Recent research carried out by RAC Home Insurance found that almost half of the 10.6 million garages in the UK are not used for their original purpose, with nearly 2/3 of motorists admitting to not using their garage to park their cars. What’s going on?
Of course, we all know that modern cars are generally bigger than their 1950s counterparts, meaning many older garages in particular are simply too small to fit a car in. However, even in the USA where everything is bigger, it was found that 82% of homes have double garages but only 15% of homeowners use them for their cars!
If you do have a garage that’s big enough for your car, don’t clutter it up with household stuff, gardening furniture, kids’ toys or DIY tools. Speaking to Wessex Garage Doors, one of the largest garage door experts in the South East, their advice is to do yourself and your car a huge favour and use your garage for its intended purpose. Here are 6 great reasons why.
1. Protection from the weather
It might seem obvious but you really can’t overstate the effect that sun, rain, wind and snow have on your car’s condition. Over time, dirt and residue can build up as a result of exposure to the elements, leading to a weakened top coat, peeling paint or rust.
In addition, there’s damage from UV rays and extreme temperatures (both hot and cold), such as fading upholstery and paintwork, peeling paint, and materials failure on plastics and interiors.
Even more seriously, extreme changes in temperature can affect your engine. Since a garage keeps the car warm, the engine fluid and oil are kept in a stable condition, meaning the engine runs better. A warmer car will also respond more easily and efficiently to heating and air conditioning systems.
2. Preserving your car’s value
Parking your car in the garage keeps it looking better, for longer. As any car mechanic or sales rep will tell you – because they can tell! – vehicle exteriors are in much better condition when cars have been well looked after and routinely stored in the garage.
Not only will you get the sustained benefit of a nicer looking car, you will get a pleasant surprise when you come to sell the car. A well preserved car will keep its resale value higher.
3. Lower insurance costs
Motor insurance is a complicated and expensive business at the best of times, but there are ways you can save money. When you get a car insurance quote, look out for the question about where you usually park your car overnight.
Some car insurance companies will offer lower premium policies to those who keep their vehicles in the garage as opposed to on the drive or parking in the road. There are no hard and fast rules for this as every insurer has their own approach, but it’s worth checking up on overnight parking rules.
4. Security from theft and vandalism
A car is a big investment; for most people it’s one of their most valuable possessions. Regardless of your neighbourhood, it goes without saying that parking your car inside a garage offers the greatest security.
Parking your car outside – or indeed parking it in the garage but leaving the garage door open! – leaves it exposed to opportunist car break-ins, vandalism or theft of the car itself, or any temptation to interfere with the vehicle in whatever way.
5. Accidental damage
We all know that accidents can happen anywhere, even in the safest neighbourhoods and with no malicious intent. From tree sap and bird droppings to rogue cricket balls, careless road users or other drivers, the exterior of your car can easily be scratched, dented or damaged.
What’s more, this type of damage to a parked car never happens at a convenient time, and it pays no attention to the value of the car, or the needs of the driver to get from A to B. Think of the hassle over insurance claims and repairs – why take the chance when you have a perfectly safe garage for your car?
6. Sheer convenience
Finally, let’s not underestimate how nice it is to get into or out of a car in the garage rather than outside. Whether it’s cold and rainy on a Monday morning, or you’re having to scrape ice and snow off the vehicle before you leave for work, or there’s a heatwave outside and the leather seats are burning your thighs, wouldn’t it be so much more pleasant to start and finish your journey from the comfort of your own garage?