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£1.5 billion Christmas presents hidden in cars

Festive hiding places put gifts at risk

Christmas presents on car seat

As Christmas fast approaches, Brits are becoming more imaginative with their hiding places for loved ones’ gifts. In fact, many of us are resorting to hiding presents far away from recipients’ prying eyes outside of the house.

Eight million Brits (16%) said they plan to hide Christmas gifts in their car this year, with a value of approximately £1.5bn. The gifts most commonly hidden in cars include toys (49%), clothing (43%) and alcohol (29%).

Taking precautions against theft

However, most (58%) said they won’t take any extra precautions, such as checking whether their car insurer will cover the items left in the vehicle.

Of those who checked with their insurer, 40% found that their gifts would not be covered under their policy. Insurers that do cover the car’s contents will usually stipulate that items must be kept out of sight, such as in a locked boot or glove box.

Rod Jones, insurance expert at uSwitch.com, says: “Keeping presents hidden from the prying eyes of loved ones can be like a game of cat and mouse. But while hiding gifts in the car boot or the glove box might seem like the perfect plan, you could be leaving yourself open to a nasty surprise on Christmas morning in the event of a theft.”

Inadequate cover

While some insurers do cover your car’s contents against theft, most policies will only offer compensation up to a certain amount — often around £100.

Jones suggests you check with your insurer, as policies can differ: “It might not be top of your festive to-do list, but it’s important to contact your insurer and make sure your car insurance policy covers any additional contents. This means if the worst should happen and the Grinch comes to steal Christmas, you’ll have the right cover in place to make amends.”

Presents are more commonly hidden at home, with 65% stashing gifts in the wardrobe, and 32% hiding them under the bed. But again, most Brits (64%) have never checked their home insurance to see if it provides extra cover for gifts stored in the home.

Top 10 Christmas present hiding places

Our research revealed the most popular hiding places for Christmas gifts, some of which are safer than others from prying eyes and festive thieves:

  1. Wardrobe (65%)
  2. Under the bed (32%)
  3. Loft (30%)
  4. Spare room (25%)
  5. Under the stairs (17%)
  6. Car (16%)
  7. At a friend’s house (13%)
  8. Garage (13%)

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