Find out how your car insurance costs could be affected by parking on the road, on a driveway or in a garage
How your parking habits affect your car insurance
There are several factors that affect the cost of your car insurance, many of which you can’t control. Thankfully, one thing you can control is where the vehicle is kept.
Unfortunately, the differences between your chosen parking spots are not as simple as they may seem.
You may assume that parking your car in a garage would give you the lowest premiums — after all, isn’t your car safest in a locked garage? You might then also assume that your car is safer on your driveway than it would be parked on a public road, where it could be hit by a careless driver.
Road, driveway or garage?
To test this theory, we ran some quotes on the uSwitch car insurance price comparison tool to see how parking habits affect the cost of car insurance.
We compared quotes for a 1.4l 2010 Ford Fiesta owner living in a rural area in the South West. To compare quotes accurately, we used the same profile — a 30-year-old female admin assistant who has been driving for 5 years with no previous claims or convictions.
As expected, the cost of insuring a car parked on a driveway was lower than a car parked on the road. However, the cost for parking in a garage is actually slightly higher:
While this might be surprising, there’s actually a logical explanation. Insurers’ ratings are based on claims data, and due to the amount of accidents that occur while parking in garages they are seen as a riskier parking spot than on the road. Many garages in older houses are designed for the smaller cars that were popular decades ago, and can be too small for modern cars.
Insurers may also take into account the fact that burglars have instant access to garaged cars once they’ve broken into a house, which might be a particular risk factor in areas with high numbers of burglaries.
Insurers’ rating factors vary wildly, so while one insurer may prefer to insure garaged cars, another may decide that a car on the road is safer based on their existing and previous customers’ claims histories. And if you live in a high crime or busy area such as a city, the risk of parking in a garage might be lower than the risk of the car being damaged while parked on the road.
So, if you have the option of parking your car in a garage, on a driveway or on the road, it might pay to compare costs on a site like uSwitch before buying or renewing a policy.
At home or away from home?
As well as asking whether your car is kept on the road, on a driveway or in a garage, your insurer will also ask whether it’s parked at home or away from home. You may be able to save a little money by parking your car just a few streets away from your front door — if your road is considered as high risk by insurers (such as a main road or one where lots of thefts have been reported), the effort of parking in a quieter residential road might just pay off.
Honesty is the best policy
Although you may be able to save money on your car insurance by changing where you park, you must always be honest with your insurer – don’t be tempted to say you park your car on a driveway when it’s actually kept on the road. If you’re caught being dishonest, your insurer could invalidate your insurance and refuse to pay out on any claims. Insurers can even check on Google Street View to see if your home has a driveway or garage!
The general rule with car insurance is the safer you can keep your car, the cheaper it is to insure. And no matter where your car is parked, it needs to be covered by an insurance policy. Start comparing quotes below.