Most drivers could pay less for car insurance by moving some of the junk out of their garages to make room for the vehicle.
In these days of austerity, trimming a few pounds off the insurance bill makes more sense than storing piles of unwanted belongings in boxes and bin bags.
Recent research has revealed that the cost of a car standing on a drive or the road outstrips the value of items stacked in the garage by thousands of pounds.
The arithmetic is easy – the average cost of a car is around £13,000 while the tools and other stuff in the garage averages around £3,400, according to the study by OnePoll.
Most householders could easily buy a large shed for their tools, clear out the rubbish and move the car in to the garage.
Even if space is tight and the garden does not have room for a shed, renting some space at the local storage centre is still cheap and secure.
Around 66 per cent of drivers confessed to the survey that junk was keeping their car out of the garage.
Many drivers – around four out of 10 – still did not clear out the garage even though they were worried that parking the car on the drive might make the vehicle a target for vandals or thieves.
Insurance companies point out that the problem is worse in winter, because the darker evenings offer more cover to crooks.
Some experience a 20 per cent surge in claims for theft and damage between the end of October, when clocks go back and March, when they go forward again.
Other than clearing tools and rubbish out of the garage, car insurance companies suggest fitting outside lights with movement detectors and keeping anything that might tempt thieves out of sight when leaving a car unattended overnight.