Stay safe when driving around to holiday sales

December 2, 2013 12:00 AM

Now that the holiday season is in full swing, many revelers are heading out to nearby malls and shops to pick up gifts for friends and family. During this time of year, the last thing many people are thinking of is their car, but keeping the security of an automobile in mind is one of the most important things for shoppers, especially if they are driving from place to place to make their purchases. 

Low gas prices affect budgets
One factor that should be impacting holiday shopping is gas prices. As fuel expenses continue to fall, people across the country are able to find savings at the pump. That allows them to spend more on retail items. It also causes many to loosen their budgets, as they don't have to pay as much attention to their fuel costs. 

"They become less surgical in their shopping behavior [when gas prices fall]," Bill Martin, executive vice president of  retail analyst ShopperTrak, told the New York Daily News. "That opens the door to more impulse buying." 

Stay safe
As drivers spend more on gifts and retail items, they may find that there is a greater need for keeping the vehicle safe and secure - especially if there is a stack of new purchases in the trunk. has several recommendations for savvy drivers that can help them stay safe and away from thieves, even when cars are in parking lots. 

The news source suggested locking shopping bags in the trunk or using a cargo cover to keep them out of sight. Items that are visible to would-be thieves are more likely to be stolen, so it is important to utilize these resources whenever possible. Additionally, don't let bags pile up - instead, drop them off at home whenever possible to keep them in a more secure location. 

Drivers should also use tools like valet keys and key remotes to their advantage. Valet parking is easier with a special valet key, which does not open the trunk, while remotes can usually only unlock the driver's door for increased safety. 

Treat your car
What shouldn't be lost in the holiday celebrations is the fact that your car needs care as well. Taking a vehicle in for a tune up is essential, as the check can ensure all security features are operating as they should. It can also provide a driver with some peace of mind as they get behind the wheel this winter. 

Back to news