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Do we have to worry about leaving luggage in our car is Southern France?

regatta333

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We will be vacationing in Southern France for two weeks and I read an article a while back that said you bring locks to secure your luggage in rental cars. I have never heard of anything like this. We've travelled enough to be on the lookout for pickpockets, but do we really need to be concerned about thieves breaking into our locked car?
 

Simoncc

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You certainly do need to be aware of this issue but I wouldn't let it worry you unnecessarily.

Most thieves, car or pickpockets, are opportunists so make sure that you have no items on show in the vehicle and you will much less likely to have a problem.
 

x3 skier

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No matter where you are, if you leave something that looks valuable in plain sight in a car, there is a fair chance of having it stolen. It happens at shopping malls in the USA as well as parking lots in the South of France. If it is in the trunk or otherwise hidden, its pretty close to zero since the thieves will probably find someone who left stuff in plain sight and hit that car rather than hoping to find something in yours.

What did the article suggest, locking your bag to the spare tire? :confused:

Cheers
 

scotlass

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Don't leave maps out

I had received this advice a long time ago. Wherever you are, do not leave maps in plain sight in your car as that is a clear indication of 'tourist' and, therefore, a target.
 

regatta333

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What did the article suggest, locking your bag to the spare tire? :confused:

Cheers
In the "What to Bring" section of the article, there was a bullet that said:

* Chain and lock to secure luggage in rental cars.

I had never heard of this and am not even sure how it would be accomplished.
Although, we never leave anything in plain sight, I have never been concerned about leaving anything locked in the trunk of a car.
 

Fern Modena

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Remember not to open the trunk as you arrive where you are parking, either to retrieve something or put something away, because that could give anybody looking a hint of what's there. That is common sense any time you are parking your car.

What they are referring to is a device like a reinforced cable bicycle lock or something like that. When we were in Europe we had something similar. When we took trains we'd place our luggage at the end of the car, and chain it to the post with the cable. That way we didn't have to watch over it every time the train stopped. If you are concerned you could do the same, and run the cable through the suitcase handles and then around part of the trunk mechanism. If you make it difficult, they aren't going to bother.

Fern
 

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What they are referring to is a device like a reinforced cable bicycle lock or something like that. When we were in Europe we had something similar. When we took trains we'd place our luggage at the end of the car, and chain it to the post with the cable. That way we didn't have to watch over it every time the train stopped. If you are concerned you could do the same, and run the cable through the suitcase handles and then around part of the trunk mechanism. If you make it difficult, they aren't going to bother.

Fern
This is a very smart precaution that I have seen practiced with rental cars in Europe. Bring a reinforced cable with you and hook it up to some car component in the trunk. I have seen car windows broken in order to get to the trunk opener which is usually somewhere below driver's seat.

Apart from that be aware that things you may be carrying over your shoulders (like a camera or a handbag) while walking on a busy city street may attract someone's attention. It takes only a few seconds for a couple of youngsters to grab it from you and its gone forever. That's how I lost a camera bag many years ago when walking with my wife on one of the main streets of Malaga, Spain. Calling the police is useless.

K.
 

Laurie

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We've never had a problem with theft, and have been to Europe with rental cars many times. (Doesn't mean it couldn't happen though.)

We were nervous about that on one of our first trips, plus were on the road, staying somewhere different every night, so all our luggage was always in our car while we were out sightseeing. So to make our car appear more like that of a local, we hid our maps as scotlass mentioned, bought a local newspaper (in the country's language of course), and left it opened and visible inside the car - I don't know if that helped at all, but it made us feel better!

I would only say to be more careful parking in secluded areas, and maybe avoid parking in them entirely - if you're in a public parking lot in the daylight, stuff is much less likely to happen. And in urban areas like Marseilles, be more careful. I wouldn't worry too much otherwise, but the cables for luggage sound like a good idea.
 

neash

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We will be vacationing in Southern France for two weeks and I read an article a while back that said you bring locks to secure your luggage in rental cars. I have never heard of anything like this. We've travelled enough to be on the lookout for pickpockets, but do we really need to be concerned about thieves breaking into our locked car?
I would take this seriously.
Some friends of mine lost everything they had (including suitcases, passports, money, everything) from a rental car that they had parked in Southern France outside a restaurant.
 
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