Why you shouldn’t use your car or garage as a storage alternative

house garage

Do you use your car as an extension of your home, with items left on the seats and in the boot, footwells and glove box? It’s not just untidy – it also encourages thieves and could invalidate your insurance policy.

A recent survey by comparethemarket.com found that 3 in 5 drivers leave valuables (e.g. mobile phones, sat navs and keys) in full view – which could invalidate your car insurance, since most policies require you to keep valuables out of sight.

Some of the top items that drivers admitted to leaving in their cars included shopping bags (35%), clothes and shoes (32%), sat navs (21%), sports kit (10%) and toys (10%), and nearly 1 in 5 drivers have been a victim of theft.

Simon McCulloch, director of comparethemarket.com said: “Many motorists are on the road so much that it’s no surprise that our cars can become a home away from home. However, with this comes a greater risk of attracting unwanted attention from car thieves.”

“The majority of policies will only cover items providing they are locked away and out of sight. The amount covered by most policies will be fairly low, so keep that in mind when leaving high-value items in the car.”

What about the garage?

A report commissioned by Co-operative Insurance found that 42% of people with access to a garage never parked their car in it, and 61% of people used it as storage space for an average £1,473 of items like tools (67%), gardening equipment (53%), bikes (38%) and old household furniture (30%).

Garages are one of the top entry points for burglars because they’re usually less well-secured than houses and burglars know they often contain valuable items such as tools (which burglars can then use to get into your home). According to the Co-operative Insurance survey, nearly 1 in 6 people felt that their garage wasn’t as a secure as it could be.
Although garages are usually covered by your home insurance, there’s usually a limit to the amount you can claim – so if you’re storing expensive items that you don’t use very often, self-storage may be a better option. It would also free up space to park your car, which could lower your car insurance premium compared to parking it on the driveway or road.

If you’ve got things like garden equipment that you only need in the summer, a large luggage set which only goes on one holiday a year or old furniture you haven’t got around to refurbishing yet, why not move these and other similar items into storage until you need them?

How self-storage could help

Self-storage is an affordable and convenient way to store things you don’t use very often and keep them safe, clean and dry. It’s easy to hire a self-storage unit and free up space in your home, garage and car for you to live a less cluttered life.

Please contact us for friendly, personal advice about self-storage options to suit you.