“People keep valuables in unsecured garages!” says home insurer

End of road for the garage? Half of Britain’s motorists now use theirs to store household clutter with average holding £1,650 of ‘stuff’

It could be the end of the garage as we know it. Half of Britain’s motorists no longer use theirs to house the car, a survey has found.

Sports gear, gardening equipment and household clutter now fill many garages, with some families even converting the building into living space.

A study by RAC Home Insurance concludes that nearly half – 4.6million – of Britain’s 10.6million garages are no longer being used for their original purpose.

Source: Daily Mail, 29 May 2014

"People keep valuables in unsecured garages!" says home insurer

Alas, the death of the humble garage – the small, gated house for cars, lest your vehicle be seen by the outside world. Instead, the age of acquisition has our cars left homeless and bereft, ousted instead for all manner of tat… and a fair amount of non-tat, too:

And among the half-empty paint pots and rusty gardening tools are some valuable possessions, with the average garage holding £1,650-worth of ‘stuff’. That equates to £7.6billion across Britain

Almost eight billion pounds of stuff left lying around in garages? Sounds like a recipe for disaster to me, and also to the RAC’s Home Insurance team:

The RAC report said: ‘The death of the garage as a place to keep the car is now confirmed.
It suggests we have become a nation of hoarders with our garages capturing the overspill from our homes which are not built with enough storage space available for today’s consumers.’

It would be easy to dismiss this story as either untrue or inconsequential, given that cars these days are much less susceptible to the hazards of the weather, and have absolutely zero chance of actually caring if they’re kept on the street or in a tiny brick car-house. However, there’s real drama in the ‘death of the garage’, as RAC spokesman Simon Williams explains:

‘It’s frightening to think that nearly five million garages are not used for the purpose they were made.

‘The findings of our research appear to indicate that there is an issue with the design of houses as people do not have enough space to keep all their possessions in the house itself and many garages are so small that anyone in the car has to perform a contortionist act to get out.’

It’s fair to say the RAC have a much lower threshold for fear than the rest of the population. Still, Simon has some sage and entirely-impartial advice to justify why RAC Home Insurance paid good money for this particular piece of PR:

‘For all those who use their garage for extra storage, security is an important issue to consider as they are relatively easy targets for thieves looking for high value items such as bikes and tools.

‘That’s why it is essential to have the right insurance in case the worst should happen.’

So, garage-owners of the UK: take out RAC Home Insurance today, and perhaps finally Simon Williams will be able to set his fears to bed and sleep more easily in his converted-garage-bedroom.