Driver training specialist IAM Drive & Survive is offering weekly motoring tips to drivers from its head of training, Simon Elstow. This week, he is giving advice for staying safe and secure at Christmas:

    • Park in a well-lit and open area.
    • Some councils offer free parking over Christmas; it is worth checking with your local council.
    • Keep all valuables, including presents out of sight.
    • Secure your steering lock, if you have one.
    • Remove all traces of your satnav including cradles and tell-tale ring marks.
    • Don’t leave your vehicle with the engine running to defrost your windows.
    • Lock it whenever you leave it, even on forecourts.

    Elstow said: “The combination of cold weather and Christmas often sends shoppers to local shopping centres and supermarkets. Don’t let your car become a target for thieves.”

    To help drivers stay safe this winter, the IAM has launched a new website,, with traffic updates, weather forecasts and tips on how to drive safely in winter.

    Tips cover rain, snow, ice, fog and wind – everything you can expect in a typically unpredictable British winter. Check it out before you travel.