Press release

Motor - Personal belongings

Tuesday 19 December 2006

  • £2billion** worth of Christmas gifts left at risk of theft during the festive season
  • Shoppers urged not to leave receipts in the bags with their purchases

Thousands of Christmas shoppers risk losing up to £2billion by leaving presents they have purchased in their car whilst out shopping, according to research by Saga insurance. Storing expensive gifts, groceries and other Christmas goodies in the car, or leaving laden vehicles unattended on seasonal journeys could increase the potential loss if the car is broken into.

Saga's research also shows that two in three shoppers (68%) leave receipts in the bags with the goods, making it more difficult for themselves should they need to make a claim if the items were stolen. More worryingly, thieves could simply return the purchases and profit from the refund.*

Over half (63%) of people take the car to do their Christmas shopping, and 59% of these drivers are guilty of storing purchases in their cars whilst they browse, to save carrying heavily laden bags around. According to Saga's research, the average spend on gifts in a single trip is ?150, meaning that over ?2 billion of gifts are at risk each journey**. Furthermore, half of all shoppers say they make up to five trips to complete their Christmas shopping.

Aside from the cost of the gifts themselves, Saga's data shows that the overall cost of Christmas soars once groceries and decorations have been accounted for. The average shopper spends almost £100 on groceries (excluding alcohol) on their Christmas shop, and over one in three (42%) confess to stopping off on the way home and leaving their shopping unattended in the car.

Almost half of those (45%) planning to spend Christmas away from home, plan to drive to their destination and risk their gifts being stolen by leaving their vehicles unattended during their journey.

Andrew Goodsell, Chief Executive of Saga, warns "Leaving shopping in your car may seem like a good idea at the time, but if the car is broken into or stolen many people could find the personal belongings cover on their policy woefully inadequate."

Saga Motor Insurance offers personal belongings cover of up to £1,000 as standard, this figure is increased to £2000 throughout the festive season to ensure those travelling at Christmas are covered should their gifts be stolen.

If you are a customer and wish to obtain further information on Saga Motor Insurance, please call 0800 068 8718.


Notes to editors

* If goods are purchased with cash and depending on the store’s refund policy

** 63% of the total population celebrating Christmas travel by car to their Christmas shopping = £29,625,750.

Of these, 59% confess to storing gifts in the car = £17,479,192.5

Mode average amount spent on a shopping trip is £150

£17,479,192.5 x 150 = £2,621,878,875

Research carried out for Saga by YouGov based on a survey of 1,939 adults conducted between 15-20th November 2006.

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For further press information please contact the Saga Press Office on: 01303 771529.



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