Tourists with cars, be careful!or "Tips on making your car uninteresting to thieves." Sun 04 January 2015
I lived for 4 months and a half in one of Amsterdam suburbs: the Bijlmer. Former highly criminal (drugs, murders and other joyful stuff) part of the city, it is now way calmer. Anyway, that's just to say that I think I'm legitimate to talk about upsetting stuffs that can happen since, during All Saints' day holidays, someone broke my car window to break into it and check if it had any valuable in it. Of course, it hadn't.
So, being a tourist or an expat, especially during national holidays, if you have a car with a foreign license plate, follow the next advices:
- avoid "angle parking" or "parallel parking" your car. If you have no other choice, chose a place where there is little chance cars will park near yours.
- do not let anything in your car (well that seems like good sense). You should hide your GPS or phone support and wipe its mark on the windshield.
- if you've low esteem for your car, feel it with garbage like McDonalds wrappings or pizza boxes, that might help.
- put down the luggage cover (that induces nothing else in the trunk). That let the thieves know you've nothing in your trunk.
- Amsterdam town hall freely offers stickers to put on your car to specify your car does not keep anything valuable. Personally, I think that indicates the opposite: who will have the idea to put that sticker? Those who have something valuable inside to avoid someone breaking into their car.
- paying parking does not mean safe parking!
And voilà, that's if you still don't want to follow my advice to not take your car to go to Amsterdam. If even with these constraints you want to go with your car, be sure your insurance cover damages in foreign countries!