17% also say they would love to be able to take drastic action to protect their car, such as putting an electric shock device on the door to stop thieves taking it (men 20% and women 14%).

According to a survey of 2000 UK drivers by InsuretheGap, a provider of Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) insurance, a third (35%) of drivers are concerned about car theft and are careful about where they park their car, and over 55s are much more careful about this.  9% say they are not worried about car theft as they drive an old banger.

At home, over one in ten (12%) check on their car regularly to ensure it is still there, 5% have installed CCTV to monitor their car, and 4% use an old-style wheel lock to stop thieves.

However, one in five drivers (22%) admit to leaving their car unlocked by accident, a home goal for car thieves.

If a car is stolen, or written off, the insurance company usually only pays out what the car was worth at the time of the incident.  Because of depreciation, this can be significantly less than what was paid for it. Gap insurance bridges the gap between the value of the car when it was bought, and its value when written off or stolen. GAP insurance is available from standalone providers, like InsuretheGap.com, for usually significantly less than the insurance offered by car dealers.

Ben Wooltorton, Chief Operating Officer of InsuretheGap.com, said: “Unfortunately, even at this challenging time, cars are still being stolen. It’s incredibly important to make sure that you think carefully about where you park your car, and ensure that you do lock it.”

He continues, “If you have bought a car in the last couple of years, it might be worth considering gap insurance, as there will be a big difference between the amount you paid for the car, and the amount your insurance company will pay out a few years later if your car is written off or stolen.”

*The survey of 2,000 drivers (18+) was carried out by Opinium from 21 – 27 January 2020.