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Nearly half put their Christmas shopping at risk in the car

13th December 2017 Print

With shoppers set to spend nearly £700 in total on Christmas this year - £100 more than last year - M&S Bank is encouraging motorists to check their car insurance before heading out Christmas shopping, ensuring the gifts they’ve purchased aren’t at risk from opportunistic thieves this festive season.

Research from M&S Bank has shown that the average Christmas shopper is expecting to spend £411 on presents and £289 on food and drink, a total of £700.

Festive shoppers will make between three and four trips to the shops to stock up for Christmas, with the main shopping trip expected to increase the vehicle’s contents by over £550 on average, which includes around £300 on presents and £257 on food and drink, which could be put at risk if left in an underinsured car.

Nearly half (46 per cent) will put their Christmas shopping at risk over the next few weeks by leaving it in the car – an increase of 10 per cent on last Christmas. This includes taking presents back to the car in between shops to reduce the amount they have to carry (29 per cent), taking presents back to the car before heading out to dinner, the cinema or to Christmas markets (10 per cent), or keeping presents hidden in the car when they get home (seven per cent).

Paul Stokes, Head of Products at M&S Bank explained: “With just a couple of weeks until the big day, Christmas shopping is now well underway for many people.

“However, it’s often overlooked that the contents of your vehicle can prove a real target for opportunistic thieves, particularly at Christmas time. That’s why we’re urging shoppers to make sure they’ve got adequate car insurance to cover their Christmas shopping, should the worst happen.”

Paul shares his top tips for keeping your shopping safe this Christmas:

Keep shopping bags covered and locked in the car boot – they could be tempting for opportunistic thieves if left visible

Never leave expensive electrical items in view – make sure smartphones, tablets or games consoles are safely locked away or removed from the vehicle

Don't make it easy for thieves – be sure to fully close all windows and roof panels and always lock the vehicle, even if you're just getting a ticket for the car park

Don't leave receipts in shopping bags – so you've got them to hand should the worst happen

Check your car insurance policy – make sure you know what your policy does and doesn’t cover

In addition to £200 cover for personal belongings, M&S Car Insurance includes an extra £300 cover for shopping purchased in M&S stores within 24 hours of the incident occurring, which can provide extra reassurance over the festive period.