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Protect against 'frosting' car crime

20th December 2010 Print

With the big freeze expected to continue across the UK over the next few weeks, Sainsbury's Car Insurance is warning motorists to be on their guard against ‘frosting' car crime.

The bank warns that thousands of motorists could fall victim this year to ‘frosting', where opportunist thieves take advantage of drivers who leave their cars unattended whilst warming up the engine. The warning follows news that the husband of Apprentice star and well-known entrepreneur, Karren Brady has just recently fallen victim to frosting thieves.

The bank estimates that in the past five years, as many as 461,000 people claim to have been victims of ‘frosting'; an average of over 92,000 people a year.

The research also found that more than one in five (23%) victims of frosting did not get their car back after it was stolen.

Ben Tyte, Head of Sainsbury's Car Insurance said: "Motorists must take care not to leave their vehicles vulnerable to opportunistic thieves. When it's freezing outside it can be tempting to leave the engine running to speed up the defrosting process while you nip back inside to finish getting ready, but this could have terrible consequences and you may find that you're not insured against it."

The cold weather can also bring with it hazardous driving conditions and Sainsbury's Car Insurance offers the following cold weather motoring tips:

Make sure your car has a winter service;

Check your battery;

Monitor your oil, water and brake fluid levels on a regular basis;

Check front and rear wiper blades for wear or splitting;

Check tyre condition for both pressure and legal tread depth - the current minimum legal tread depth for cars is 1.6mm;

Make sure you have antifreeze;

Make sure you de-ice all of your windows before driving;

Ensure your lights are clean so that you can see and also be seen;

Use your headlights in rain or snow;

Don't drive too close to the vehicle in front of you - remember to allow more time and distance to brake and also to accelerate;

Where possible use major routes, which may have been gritted/salted;

Take a mobile phone if you have one - remember to ensure the battery is fully charged but don't use it whilst driving.

As well as competitive premiums, Sainsbury's Car Insurance offers a 10% discount to new customers when you buy online. For further information, visit or pick up a leaflet in store.