It is no surprise that the winter months are when most car theft takes place. Darkness attracts criminals and our cars are maybe less in use than on busy summer evenings. Also scams such as “frosting” and keyless car thefts are in full flow. January is the peak month, but November is right up there too – so this is timely reminder to do what you can to make sure you’re not part of this year’s crime statistics.
So let’s talk about the phenomenon known as frosting, or ‘frost-jacking’, which has risen sharply in recent years. It’s where motorists leave their cars unlocked and with the engine running on winter mornings when attempting to de-ice their car – only for criminals to come along and drive off. With the key already in the ignition, the evil deed can be carried out in literally just a few seconds. Alarms, immobilisers and other security suddenly count for nothing. It sounds naïve, silly even, but most of us have done it to a greater or lesser degree. If you’re lucky enough to have a heated windscreen on your car, you really have no excuse. If you don’t, a little patience will save you untold expense and hassle.
Your car insurance company will typically refuse to pay out for claims involving ‘frosting’, as you have left your car running unattended. A clause in your policy is most likely to categorise leaving your car unattended as an at-fault claim.
To state the obvious, unlike some other forms of car theft, frosting is down to the negligence of the owner and it’s something that can be easily avoided.
So, however tempting it is to leave the engine running to speed up the defrosting process while you nip back inside on that freezing Monday morning to dress the kids, finish the breakfast or get ready for your meeting, don’t fall prey to ‘frosting’!