What’s the Best Car Security Solution? Your Garage Holds the Key!

Reading time: 13 minutes

modern home with 3 cars parked in garage

Most people would consider their vehicles some of the most important assets they own. They’re an essential part of our daily routines, so the prospect of being without our main form of transportation is unnerving for most drivers.

Skyrocketing levels of auto theft have made the security of our vehicles an ongoing concern for any owner of a car, truck, or motorcycle.

Losing your vehicle to theft is preventable in many cases. To avoid becoming a statistic, the smartest thing you can do is use the best car security solution available – always park in your garage.

Car theft in numbers

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) says that in 2023, 1,020,729 vehicles were stolen in the U.S. That’s a sobering 28.5% increase in auto theft since 2019. Canada is also experiencing a car theft crisis, with insurance companies paying a record-high $1.2 billion in claims in 2022.

Here are some additional recent car theft statistics that every driver should be aware of:

  • a vehicle gets stolen in America every 32 seconds (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
  • 33% of vehicles are stolen from a residence, 25% from the streets, and 23% from parking lots and parking garages (the FBI)
  • full-size pickups (including the Chevrolet Silverado, Dodge Ram 1500, and Ford F-150) are the most often stolen vehicles
  • the third most common property crime in the U.S. is automotive theft (U.S. Department of Justice)
  • the majority of vehicle thefts occur on weekdays between 7 p.m. and dawn

What’s driving the surge in car thefts?

A major reason for the recent surge in thefts is the evolution of vehicle technology. Features like keyless entry and ignition, satellite radio, audio and video streaming devices, GPS navigation and tracking, and remote starting are super-convenient. Unfortunately, a lot of modern auto tech also makes our vehicles more susceptible to theft.

A common method car thieves use is a keyless relay attack, where they hack the signal transmitted by a key fob sitting inside a home to enter and start a closely parked vehicle. For years, the police have recommended keeping your key fobs inside a signal-blocking Faraday pouch or box to prevent theft.

However, the auto theft problem has gotten so bad in the Greater Toronto Area that the number of home invasions and break-ins there has also significantly increased, as brazen thieves are entering more homes to steal the key fobs altogether.

That prompted a Toronto police officer to recently offer this instantly infamous advice that got worldwide attention and heavily criticized: “To prevent the possibility of being attacked in your home, leave your fobs at your front door.” We’re pretty sure those words will haunt him for the rest of his career.

Take a proactive car security approach

Don’t take this type of reactive approach to potential vehicle theft and essentially hand over your vehicle key(s) to criminals. There are plenty of proactive car theft prevention strategies anyone with a home garage can use to safeguard their wheels.

In this blog post, we’ll do the following:

  • explain the impacts of car theft and vandalism
  • demonstrate why using your garage to park is the best car security solution
  • provide some tips to keep your vehicles and home safer
  • show you the numerous benefits of parking in a home garage
  • look at why so many homeowners are unable to park in their garages
  • tell you how to create enough space to park indoors in the first place
  • explain why having a functional, multipurpose garage is so valuable

The impacts of car theft and vandalism

Being the victim of a crime is one of the more stressful life events we can experience. In some cases, the impact of having a vehicle stolen or vandalized may even go beyond just causing stress – it can be genuinely traumatic, especially if someone encounters a criminal while they’re in the act of trying to steal their vehicle.

Crime victims typically feel a range of strong emotions, including anger, anxiety, and fear. The psychological impact of having a vehicle stolen from your residence can feel worse than if it was stolen from a parking lot. Our homes are supposed to be our sanctuaries and to have that safe space breached feels like a major violation.

Some of the stress following the theft or vandalism of a vehicle comes with having to deal with the police and your insurance company. It's time-consuming having to take a vehicle that has been vandalized, or stolen and then recovered, in for repair work. The simple inconvenience of being without a vehicle until it’s repaired or you replace a stolen one is also a headache.      

The NICB’s president tells CBS News that high rates of vehicle theft drive up insurance rates for everyone, even if you haven’t had a vehicle stolen.

Auto theft trends can also impact consumer vehicle buying decisions. Cars and trucks that get stolen more often carry higher insurance premiums, which may be a deal-breaker for anyone looking to buy one of those most-targeted vehicles.

