UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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There are plenty of car insurance discounts available today. However, many drivers are unaware of these discounts. Garage parking is one such discount: will you pay lower insurance rates when you park your car in a garage? Do people who park on the street pay higher rates for car insurance?
Today, we’re answering all your questions about getting cheap car insurance when parking in your garage instead of on the street.
Your Liability Insurance Will Likely Be the Same
If you’re just getting basic liability insurance on your vehicle (the bare legal minimum), then your rates are unlikely to change.
Liability insurance covers damages you cause to other people and property. It’s required in order to legally drive in the United States. Parking in a garage does not change your likelihood of being involved in a collision with another car, so your liability rates are unlikely to change.
Most Car Insurance is Cheaper When Parking in a Garage
Generally speaking, you’ll pay less for car insurance when parking in a garage compared to parking on a street. If you just have liability insurance, then you won’t notice a difference. However, if you have a comprehensive insurance plan or collision coverage, then you could pay a bit less for car insurance when parking in a garage compared to parking on a street.
Insurance companies calculate these discounts in different ways. Don’t expect to lower rates by 20% or 50%. Instead, expect to get a discount of around 5%, maximum, when parking in a garage. Some insurance companies don’t offer a discount at all.
Some Insurance Companies Charge More When Parking in a Garage
Don’t build that garage just yet. some insurance companies actually charge more when parking in a garage.
The reason is that drivers who park in garages are more likely to hit the sides of the garage when parking than if they were on the street. This practice appears to be more common in the UK. One UK-based financial blog described the whole garage parking discount as “a bit of an insurance industry myth”, claiming there “is actually only a marginal difference in price” for garage parkers:
“In fact, in some instances it can be more expensive to park your car in a garage, as statistically you are more likely to prang your car whilst entering or exiting a garage than parking in a driveway.”
In the United States, it’s less likely for an insurance company to punish a driver that parks in a garage. However, it’s worth comparing quotes or talking to your insurance company.
Advantages of Parking in a Garage
Insurance companies might provide a small discount when you park in a garage instead of on the street. That’s because, in the eyes of your insurance company, there are plenty of advantages of parking in a garage, including all of the following:
Lower Likelihood of Being Hit While Parked: If you park on the street, then there’s a chance someone could side swipe your vehicle when they’re driving carelessly. If it’s a hit-and-run, then your insurance company would have to cover the cost of repairs.
Protection from the Elements: Your car can’t be damaged by hail when it’s parked in a garage. Your car can’t be swept away in a flood or hit by a falling tree branch. Garages provide protection from the elements, and that means you’re less likely to make a claim under your comprehensive insurance.
Protection from Theft or Vandalism: Insurance companies have been known to punish drivers who live in rough neighborhoods by charging higher rates. If you park your car on a street in an area with lots of crime, then your car is more likely to be broken into, vandalized, or stolen. A garage – particularly a locked garage – provides added protection.
Protection from Winter: Winter can be hard on a street-parked vehicle. Other drivers are more likely to slide into your street-parked vehicle during winter. It’s always better to leave your car parked in a warm, ice-free garage all winter. Your insurance company might be more willing to offer a car insurance discount for garage parking in an area with a cold winter.
Some Auto Insurance Plans Require You to Park in a Garage
There are even some situations where you’re required to park in a garage. If you have classic car insurance on your older, classic vehicle, for example, then you may be required to park in not just any garage, but a locked garage.
If you frequently leave your classic car parked on the street, and something happens to it, then your insurance company might refuse to pay the claim.
Typically, however, ordinary car insurance policies do not require you to park in a garage.
Conclusion: Expect to Pay Slightly Less for Car Insurance When Parking in a Garage
Generally speaking, you’re going to get a small discount by parking your car in a garage instead of on the street. If you live in an area with lots of crime, a higher risk of natural disasters, or cold and snowy winters, then your insurance company might be more likely to offer a discount.