End of the road for the garage

20 February 2015

  • Almost a third of people  (31 per cent) have either converted or are considering converting their garage
  • 42 per cent of people never park their car in the garage
  • 61 per cent of people use their garage as storage space

Gone are the days of protecting the family car from the elements as two fifths (42 per cent) of UK homeowners never park their car in the garage, and almost a third of people (31 per cent) have either converted their garage, or are considering doing so, according to new research issued today (20 February) by The Co-operative Insurance

A space to house the family car was once the must-have addition for all aspirational homeowners but the findings show the majority of people with access to a garage (56 per cent) now rarely use it for what it was originally designed for.

The findings highlight the primary reason for conversion of garages is for the purpose of using the space as an office or workshop (25 per cent).  The research also uncovers other reasons for conversion, which include creating a bigger kitchen (14%), adding an extra bedroom (13%), or providing a bigger garden (6%)

And almost two thirds (60%) of people who have converted their garages believe this has added value to their property

More than three in five (61 per cent) say they do not park their car in the garage because they use it for storage.  With the average contents of a garage worth £1,473, the research also uncovered that worryingly almost one in six people (13 per cent) feel that their garage is not secure or not as secure as it could be.

Of those that use their garage for storage, paint and decorating items were most  popular  (71 per cent), followed by tools (67 per cent) and gardening equipment (53 per cent). Nearly a fifth of people (18 per cent) using their garages to house alcohol in make-shift wine cellars:

Most common items stored in UK garages:

  1. Paint / Decorating items 71%
  2. Tools 67%
  3. Gardening Equipment 53%
  4. Lawnmower 45%
  5. Bikes 38%
  6. Freezer 30%
  7. Old household furniture 30%
  8. Wellington Boots 29%
  9. BBQ 26%
  10. Alcohol 18%

James Hillon, Director of Insurance at The Co-operative Insurance said of the findings:

“The research clearly demonstrates that garages now have a multitude of uses beyond their original purpose for housing a car.

“Worryingly the findings show nearly one in six people feel their garage is not as secure as it could be, Given the range of valuables it is vital that households ensure their garage is appropriately secured and its contents safe.

“In addition, with many taking the opportunity to convert garages and add space and value, we would encourage homeowners to also make appropriate adjustments to their home and contents insurance to ensure that they are covered in the event of loss, theft or damage.”

Notes to Editors

Research carried out by one poll on behalf of The Co-operative Insurance with a geographically representative sample of over 2,000 UK adults

For further information please contact Catherine Turner / Lauren Hoult The Co-operative Insurance

Tel: 07834090783 / 07702505626

Email: catherine.turner@co-operative.coop / lauren.hoult@co-operative.coop