Keep an eye on your car keys

Car keys left in the door Bizarre as it sounds, car thieves are resorting to ever more imaginative tactics to get hold of the keys to your pride and joy. For instance, they'll use a fishing rod or cane with a hook on the end through the letterbox to 'fish' keys from that little rack conveniently close to the front door. So, it clearly pays to keep your keys well away from your front door, or in a drawer.

The point is that security on modern cars is so good that it is almost impossible for them to be stolen without the keys. So thieves may play a waiting game, looking for an unguarded moment.

Janet Pell, head of AA Car Insurance explains: "Keys are the weakest link in the car security chain. You should treat them in the same way that you would treat a £50 note. You wouldn't leave that on the hall table, never mind on full view in your car even for a minute.

"Yet many people are tempted to leave their car worth perhaps tens of thousands of pounds unattended, with the keys in. Hand on heart; can you say you've never done just that while you nip back indoors because you have forgotten something? Or left it close by while you wrestle with a pay and display ticket machine?"

There are also plenty of stories about cars being driven off petrol forecourts. There's also the one about the hapless car seller handing the keys over to someone for a test drive – only to have the car disappear before they have a chance to jump in to the passenger seat.

The trouble is, insurance companies are not happy when cars are stolen in this way and might not meet a claim. So think of your keys as currency and never ever leave them unguarded, even for a moment!