Press release:

Over £1.5 billion worth of presents hidden in cars this Christmas

  • Eight million Brits (16%) will hide presents for loved ones in their car this Christmas[1]
  • Almost six in ten of those doing so (58%) won’t take any extra precautions to protect the festive contents[2]
  • This leaves over £1.5 billion of presents potentially uninsured and at risk in vehicles[3]
  • Toys (49%), clothing (43%) and alcohol (29%) will be the most popular gifts concealed[4]
  • uSwitch calls on motorists to check the level of cover on their policies so their Christmases don’t turn sour.

Over £1.5 billion worth of presents will be left hidden but possibly unprotected in cars ahead of Christmas Day, according to new research from, the price comparison and switching service[3].

Determined not to be outsmarted by loved ones, over eight million Brits (16%) plan to hide gifts in their car over the festive season[1]. However, this has potentially dire consequences as the majority of those doing so (58%) won’t take any extra precautions to protect the contents from theft[2] – including contacting their insurer to increase their level of cover.

For those using their vehicle as Santa’s grotto, checking with their insurer should be on their Christmas to-do list. Not all policies cover contents from theft, especially when it comes to high value items such as Christmas gifts. In fact, when gift buyers did check with their insurer, four in ten (39%) found their policy didn’t cover them for presents left in the car[5].

The research reveals that toys (49%), clothing (43%) and alcohol (29%) will be the most popular gifts to hide in cars[4]. And it’s not just inquisitive children that presents are being hidden from – two thirds of Brits (66%) conceal gifts from curious partners[6].

Nooks and crannies in the home are the other top hiding places, with the wardrobe (65%), under the bed (32%) and the loft (30%) the favourite places to secretly stash gifts[7]. Yet 64% of Brits have never checked their home insurance policy either to see if it provides extra cover for gifts over the Christmas period[5].

Rod Jones, insurance expert at, 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.

“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.”

Top 10 Christmas present hiding places:

  1. In the wardrobe (65%)
  2. Under the bed (32%)
  3. In the loft (30%)
  4. In the spare room (25%)
  5. Under the stairs (17%)
  6. In the car (16%)
  7. At a friends house (13%)
  8. In the garage (13%)
  9. At the office (12%)
  10. In the kitchen cupboards (8%)

Find out how you could save over £1,000 a year with uSwitch here.

— ends —

Notes to editors

Research carried out online with the Consumer Opinion Panel in November 2015 amongst a sample of 3,079 GB adults.

  1. When asked ‘Thinking ahead to THIS Christmas, which of the following locations will you use to hide presents?’, 16% answered ‘Car’. 16% of 50,371,000 (ONS UK adult population) is 8,059,360.
  2. When asked ‘Will you take any extra precautions, including contacting your insurer, to protect presents in your car from theft?’, 58% said ‘No’.
  3. 8,059,360 (16%) plan to hide Christmas presents in the car this year. 58% of those will be taking no extra precautions to protect their gifts from theft. 58% of 8,059,360 = 4,674,429. When asked ‘Approximately how much do you think you’ll spend on Christmas this year?’, the average amount  to be spent on gifts was £358.71. £358.71 x 4,674,429 = £1,676,764,426.
  4. When asked ‘What types of presents will you hide in your car?’, 49% said ‘toys’, 43% said ‘clothing’ and 29% said ‘alcohol’.
  5. When asked ‘Have you ever checked your car or home insurance policy to check if it provides extra cover for gifts over the Christmas period?’, 7.7% answered ‘Yes, and it does’ and 5% answered ‘Yes, but it doesn’t’ with regards to car insurance – therefore of those who said yes, 39.3% said it didn’t cover them. 64% said ‘No I have not checked my home insurance policy’.
  6. When asked ‘Who will you be hiding the presents from?’, 66% said ‘Your partner’.
  7. When asked ‘Thinking ahead to THIS Christmas, which of the following locations will you use to hide presents?’, 65% said ‘wardrobe, 32% said ‘under the bed’ and 30% said ‘in the loft’.


About us

Launched in September 2000, uSwitch is an online and telephone price comparison and switching service, helping consumers get a better deal on gas, electricity, broadband, TV services, mobiles and personal finance products including mortgages, credit cards, car and home insurance. Last year we saved UK consumers over £278 million on their energy bills alone.

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