Many people feel nervous about leaving their vehicle in a public car park, especially if you have a nice car and particularly if your car is your most treasured possession. Parking your vehicle in a public car park can be dangerous under circumstances, such as if it’s in a secluded area, if you are alone, or if it’s late in the night. Crime associated with car parks has increased dramatically in recent years, so there is certainly cause for concern.
However, this doesn’t mean you need to steer clear of public car parks entirely. The right approach will protect you and your vehicle. Here’s a list of 8 safety tips to follow when parking your vehicle in a public car park.
Plan in advance
It’s important to do a little background research into the car park where you are planning on parking your vehicle. Check how secure the car park is and what theft control measures they have adopted. It’s also advisable to do some research about the general area where you’re planning to park your vehicle. Also check the opening and closing times of the car parking area to avoid unexpectedly having to leave your car overnight. Planning in advance before you park your car will definitely save you from unnecessary stress and anxiety.
Look for properly lit parking areas
It is advisable to park your vehicle only in well-lit parking spots to avoid inviting theft, vandalism or other crime. Car thieves often stay away from parking spots that have bright lighting since they could be caught easily. Choose a car park that is well-lit throughout, and be sure to park your car directly under lights. Additionally, choosing a facility that is well-maintained will help to avoid your secure lighting flickering or cutting out.
Look for automatic vehicle identification
It is a good idea to opt for a car park that is fitted with an automatic vehicle identification system if at all possible. This allows the car park to strictly identifying vehicles and only grant access to authorized ones. The systems has complete control over all vehicles that enter and exit the site. Not only does this limit access for car thieves, it also helps in identifying the perpetrator in case of theft or other incidents.
Look for CCTV and security officers
Before deciding to park in a public car parking area, it is advisable to check if they have security officers in place, and if so if they are present 24 hours a day. Also check if the car park has working CCTV cameras which help to deter thieves, and can be checked in the unlikely event that you are subject to a crime. CCTV is a must in all public areas these days especially in public car parking. Take note of where the cameras are positioned and park your vehicle somewhere that is well covered by the cameras.
Hide your valuables
While parking your vehicle in a public car park it is essential that you remove all valuables or at least hide them out of sight. Leaving electronics, cash, or other valuables clearly visible will attract thieves and encourage them to break into your car. Always take them with you when you leave the car, or if this is not possible, hide them in the boot, in the glove box, or under a seat. Avoid leaving even a scarf or coat in view as it might cause thieves to break in, which may lead to losing other valuables that you have hidden away.
When using a public car park, it is important to protect not only your car, but also yourself. Be aware of your surroundings as soon as you enter your car park area. Don’t listen to loud music in your ear buds, or get distracted chatting on the phone or checking your emails. For your safety, you need to be aware of your surroundings and know if there is anyone around. Always trust your gut instinct and do not enter anywhere that you don’t feel safe. If walking to your car late at night and you feel unsafe, ask security to accompany you.
Be mindful of other vehicles and people
While entering a public car park, it is also important to watch out for other vehicles trying to move out or park their vehicles. Also be aware of small kids who can unexpectedly run near your car. Also look for parents with strollers. Watching out for other vehicles and people will keep you and your vehicle safe and will prevent you from accidents.
Park around other cars
Always park your vehicle around other cars instead of parking in an isolated spot. Thieves will stay away from vehicles that are parked together. Instead, they will typically target vehicles that are separate from other cars so that they won’t be easily caught by other drivers. Parking your vehicle close to other cars will keep your vehicle safe from crime.