A phenomenon known as ‘garage grabbing’ among estate agents is leaving men mourning the loss of their last refuge a survey by Halfords has revealed.
Homeowners are increasingly using garages as store rooms or converting them into additional living space as a means of keeping properties tidy or improving their saleability – eroding the natural habitat of amateur mechanics and weekend tinkerers at an alarming rate.
An estimated 1 million households have had garages converted in the past three years and a further 350,000 are currently considering it, according to the research.
Of the 9.5 million UK homes that have garages, Halfords has found that just 28% (2.66 million) are actually used for their intended purpose, protecting and maintaining the family car.
Dave Poulter, Head of Trading at Halfords, said: “It’s a sad fact that less than a third of drivers are now able to store or work on their car in the garage - the vast majority of which (60%) have been commandeered for extra storage to accommodate household junk.
“With garage grabbing on the rise, so is the number of men lamenting their loss - with over two thirds (68%) telling us that they miss having a space that they can call their own where they can work on small projects.”
In response to this demand, Halfords is inviting customers to ‘Escape to your garage this Autumn’ and introducing a range of products and offers intended to help them rediscover and reconnect with their garages.
Half of the men surveyed said they would do more DIY if they had more space to work in and four in ten nostalgically remember tinkering at the workbench with their Dads or Granddads as children and yearn to do the same with their own youngsters.
While the majority of those questioned blame house builders for the general lack of storage space in modern homes, half admitted that they were to blame for the garage becoming a dumping ground and only one in six (17%) said that they clear it out more than once a year.
Dave Poulter added: “Losing the nation’s garages not only means that there is no-where in which to pass on practical skills and knowledge but also that, in households with more than one car, an increasing number of people have to park the car on the street - adding to congestion and leaving vehicles more susceptible to damage.
“We’re convinced that if only garages were kept more tidy and organised, people would be amazed at how much lost space they can reclaim.”
From shelving and wall storage to workshop tools and chests, to see what products Halfords has to help you reclaim your garage visit www.halfords.com.