Why the garage is your best car security solution

3 cars parked in garage

Frankly, it’s more common sense than it is smart to recommend garage parking for better vehicle safety instead of using the driveway or street. The FBI research data showing that “33% of vehicles are stolen from a residence” doesn’t provide enough information to specifically break down whether vehicles were stolen from garages or driveways, but it’s safe to assume it’s mostly from the latter.

Driveway or street parking makes any vehicle more inviting to a thief simply because it’s sitting in plain sight. Even in an unlocked garage, parked vehicles are hidden from view, which lowers the risk of theft. And a locked garage with a reliable security system, surveillance camera, and good exterior lighting is your best car security solution.

Any obstacles you can put between a thief and your vehicles act as a deterrent for thieves because they’ll have to work harder and need to take on a higher level of risk. Remember, it can take less than a minute for a thief who knows what they’re doing to steal a vehicle.

You should also park indoors not just to prevent your vehicles from being stolen, but to prevent them from getting vandalized or broken into. The U.S. Department of Justice says that vehicle burglaries are one of the most common crimes in residential neighborhoods.

Auto parts theft is another reason to keep your vehicles secure, as thieves might only be targeting them for in-demand parts like catalytic converters, airbags, tires, and rims.

Garages are typically highly desired by homebuyers and a recent Toronto Star article found that they’re in even higher demand in the city right now. A realtor they interviewed tells them that homes that only offer street parking have been “quite a large deterrent” for her clients because they believe their vehicles will be less secure.

New research from the National Association of Home Builders also shows that garage storage is the sixth-most essential feature for U.S. homebuyers.

10 best practices for secure home garage parking

While a garage is undoubtedly safer for your vehicles than the street or driveway, there are many additional best practices you can also follow to lower the odds of becoming a victim of auto theft.


And none of them involve using one of the more unconventional methods some desperate homeowners have recently resorted to in high-crime neighborhoods to protect their vehicles. That would be installing bollards, which are removable, foldable, or retractable steel posts. This security solution is likely effective, but it’s also pricey and does as much for your curb appeal as having steel security bars on your windows.

If you’d rather not have the front of your home looking like a fortress, try these other preventative measures to improve the safety of your vehicles and home:

  1. Always park your vehicles inside a locked garage and ensure all of the windows, garage doors, and exterior and interior access doors are secure.
  2. Never leave your vehicles unlocked, even if they’re in a locked garage. Hide any valuables in your vehicles and don’t leave your key fob inside a parked vehicle for any reason (which a shocking number of drivers do).
  3. Keep your key fobs stored in a signal-blocking pouch and don’t leave them near any home entry doors. And keep your vehicle keys on a separate keychain from your house or condo keys.
  4. Install a reliable garage security system that will detect any unauthorized access to the garage via the main doors, windows, and exterior access door.
  5. Add a surveillance camera inside the garage that can monitor the entire interior area and make it easily visible to anyone entering the room.
  6. Upgrade the exterior lighting around the garage and keep any landscaping close to the garage well-maintained.
  7. Avoid leaving your garage doors open any longer than you absolutely need to.
  8. Block any visibility into the garage from the outside through any windows on the garage doors, walls, and an exterior door. Opaque glass is ideal for maintaining privacy, while still allowing natural light into the garage.
  9. If finding enough garage parking space is ever an issue, prioritize giving available indoor parking spots to your most valuable vehicles.
  10. Never get complacent about how safe your vehicles are, even if you live in a low-crime area.

How To Prevent Car Theft infographic (MarketWatch.com)

Infographic from MarketWatch.com

Additional benefits of parking in the garage

Keeping your vehicles safer is reason enough to always park in the garage, but there are many more reasons to do so.

Let’s start with “the comfort factor”. When you park indoors, you won’t need to deal directly with bad weather whenever you enter or exit your vehicle at home. If it’s raining or snowing, you won’t get wet and there’s no need to scrape snow and ice off the car windows during the winter.


A vehicle’s air conditioning and heating work quicker when they’re kept in the garage, and even more so if the garage is climate-controlled. And it’s widely believed that garage parking extends the longevity of a vehicle’s electrical and mechanical components and generally improves its overall performance.

Cars and trucks that are sheltered most of the time from the rain, snow, hail, UV exposure, and other environmental damage (like tree sap, bird droppings, and wind-blown debris) should last a little longer and have lower maintenance costs. You won’t have to wash your vehicles as often, too.

