One recent survey conducted by a motor car insurance industry expert has revealed that approximately 50 per cent of motorists will leave their car unattended with the engine running.
Many motorists can claim to recall a time when they may have gotten behind the wheel only to realise that they had forgotten something. Getting out of the car with the engine still running is a sure way to invalidate your insurance in the event of theft however, as most car insurance companies take a dim view of the practice.
Despite this fact, some motorists engage in the risky behaviour on a regular basis. Reasons listed for leaving a car unattended, with the keys in the ignition, are as varied as running back inside to pick up a forgotten object or having a conversation with a neighbour or someone via mobile phone. However car insurance groups view these actions on the part of motorists to be as irresponsible as handing the keys directly to a thief.
Leaving a car unattended and running eliminates the need for thieves to break in or hotwire a vehicle. Moreover most bystanders simply don’t notice a car being driven off if it was already running, say industry experts. Meanwhile, more than £12.5 million worth of vehicles are stolen from outside of homes on a yearly basis.
Another common reason for leaving a car running outside and unattended is to allow it to warm up in wintry weather. However, one insurance industry insider stated that thieves are on the alert for motorists to do so in colder weather.
The industry expert further stated that motorists need to realise that theft can and does happen quite often in the UK. However if motorists adopt a more vigilant attitude in leaving their car unattended such thefts become more uncommon.