Don’t put your Christmas shopping at risk from car thieves

M&S Bank is encouraging motorists to check their car insurance before heading out shopping this festive period, ensuring the Christmas gifts they’ve purchased aren’t at risk from opportunistic thieves.

Research from M&S Bank has shown that the average Christmas shopper is expecting to spend just over £600 this year (£364 on presents and £241 on food and drink), which could be put at risk if left in an underinsured car.

Paul Stokes, Head of Products at M&S Bank explained: “The Christmas shopping period is now well under way and the festive excitement is building for many.

“However, the contents of the vehicle can prove a target for opportunistic thieves, particularly at this time of year. That’s why it’s crucial that shoppers make sure they’ve got adequate car insurance in place to cover their Christmas shopping, should the worst happen.”

On average, festive shoppers will make at least three trips to the shops to stock up for Christmas this year. The main shopping trip for presents alone is expected to increase the vehicle’s contents by £216, with the main outing for food and drink likely to boost its value by an average of £189.

However, nearly two in five (38 per cent) will put their Christmas shopping at risk over the next few weeks by leaving it in the car. This includes taking presents back to the car in between shops to reduce the amount they have to carry (26 per cent), taking presents back to the car before heading out to dinner, to the cinema or to Christmas markets (7 per cent), or keeping presents hidden in the car when they get home (5 per cent).

 

Top tips for keeping your shopping safe this Christmas:

  • Keep shopping bags covered and locked in the car boot – they could be tempting for opportunistic thieves if left visible
  • Don’t leave expensive electrical items in view – make sure smartphones, tablets or satnavs are safely locked away or removed from the vehicle
  • Don’t make it easy for thieves – be sure to fully close all windows and roof panels and always lock the vehicle, even if you’re just getting a ticket for the car park
  • Don’t leave receipts in shopping bags – that way, you’ve got them to hand should the worst happen
  • Check your car insurance policy – make sure you know what your policy covers
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