Safest place to park your car as driveway revealed to be riskiest

A typical road lined with cars
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

Parking your motor on the street or in public car parks is safer than leaving it on your driveway, with more motors nicked from outside homes than from public spaces - that's according to fresh research. The boffins at One Sure Insurance have shared the spots to dodge when parking up in the UK.

Car thefts are at their highest rate in over a decade, with more than 130,000 vehicles nicked in a year. The methods used by thieves are also getting more sophisticated with the advent of keyless car entry systems, leading to an increasing need for advanced car safety.

Data obtained from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) for 2022 2023 shows semi-private locations around the home, such as driveways, apartment car parks, and carports, account for 43% of car theft incidents. On-street parking and thefts near car owners' homes accounted for 19% of thefts, and other locations were third at 11%.

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The research revealed that street parking near car owners' work locations was the safest, followed by car parks in public locations like shopping centres and town centres at 5%, and work car parks also came in at the same. Parking spaces such as private home locations ie. locked garages were also safer, accounting for 7% of all vehicle theft incidents, reports Wales Online.

Highlighting some shocking facts, specialists at One Sure Insurance announced: "Our research shows 43% of incidents occur in semi-private areas around the home which is shocking. We would encourage drivers to ensure their vehicles are locked, windows are shut, especially during hot summer months, and that you have adequate lighting around driveways to help deter thieves."

They also noted: "On-street parking near workplaces is generally safer due to increased CCTV and pedestrian traffic. If you are parking on the street near your home for a long duration, it is important to ensure your windows and sunroofs are closed, and that any personal items are removed from the car."

For extra safety, these are some measures suggested by One Sure Insurance:

1. Faraday boxes

With the latest keyless entry cars being frequently targeted by robbers who amplify signals from the key to the car tricking it into unlocking and starting, a Faraday box can offer an invaluable way to protect your vehicle.

2. Don't leave your logbook in the car

It's wise to store your logbook safely at home as opposed to leaving it in your car. It can possibly become handy to thieves in selling your car to unsuspecting buyers and can also save you from having to apply to DVLA for a new one if yours is stolen or damaged.

Keeping the logbook in your car also potentially leads thieves to your residential address, and puts your possessions at further risk.

3. Opt for safe parking spaces

When possible, aim to park in locations that have CCTV surveillance, on-site security services and good lighting or at the very least, try to park in areas that tend to stay busy as this tactic often wards off burglars.

4. Use a steering lock

Steering locks, once a common sight, can still serve as an additional deterrent that thieves would rather not contend with. Not only do they provide a physical barrier to theft, but their visible presence can also deter potential criminals.

5. Install a tracker

Trackers are devices that can help pinpoint the location of vehicles in case of emergencies. They're already being utilised in high-end cars by some individuals.