For the next 3 nights I will be on a cruise ship scheming and plotting the next 12 months of Wilde Drive. That means for the next 3 nights my car will be parked in a public car park unloved and unprotected. There are a few things you can do to look after your car while you're away. Here are my top tips.
Don't park under a tree where sap and branches might fall and birds will poo on it. The shade simply isn't worth the damage.
Park away from main thoroughfares where people might bump or scratch it. Pick a nice out of the way spot far away from the popular parking spots.
Put a sun visor up across your windscreen. This will protect your dash and interior from cooking and reduce visibility to deter thieves.
Hide valuables in your car. Don't leave anything in plain view to tempt thieves. Put it under the seat or in the boot or glovebox. If you can't hide it away throw a towel or a blanket over it.
Park under good lighting where thieves will feel exposed. Don't hide your car and give the thieves and vandals quiet time to have their way with your beloved.
If it is valet parking take a photo of the odometer so you know if your car went for a joyride.
Take a photo of where your car is parked and the cars parked next to it. Like checking if the oven was on, your paranoia can check later if you left the lights on. This also allows you to support insurance claims if your car is damaged and might help you find your car if you forget where you parked.
Double check windows are up and all doors and boot are locked. Don't leave a window cracked for airflow. It might rain and a thief may get in.
Check your lights are turned off. All electrics like lights and radios should be turned off to preserve your battery.
Leave the handbrake on and the car in gear to deter thieves rolling it onto a trailer.
If you want you can leave your contact details in case of an emergency. Use a whiteboard marker to write a note on the windscreen or leave your business card on the dash.
Remove food scraps and drinks before you go. You don't want to return to a car that has cooked leftover scraps in the sun. Some smells will never come out.
If like me you have a selection of cars to choose from don't take your favourite. Park the cheapest nastiest car. My Audi doesn't take me to the airport but my dodgy old Hilux does.
So there are a few tips to look after your car in a car park regardless of if you are away for a day or a month for business or pleasure. What tips can you add?