Garages & Secure Parking (rented or home)

TL;DR;

  • Any advice for renting a garage somewhere within 1.5 hours of London for cheaper (I mean affordable) insurance, yet still maintaining quick-ish access to your bike?
  • If you have a house with a garage that you keep your bike in:
    • how does life look for you?
    • can you commute to central comfortably?
    • is your insurance affordable?
    • how far out of London do you live?

Context

Bought my first bike last year

I got my first bike last year, a 2018 Yamaha MT-07. I keep it at my parents in Wiltshire in order to afford the insurance and since I can’t ride it every weekend nor do I need to commute on it since I can walk to work in less than 30 mins.

I keep my bike in Wiltshire

It takes me 2.5 hours to get to my parents and I need a lift from the train station to their house. My long term plan was to get a garage that I could get to from my flat in Elephant & Castle in less than 1.5 hours. Or just bring my bike closer to my flat in London as my insurance drops due to no claims etc, age etc.

First year of insurance was ~£700, this year is going to be about ~£350.

I want to store my bike closer to me in Central London (home/work)

I’ve also been considering buying a house lately, and part of my plan is to get one with a garage to keep my bike(s) in. However, insurance still seems to be crazy in London. So I either have to look at a house in an area further out of London or get a house but have a garage somewhere that’s better for insurance.

Looking at garage rental options

I’ve been looking on lockupgarages.co.uk this morning, seems like some good options there. I quoted insurance for one a bit north of Croydon and my insurance went up from £700 a year to £900, which I can manage.

Any other ideas for where to look?

I wonder about security and power. I keep my bike plugged in to a battery maintainer because my schedule can be unpredictable and the biketrac/security on my drains the battery quite quickly. So I’d want a garage that has power supply and great security. Would be awesome if I could get a 4G wi-fi router to install some internet enabled security gear inside. Thoughts?

Future bike dreams £££

Right now my MT-07 is worth something like £4800 or so. But I want to spend a lot more on my next bike. My MT-07 has been a great test run, I definitely love bikes now. So I want to invest more, perhaps something like S1000RR, or a Street Triple, or something higher bracket like that.

This of course will make the insurance go up, and maybe crush the idea of renting a garage or buying a house.+ garage closer to Central London where I work and currently live.

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@Jay I know you might be considering a 2 bike approach like I am. One for touring, one for sportier fun.

What’s your setup for storage and security close to home?

Whilst I don’t think it’s wise to discuss specifics on how we store our bikes on a public website, I will say that insuring a bike in Central London has always been incredibly trying and expensive for me. There’s always someone trying to steal your bike and claiming on insurance is a horrible experience.

I think a house is more important than a bike so I would order by thoughts around that. You will always get more for your money property wise outside of London. We moved to the suburbs a few years ago and after 35 odd years living in all four corners of Central London and the suburbs and it’s clear it was the best thing we ever did.

The commute on the mainline train to central London is perfectly fine and life is just plain better, especially as a biker. The roads are less jammed, there’s less people trying to steal your stuff, you can walk from the house to the bike and tinker with it, clean it, all out of view and insurance is much cheaper. Oh and of course you’ve got direct access to some great riding locations outside of London.

If I was you and if you’re happy with your bike I would bring it into London, rent a lock up local to you, enjoy the bike in town and get that house a bit further out from Elephant and Castle as soon as possible. Your insurance will be cheaper and then when you are settled you can spend more on a bigger bike and make the most of it, i.e rideouts to great locations/tracks. I personally wouldn’t own an expensive bike in central London again, honestly, the amount of bother I had with them was ridiculous.

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Great point on the discussing bike storage on public websites. +1.

This is awesome advice, really resonates with me. Thanks!

Would you believe me if I told you for the price of your elpehant and castle flat you could buy a very nice house outside the m25 and still get to work on the bike within 45 minutes?

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giphy-5

I live in St Albans, I can commute to Wembley by car or bike in about 30min outside of rush hour, about a hour in it. Or a train into central London in similar time.

We’re renting, and its a bit steep at £1350 a month, but we have a bungalow with 2 bedrooms, 2 gardens, a driveway and garage in a nice area, same money would get us a 1 bed flat in London.

Quality of life goes up a lot when you move outside the M25 as well.

Another storage option is Car Vault, the Bike Shed has a deal with them if you’re a member.
It’s not as convenient as you’re own garage as it’s not open 24/7 but it’s a central location.

A couple of members here are using them.

I’ve heard some people keep their out of London address for the insurance…

@Boris My friends were discussing buying houses St Albans, will take a look! Thanks!

I live with my best friend, his girlfriend and my girlfriend in a 2 bed right next to Elephant & Castle station. Costs ~£2300 a month between the four of us. So like you say, it’s roughly the same as you pay. But as you’ve mentioned, the positive trade-offs you get sounds great.

@me_groovy yeh I think I’m gradually growing that way… do you commute in to Central? What’s it like?

@nivag looked in to a similar one as this but I don’t love the time constraints around access to the bike :confused:.

Here’s the other one: horsepowerstorage.co.uk.

I have 3 rooms for rent in a house in Chatham if that suits :slight_smile:

Thanks :smile:

Bit too much of a trek from Central for me right now, plus if I go outside the M25 it will probably be to buy.

Maybe if I got a place without a garage I would consider buying a big bike storage box like this?

If you want your neighbours to post shit through your letter box go for it! Just buy a house with a garage. But actually what you’ll find is if you ride it everyday getting it in and out the garage is a ball ache that’s not worth bothering with, usually would entail moving a car or two out the way first. Try and park it out of visible site from the road, have a ground anchor and chain on it, maybe an alarmed lock, and cctv cameras. Unless you buy something ostenatiously expensive or live in a high crime area you’ll be fine. If you got an S1000RR chances are you’d end up wanting something else to commute on as you’ll either think it’s too nice to ram the miles on, or too nice to filter through traffic and park in london.

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do these actually make any difference to insurance?

I wondered the same when googling for them. I wondered what qualifies as a “garage” or “secure location” with the insurer… maybe as a “secured off road storage” would work? Maybe some sites that sell them state whether they can go towards insurance or not :man_shrugging:.

Even if it didn’t, I wonder if an easy access one would still be nice to have for peace of mind, especially when being abroad for some time. But I’m taking @slow-ride’s advice in mind with usage of something like this if you use your bike on a daily basis.

When I was looking at insurance and they asked me about garage a few specified ‘brick’

I doubt insurers options would allow for such variability to add something like secure storage. You are more likely to have to default to lesser secure option than garage. In most cases that will be secure car park

I think you’re probably right. Maybe my memory is failing me, but I recall “secured car park” being an option, and maybe it could be included as that? But tbh feels like a bit of a stretch and should your bike be stollen the insurer would wiggle out of the claim.

Most insurance companies won’t consider anything other than a brick built garage. You’ll need to contact them directly to explain a secured garage type setup.

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Plus garages normally need to be private, i.e. exclusively for you. Shared lockable pens/garages aren’t normally covered. Excludes a lot of people in density housing.

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