UK motorists' £3.9bn car contents makes them hot spots for thieves

19 September 2007
Motorists are needlessly leaving £3.9 billion worth of gadgets in their cars, making them easy pickings for opportunistic thieves according to new research from car insurance company, Zurich.

A recent study by Zurich has revealed that an incredible 85 percent of British drivers admit to leaving their belongings in their cars with the average value of contents left being around £145.

And while one in five drivers have valuables worth more than £200, and one in 20 more than £500, some are risking valuables worth more than £2,000 being pilfered.

Incredibly, two fifths of motorists who leave possessions in their vehicle have no idea about the full value of their car’s contents. Yet the research has discovered that more than one in 10 motorists who neglect to take their possessions with them have been the victim of theft in the last five years, with the car stereo taking the top spot for being the most commonly stolen item.

This is followed closely by CD collections (44 per cent), Sat Nav systems (seven per cent) and a forgetful one in 20 drivers even leaves their house keys and mobile phone in their car.

To make matters worse, UK motorists are not taking adequate precautions to ensure their vehicle is secure and one fifth of drivers who leave possessions in their car (18 per cent) have no security measures in place, such as a car alarm, lockable glove compartment or safety box.

Roy Seeds, head of motor underwriting at Zurich Insurance comments: “It’s now common for our cars to be filled with our possessions – not just in-car entertainment and driving gadgets, but even clothes and designer accessories. Yet harried, time-poor drivers often fail to realise just how valuable the possessions they leave in their cars are and are not taking the right precautions.

“We would urge people, wherever possible, not to leave valuables in their cars and, if they have no other option, ensure they are locked in the boot. Drivers should also check the terms of their insurance policy and make sure they understand what their cover offers them.”

Learn more about Zurich car insurance