One of the common issues our motor trade insurance team come across when talking to clients is key security at their garages. Car security has improved dramatically in recent years, and now, the majority of cars can only be stolen if the thief has access to the keys.

Whilst this may all seem very positive, this has driven a focus by thieves on stealing car keys and in essence means that garages are now a target.

How does this impact your motor trade insurance?

This increased risk has not gone unnoticed by insurers and policies commonly stipulate that motor traders must keep vehicle keys in a key safe outside of business hours. This means if you leave keys in vehicles, desk drawers and the like, then you may not be insured should a vehicle be stolen.

Insurers take these steps as they know there can be plenty for thieves to aim at on a motor trade business premises. This can include any stock of vehicles you have stored on-site for sale/use by customers, customers' vehicles that you're responsible for whilst they're in your care, as well as vehicles belonging to employees.

Garages need to ensure that they have robust strategies in place for key security to avoid losses resulting from opportunistic thefts and break-ins.

What would not be classed as secure?

Our motor trade insurance team talk to garages day in, day out, and the most common mistakes we see are keys being stored:

  • In safes that aren’t fit for purpose
  • On walls
  • In drawers
  • In toolboxes

All of the above would not be considered as secure in the eyes of your insurance provider.

What can you do?

Taking some time to ensure that you have good security in your garage will help to reduce the risk of theft and protect you if you have an incident.

Our team have put together their five top tips below:

  1. Upgrade and invest in a key safe that is fit for purpose
  2. Fit the key safe to a solid wall
  3. Don’t leave keys in vehicles
  4. Consider multiple key safes, for example in the workshop and office
  5. Ensure all your staff know the process for the safe security of vehicle keys, and schedule in regular refresher training

About SEIB

We’ve been arranging motor trade insurance for over 20 years. As a business, we have helped motor traders of all sizes source the insurance they need. If you’d like to request a quote, please call us on 01708 850 011 or email