Worst Places to Park Your Car to Prevent Break-ins

| Updated on March 21, 2024

The idea of coming home from a day at work to find that your car has been broken into is an unpleasant one, but unfortunately, these things happen. It’s not all about the type of car you drive or the area you live in, either, because there are potential thieves and vandals in every city. In fact, according to a 2021 study by Australian insurer Budget Direct, one passenger vehicle is stolen every 13 minutes for a total of 39,400 thefts in 2020. 

While you can’t always prevent others from attempting to take your personal property, there are plenty of things you can do to deter potential thieves and protect your car. Want to get as much life out of your car as possible? Read on for a list of parking locations you should steer clear of.  


If you live on a busy street in the middle of suburbia, this may not apply to you, but driveway thefts have happened often enough to be cause for concern, especially in quiet neighborhoods. In fact, a 2021 study showed that as many as 50% of stolen cars are stolen from the owner’s home. 

It’s important to be aware that if you live in a large or well-insulated home or own a quiet car, you may not be able to hear a thief break into your car and or even start the engine. Additionally, if you have ever lost a car key at some point, you should always get your locks changed by a qualified locksmith. 

In any case, parking your car in a sturdy garage or investing in CCTV cameras for your property may help to deter criminals and keep your assets safe. 

Side alleys 

If you’ve ever felt uneasy walking down an alleyway at night, then you’ll know that these are not the most welcoming of places, and there’s a chance you’ll encounter the wrong type of person there. While any dark space poses a safety risk for you and your car, alleys are especially troublesome given their narrow shape and secluded location. 

In short, the popular advice of parking near other cars – whether for social or financial security – rings true, and is very important. 

Low-Traffic Areas 

Common sense might tell you to park in low-traffic areas, thinking it will lessen the chance of another car running into yours, but unfortunately, these spaces pose a far more significant risk. 

Like side alleys, low-traffic areas generally give hopeful thieves and vandals some coverage in which to do their dirty work. Then, the fact that you’re likely parking there alone makes it more likely that a potential thief or vandal will see your car as more of an opportunity than a risk. 

In short, if you can ignore the danger of passing cars, you’ll always be better off parking in a traffic-heavy area. 

Public Parking Garages 

Parking garages attached to establishments like shopping centers and hotels are generally seen as relatively safe places to park, but evidence suggests that this is not the case. In fact, these secluded, low-visibility parking spaces are loved by thieves and vandals the world.

Because no one wants to spend much time in a parking garage, they are often quiet during the day, so if you have to park in one of these spaces, consider going at a time when there are lots of cars. 

Unmonitored Inner-City Areas 

The stats don’t lie: inner-city suburbs have consistently higher crime rates than those on the fringes, and several studies have been done to work out why. The three most popular explanations are urbanization, population density, and youth, all of which are more prevalent in cities. In other words, areas with a high population and a high percentage of young people are far more likely to experience high rates of crime.  

Without proper protection in the form of a monitored security camera system, these environments are simply too easy for thieves to take advantage of. Fortunately, there are still plenty of places to park that fall outside of this criteria. 

Just as a car is a great source of freedom, it can also cause a great deal of stress, particularly if you’re not picky enough about the locations you choose to park in. Make smart choices now and you and your car will be able to enjoy a long, happy life together.

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