Speaking of costs, some insurance companies agree that a garage is the best car security solution and will lower your insurance prices if you park your vehicles in the garage instead of the driveway or street.

Finally, there’s the all-important matter of your safety. Entering and exiting a vehicle in a locked, well-lit home garage is certainly safer than doing it in a driveway or on the street, especially when it’s dark.

Common reasons for garage storage space issues

All of this information about why you should always park in the garage may sound fine and dandy. What if you’re one of the many homeowners with a garage so cluttered that parking vehicles in it feels like a pipe dream, however? You’re certainly not alone.

Here are some statistics from a recent Stanley Black & Decker survey that show how cluttered American garages are:

  • 36% of homeowners can’t park vehicles in their garage due to clutter
  • 62% of homeowners named the garage as their most cluttered home space
  • 52% of people with a garage aren’t satisfied with how it’s organized

There are several reasons a garage’s functionality can diminish and the room becomes an overstuffed space filled with junk and clutter. Because garages have traditionally been a low priority when homes are being remodeled, they tend to lack modern design touches that improve the room’s aesthetics and storage efficiency.

cluttered garage with poor storage

Garages also have a bad habit of becoming a dumping ground for non-essential items that should really be donated, sold, recycled, or thrown away. This includes things like old furniture, appliances, empty or half-used paint cans, and long-forgotten exercise equipment. The Self Storage Association found that about 9% of Americans rent storage space, even though 65% of them have a garage.

Also, consider that our cars and trucks have steadily increased in size over the past decade. Research from vehicle subscription company FINN found that American vehicles have gotten an average of 12% longer and 17% wider between 2013 and 2023. That works out to almost two feet longer and around one foot wider, which is a significant increase.

car size infographic (FINN.com)

Infographic from FINN.com

How to create more space in the garage

We’ve listed many reasons why it’s better to park indoors – so how do you accomplish this? Don’t worry, because Garage Living are experts in transforming disorganized garages into high-functioning spaces that allow for indoor parking and maximized storage.

A great first step towards improving a garage’s storage efficiency is to eliminate as much clutter as possible. If it’s been two or more years since you last used an item in your garage, get rid of it. Your vehicles need that valuable space more!

Our garage designers will recommend making the most of your space by adding effective garage storage solutions like slatwall, overhead racks, and storage cabinets.

Depending on the size of your garage, it may still prove challenging to create enough space for all of your vehicles along with the traditional things that get kept in garages, such as recycling, garbage and compost bins, bikes, a lawn mower, gardening and yard tools, and patio furniture. That’s where car lifts come in. They utilize a garage’s unused vertical space by keeping a vehicle parked on top of another vehicle, which frees up a lot of floor space for your other storage needs.

3 sportscars, 2 car lifts in garage

Garage remodels can range from making modest storage and aesthetic upgrades that maximize the room’s functionality to giving them a full-scale makeover that revamps your garage into a luxurious home showpiece. Whichever type of budget you decide on for your garage renovation, remember that an investment in improving your garage is an investment in the security of your vehicles.

Enjoy what a multipurpose garage offers

The promise of owning a garage that’s set up to provide enough parking space and handle your storage requirements is enticing enough, but why not dream a little bigger?

With enough square footage and some creative design, garages can become even more than a dual-purpose parking and storage space. They’re quite capable of becoming a versatile, multipurpose area of your home where you can do things like add a mudroom or make more space for your hobbies to be enjoyed.

Garage Living’s products and garage designs have a high-end aesthetic, which boosts your comfort level and makes the room more conducive for use in any of the following ways:

  • home gym
  • workshop
  • craft or creative space
  • home office

Create the best car security solution for your home 

Your garage is the ultimate car security solution, as long as you give it the proper attention so the room can function at its maximum capabilities.

Enjoy the peace of mind that comes with keeping your vehicles safer by being able to park inside your garage.

Schedule a free design consultation with Garage Living to get started on creating a safe haven for your vehicles.  

See also:


Share this post

Recent Posts

9 Garage Floor Protection Options Ranked From Best to Worst
Read More
5 Simple Guidelines for Choosing Garage Paint Colors
Read More
Garage Wall Ideas: 17 Ways To Improve Your Wall Space
Read More


Let’s talk about your garage remodel project.