SANTA MONICA, Calif. — November 25, 2013 — Black Friday marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season, but it is also a time when your car can become a treasure trove for thieves. Edmunds.com, the premier resource for car shopping and automotive information, offers three basic tips to keep your car – and any valuables inside your car – safe and secure while you cross items off your shopping list:
1) Keep Merchandise Out of Sight. For most car owners, it’s as simple as locking any new purchases in the trunk. Those with hatchbacks and SUVs will want to use a cargo cover. It’s also safe and convenient to store smaller items in the glove box or the center console.
2) 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.
3) 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, a number of newer models offer a valet mode, which locks the screen until a pin code is entered.
In addition to these safety tips, Edmunds.com advises drivers to take extra precaution when they’re behind the wheel during the holiday season.
“The stress and pressure that comes with the holiday season can lead people to behave more carelessly than they would otherwise,” says Edmunds.com Consumer Advice Editor Ronald Montoya. “That’s why it’s even more crucial to take steps like staying off your cell phone and using your vehicle’s backup cameras. You might even want to consider parking far away from store entrances so you won’t have to stress out or fight someone for a parking spot.”
More details on ways to keep you and your car safe on Black Friday and throughout the holiday season can be found at http://www.edmunds.com/car-safety/car-safety-tips-for-holiday-shopping.html