Cars are an important tool in our lives, and it’s often hard to think how we could function if we suddenly didn’t have one. Our cars do a lot – they get us to work, to university and even take us on holiday. However, a crime survey of England and Wales (CSEW), looking into car theft, reported that vehicle-related theft has accounted for around one in seven crimes over the last decade, as well as 790,000 incidents in the survey year ending March 2017. With figures like these, the importance of keeping your car in a safe place is very important. This is not only to prevent your car being stolen, but it can also lead to reduced insurance prices.
There are a range of factors that can affect the cost of your car insurance including age, previous convictions, your location and so on. A number of these factors are out of your control, however, you can decide where you park. Making sure your car is secure when parked at home is a crucial element of owning a car, as over two-thirds of vehicle-related thefts occur at home.
The garage, the drive or the road?
There is no right or wrong answer as to where the safest or cheapest place to park your car is. While the garage is the obvious candidate for the safest parking spot, and the place we recommend, keeping your vehicle in a garage could be at a greater risk than if it was parked in your driveway in some instances. This is partly due to the size of garages that were built over 50 years ago, as they were designed for much smaller cars. With the size of cars on the rise, the amount of people causing damage to their vehicle as they enter their own garage is also rising.
In addition to this, in the event of a burglary, not only is access to your home achieved, the burglar may be able to access your car in the garage – which can be the most lucrative of targets. Despite this, most garages are locked which greatly reduces the risk of ‘smash and grab’ style thefts and increase the amount of time taken to carry out a crime, leading to a bigger chance of detection. Ultimately, by parking your car in your garage you are placing more obstacles for would-be thieves to get around.
The driveway is another viable option for drivers to keep their car safely. It is the most popular option for drivers, with 51.8% keeping their car on their drive, compared to 20.09% who keep their cars in a locked garage. Keeping your car in your driveway leaves more exposure to potential thieves, compared to a locked garage. However, the inclusion of extra security devices to your home such as a front porch motion detecting light or a shingle drive that creates noise when walked on, makes your car a higher risk target for thieves.
Keeping your car on the road could be seen as dangerous, as thieves can easily escape, not to mention that your car isn’t always clearly visible from indoors. When keeping your car safe it is ideal if where you are parked is well lit, such as by parking underneath a street lamp if possible. Parking on busy main roads or high streets also reduce the risk of theft and increases the chance of a passer-by witnessing and reporting the theft. Try to avoid quiet and dimly lit roads as they are ideal targets for thieves. It’s also best to keep personal possessions out of sight, or preferably out of the parked car entirely, to stop opportunistic thefts from making off with your valuables.
Wherever you park, the risk of your car getting stolen or broken into can be greatly reduced with some simple security measures. These include measures such as keeping your car keys upstairs, installing motion-sensitive lights or parking under street lights. If the worst does occur and your pride and joy does get taken, with a black box from insurethebox we can track the location of your car.
As much as the above counts, bear in mind that you should always give your insurance company the correct and up to date position about where you park your car. If your vehicle is parked in a location other than where you declare, your insurance company may not pay out. If the worst does occur, and your pride and joy does get taken, having a black box from insurethebox means that we can work with the police to try to locate it – and recover it. However, you must report the theft to the police to get a crime reference before we can track the car.