As the Tour de France returns to our screens, research from Neighbourhood Watch sponsor The Co-op Insurance has revealed that 376,000 households*in the UK are opting to share their bedroom, with not only their partner, but their bicycle too.
As space becomes scarcer, and with the average bicycle worth around £294, it’s no wonder that 2million** safety conscious cyclists (16%) are storing their pride and joy in unconventional places in the home, in addition to bedrooms. Whilst over a third (35%) keep their bikes in the shed, other places include the hallway and the living room, with some cyclists admitting to storing their muddy bike alongside their white goods, in the utility room.
Top 5 unconventional bike stores in the home
- In the hallway
- In the bedroom
- In the utility room
- In the living room
- In the dining room/porch
Despite believing this to be the safest way to store their bikes, almost a quarter of people (23%) have had their bicycle stolen from inside their homes, and a third (29%) have had their bikes stolen from their garden. And more than 1 in 10 people (13%) have experienced a bike theft from outside a supermarket or shop.
The research also shows that thieves are busiest in the East Midlands (28%), who hold the unfortunate top spot for most stolen bicycles, with West Midlands (25%) and London (20%) second and third. In contrast the North East seems to be the place for peace of mind, with only 12% of cycle thefts.
Top 10 bicycle theft hotspots
- East Midlands
- West Midlands
- South East
- Yorkshire and Humber
- South West
- North West
- North East
“If the Tour de France inspires you to buy the latest bike, be sure to store it somewhere safe, and as secure as possible, whether out and about or at home. Taking just a few small steps can make a big difference, in keeping your bike safe from thieves.”
Caroline Hunter, Head of Home Insurance at The Co-op
“Our advice for keeping your bike safe is to use the very best locks you can afford on the bike itself and, importantly, the place where you store it, such as a shed or garage or even your home itself. Consider marking it with your postcode or a forensic marking product so if it is stolen, you have a greater chance of getting it back.”
Lynn Farrar, Chair of Neighbourhood Watch
The Co-op Insurance’s home contents policy covers bicycles whilst on insured premises (subject to a £2,000 limit for thefts for contents from outbuildings).
If cover is required¬ for when the customer is out and about, for bikes worth less than £1,000 the customer will need to purchase Unspecified Personal Possessions Cover. If the bike is worth more than £1,000 the customer will need to purchase Specified Personal Possessions Cover.
Neighbourhood Watch and The Co-op Insurance offer the following top tips for keeping your bike safe:
- Invest in a good quality bike lock, such as a D-lock or one that has good security ratings, the tighter the fit the better. Ideally you would use two locks of different types, such as the D-lock, as well as a sturdy chain with a padlock, for extra protection – these should be used to lock up the bike frame and the wheels too.
- If you need to lock your bike up outside, be sure to find a suitable place in a good location, attaching it to a solid, immovable object
- Be sure to secure your bike whilst at home by always keeping it locked up, even if it’s stored in your garden shed or garage, or think about investing in a bike store. If storing in your house try to keep it out of sight away from prying eyes of thieves
- Think about insuring your bike. You can insure your bicycle on your home contents insurance, ensure you cover it for thefts away from the home too. Insurers may specify that items should be locked in a shed, garage or brought into the house. If you have left your items unlocked and outside, insurers may refuse to pay out.
- Mark your bike: Tag your bike with your postcode using invisible ink. In addition to this take photos of your valuable items should an insurer want proof of ownership.
- Remove all valuables items off your bike – when you leave your bike remove GPS trackers, saddle bags, your helmet and even your saddle.
*One Poll questioned 2,000 UK adults online on behalf of The Co-op Insurance in 2016.
There are 27 million households in the UK according to ONS data 2015.
(50.95% people own bikes) x (27 million households) = 13,756,500 million households who own bikes
(13,756,500 million households) x (2.75% – people who store bikes in bedrooms) = 376,750 household store bike in bedroom
**Bike owners who store their bicycles in their home 16%
(16%) x (13,756,500 million households) = 2.1million people