Drivers must ensure that their vehicles are safe and secure when out during the busy Christmas period, according to the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM).
The holidays can prove an expensive time for families up and down the land, with cars being no exception and numerous MOTchecks scheduled for December.
IAM head of training Simon Elstow highlighted the dangers after warning that car thieves often target busy shopping districts for car thefts.
“The combination of cold weather and Christmas often sends shoppers to local shopping centres and supermarkets," Mr Elstow said.
"Don’t let your car become a target for thieves.”
As part of the message, Mr Elstow outlined a number of easy tips to help avoid thefts during this stressful time of year.
These included parking in well-lit areas, keeping valuables out of site, installing a steering lock and remembering to always lock your car, regardless of how long you intend to leave the vehicle.