Moving targets are harder to steal: Why being parked for a long time can put you at risk of theft.

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Will Kerr

Our pay-by-mile car insurance is designed to reward lower mileage drivers. Our thinking is, the less you drive, the less likely you are to make a claim… 

And that’s true enough. 

But having a prang isn’t the only mishap you might have to deal with as a driver. You also need to be wary of crime. And unfortunately, incidents are on the rise

We’ve put together plenty of tips on how you can avoid becoming a victim of car crime, whether it’s protecting your catalytic converter, avoiding keyless criminals or getting a good steering lock. Today we’ve got another simple tip: 

If it’s in a public area, don’t leave your car parked in the same spot for too long – or it could be at risk of theft. 

Leaving your car parked for a long time can increase the chances of theft.

If you can, parking somewhere tough for thieves to get to (preferably behind a locked garage door) is your best bet. If you’ll be parking on the street, it could be a good idea to move your car now and again – even if you don’t need to. 

But why?

car parked theft
Thieves prefer cars that haven’t been moved for a while.

When a car is stolen you need to act quickly if you’re going to have a chance of getting it back. And we’d know, because – without wanting to toot our own horn – we have a pretty great track record when it comes to foiling car thefts

If you don’t use your car very often, you might not even know it’s been stolen for a day or two. That gives the thieves a much better chance of getting away with it (‘it’ being the crime, but also your car). 

For that reason, it makes sense for them to target vehicles that show signs of not being used too much – like being parked in the same spot for a long time.  

 Let’s dive into the data. 

 Looking at our claims data, we can spot a pretty obvious link between how long a car is parked and its chances of being stolen. In fact, we see that almost 20% of the stolen cars we don’t manage to recover were parked for 3 days or more. 

Basically, it looks like being parked in the same place for a long time is a double whammy: it increases the chances the car might be stolen, and also makes it harder to get back. 

A nasty problem with a simple fix. 

We don’t do clickbait around here. But if we did, this blog would’ve been titled ‘Why moving your car a few feet could save you £1,000s!!!”. And as annoying as that title would’ve been, the data shows there’s something behind it. 

By simply moving your car into a different parking spot everyday or so – even if it’s just moving it over to the opposite side of the road – you can make it look like it’s in daily use. That could be enough to put off thieves who might have their eye on it. 

This is worth doing because, aside from being a major stress, having your car stolen will mean paying an excess – and could also lead to higher premiums in future. It’s hard to put an exact figure on, but overall it’s safe to say avoiding theft can save you a lot of money. 

Talking of saving money – it’s not all doom and gloom for people who don’t use the car much. In fact, things are looking pretty great. As well as the savings you’re making on petrol, you could get cheaper car insurance, too. Our pay-by-mile cover is designed to reward lower mileage drivers. So if that’s you, grab a quote now. 

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