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Theft warning on winter engine idling 11.11.13

DRIVERS who leave empty cars running to warm them up on frosty winter mornings could be left out in the cold if thieves strike, insurers warn.
Nick-named ‘puffers’ in the States, unattended cars with smoke billowing from their exhausts can be a calling card to thieves at this time of year.
Meanwhile, Irish motorists who don't have the luxury of heated car seats and ultra-quick defoggers for work or the school run are losing millions on wasted fuel each year as vehicles idle empty on the driveway.
Liberty Insurance says drivers who leave engines running while their cars are unattended will not be covered for theft or damage.
"We will not cover loss or damage arising from theft or attempted theft if the vehicle is left unlocked or if the ignition key is left in or near your vehicle while it is unattended," said a spokesperson.
"There isn't really a significant difference between parking on a kerbside and in your own driveway from an insurance perspective. Although, in theory, the risk of theft is greater on the kerbside, that may depend on where you live."
Drivers in some parts of Britain and the US face on-the-spot fines for 'stationary idling' while many Scandinavians invest in plug-in car heaters to avoid the practice.
Research estimates that enough fuel to travel one mile is wasted for every two minutes of engine idling whether you’re warming up the car or stuck in traffic.
Meanwhile, companies that operate Ireland and Britain's 4.5 million commercial vehicles see billions go up in smoke each year due to engine idling.
Figures from Fleetmatics Group supplied to Fleetnews, show that reducing idling time on commercial vehicles could save Irish and UK bosses a whopping €4 billion euro a year in lost fuel.
The group said 860,000 commercial lorries, trucks and cars (almost a quarter) here and in Britain are now operating under fleet management solutions with savings of 1.7 million litres of fuel daily.
Fleetmatics Europe marketing director, Richard Brooks, said: “While some idling of commercial vehicles is unavoidable, I think the research does highlight a massive problem for businesses in the UK and Ireland.
"Our customers are all SMEs and even small percentage points of profit on the bottom line matter.”
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