Car Defrosting – Risk of theft on cold mornings

Nobody likes cold morning starts. The tempting option of starting the car, setting the blowers to max and leaving it to idle until the windows have cleared, sounds more attractive than hacking at ice-covered windows with a scraper.

One UK Insurance company has claimed that motorists waste nearly £50m of fuel each winter by leaving their cars to idle and warm up while they defrost the windows. And it appears lots of us are doing it. A survey carried out by one insurance group found four in 10 respondents said they leave their cars to idle, unattended.

However from a policing point of view, there is a risk that your car may be stolen by teams of organised criminals who target cars, left running with keys in the ignition, on frosty mornings. The insurance companies also point out that your insurance may be invalid, through negligence, if you leave your car running with the keys in the ignition and it is stolen. The financial impact may therefore be significant and there is likely to be significant disruption to your daily schedule, as you may not get a courtesy car in the circumstances.

With the recent drop in temperatures, we have already taken reports of this kind of theft in the area. Please don’t take the risk; spend a few pence on an ice scraper or a canister of de-icer to ensure your windows are clear before you start your journey.

Winter road safety advice is available on the Thames Valley Police website

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