mind is whether you’ll return to find your car in tact with all your possessions. This is the conundrum holidaymakers have to face every summer in the UK due to the prevalence of car crime.

However, there are ways in which you can reduce the risk of being targeted by thieves:

  1. Put in a decent car alarm, preferably one that can notify you if it goes off.
  2. Use a steering lock; this won’t prevent break-ins, but it will stop thieves from making off with your vehicle
  3. Lock your doors and keep your windows up
  4. Keep your valuables out-of-sight. That doesn’t mean covering things on the rear seat with a blanket – that’s far too obvious. It means keeping them in the boot with the cargo blind/parcel shelf hiding them, or in the glovebox or binnacles. This includes sunglasses and charging cables.
  5. Don’t leave clues that you are on holiday; make it look like you’re a local out on a day trip rather than tourists on a massive journey
  6. Use secret cubby holes and lock the glovebox. Many cars have hidden storage in the boot, under the front seats and sometimes to the side of the steering wheel
  7. Park where your vehicle is visible
  8. Take critical items with you – passports, mobile phones and keys. Those are the three things that will really cause you a problem if you lose them.
  9. Store your items in a storage locker during your day trip – these are available in some cities at train stations, or privately run businesses, or you may be able to leave them with your hotel.
  10. Use the ‘frunk’ (front truck) in an EV. It’s less obvious to less sophisticated criminals who may not be aware of them yet.
  11. If something doesn’t feel right about a location you want to stop in, listen to your gut.
  12. Use valet parking, if available (and within your budget)
  13. Invest in a GPS tracker for your car
  14. Invest in trackable luggage tags in case your luggage is stolen – it might lead you to where the thieves have taken them.
Subfloor compartments are common in cars and are arguably slightly safer than just leaving things in the boot. Also, consider around the spare wheel
You can sometimes fit things inside the spare wheel.
2-part glovebox in a Toyota Corolla.
Toyota Prius storage in arm rest.

Darren has owned several companies in the automotive, advertising and education industries. He has run driving theory educational websites since 2010.

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