UNFORTUNATELY the spirit of Christmas does not extend to everyone, nor does it stop crimes from happening over the festive period.

With long winter nights and daylight hours getting shorter, it should come as no surprise that more cars are stolen during the winter compared to summer. 

Car tracking firm Tracker revealed in a recent study that as the months get colder and darker, stolen vehicle rates get higher.

According to police data, overall, January is the worst month for vehicle crime, with a whopping 41,029 reported in the first month of 2019.  

Daily Echo:

December and January are peak months for car crime, as this is when we typically experience harsh frosty mornings, and drivers often leave cars unattended whilst de-icing, which presents itself as a prime opportunity for criminal gangs.

December is also a time when we’re likely to store expensive items, such as Christmas presents, in our cars, which can also leave you more vulnerable to car theft.

Are you Christmas presents covered by your car insurance?

How to keep your car safe:

When heading out for your last minute Christmas shopping or to hit those January sales, be sure to park in a busy, well-lit area or secure car park if possible.

Never leave your car doors or windows unlocked and lock your vehicle when you are next to it to prevent thieves. 

As tempting as it is to leave your engine running to heat up your frosty car and de-ice, try and avoid this as much as possible as it makes you a prime target - even if its parked on your own drive or street.

Have you got any tips we've missed? Let us know in the comments.