The Most Dangerous Places to Park Your Car 

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Cars are being stolen at the highest rate in over a decade, with over 130,000 vehicles stolen in the year leading up to March 2023.

Here, we’ll look at the latest data on the parking spots where your car may be most vulnerable to theft.

The way cars are being stolen is becoming more sophisticated with the introduction of keyless car entry systems, leading to an increasing need for evolved car safety. 

To understand where parked cars are most at risk in the UK, we analysed data obtained from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) from 2022 – 2023 on where incidents of vehicle theft occur to identify where your car may be most vulnerable from being stolen. 

Where is the safest place to park your car?

Our analysis showed that 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%.  

Location of percentage of vehicle theft incidents 
Semi-private homes (driveways, apartment car parks, etc.) 43% 
Home on street parking  19% 
Other locations 11% 
City street parking 10% 
Private home (locked garages, etc.) 7% 
Home on-street parking  5% 
Public car parks 5% 
Work street parking 0% 

Our research showed that street parking near car owners’ work locations was the safest, followed by car parks in public locations such as shopping centres and town centres at 5%, and work car parks also came in at the same. Parking spaces such as private home locations i.e. locked garages were also safer, accounting for 7% of all vehicle theft incidents. 

Our experts at One Sure Insurance said: “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. 

“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,” they added. 

What can I do to keep my car safe when parked?

Here are our tips on how to keep your car safe when parking: 

 1. Use Faraday boxes

With modern keyless entry cars being targeted by thieves who boost signals from the key to the car tricking the vehicle into unlocking and starting, a Faraday box can be a valuable way to keep your car safe. 

 2. Never keep your logbook in the car.  

A logbook can be used by thieves to sell your car to unsuspecting buyers, so consider storing it safely at home rather than in your car. This can save you having to apply to DVLA for a new one if yours is lost, stolen or damaged. Thieves will also have access to the car’s registered address which could put further risk on your assets. 

 3. Encourage Use of Secure Parking

If possible, park in car parks with CCTV, on-site security and good lighting or at least areas that are generally busier as this tends to stave off burglars. 

 4. Use a steering lock

Used widely in the past, steering locks can be an extra deterrent that thieves don’t want to deal with. By having a steering lock, you have access to a visual deterrent as well as a physical preventative for thieves. 

 5. Install a tracker 

Trackers can be used to locate vehicles in an emergency and are already used in high value cars by some members of the public. 

About the Author

Thomas Walker

Head of New Business

Thomas is our Head of New Business. He began his insurance career in 2002 as an introducer for the Royal Bank of Scotland. Thomas has a Diploma in Insurance and is CII-certified. As his career evolved, he smoothly transitioned into insurance broking in 2005. He’s been with us at One Sure Insurance for 13 years in total and is our resident motor trade expert. Thomas’ other specialisms include liability insurance, commercial combined and other associated motor trade products. He is also passionate about fraud prevention, focusing on targeting ghost broking operations.