Research published this month by car and van insurance specialists Confused.com shows that we are leaving billions of pounds worth of items in our vehicles – even though a car is broken into every 13 seconds in the UK.
In a survey of 2000 people, 19 percent of 25 to 34 year olds admitted to leaving items such as satellite navigation systems, glasses and sports equipment in the boots of their cars, whilst 29 percent of Londoners claimed that they use their cars for storage because they do not have the room in their homes.
The Confused.com research led to estimates that 7 million UK motorists are storing items that are worth more than £200 in their cars, whilst 2.8 million vehicles contain items that are worth twice that amount – a high amount of tools, gadgets and possessions that are very tempting to thieves.
Aside from our vehicles purposefully being used for storage space, the most significant reason for leaving valuable items in our cars is plain forgetfulness. 72 percent of those asked claimed that they frequently leave items in their cars because they forget about them.
Will Thomas, head of car insurance at Confused.com, said: “While cars can be viewed as providing extra storage space for some, especially in areas such as London where homes tend to be comparatively smaller, it is ill-advised to store expensive items such as golf clubs in cars for long periods of time.
However, Thomas also offered advice for those of us who have no option but to leave items in the car. “It is important that all precautions are taken to make sure that theft is prevented, not least locking the car and storing items out of sight – failure to do so could invalidate any insurance claim. But, undoubtedly, leaving any item in a car will increase the chances of theft.”
“Should any items be stolen from cars,” he added. “It is better to claim on home insurance as car insurance only typically covers belongings up to the value of £250. Although, homeowners will need to ensure they have added this option (personal items away from home) to their policy. Most providers will ask for any items valued at more than £1,000 to be specified on the policy.”