Pushchair thefts have risen by almost 50% in the past year, prompting the rise of a buggy black market worth around £60 million, according to new figures.
Thieves are increasingly targeting top-of-the-range pushchairs and travel systems – which can be worth several hundred pounds – and selling them on online auction sites to mums and dads looking for second-hand models at lower prices, according to the findings.
Pushchair black market
The study from Halifax even cites specific pushchair models popular with thieves: the Bugaboo Bee Plus, Silver Cross 3D, Quinny Zapp as well as the Maclaren Techno XT pushchair.
A pushchair is most likely to be stolen from inside your property, followed by just outside your home. When you’re out and about, car parks, cafes and restaurants were highlighted as theft hotspots.
Is your pushchair covered?
It’s advisable to check the smallprint of your home contents insurance, to see if you’d be covered in the event of your pushchair being stolen. We asked Which? Money deputy editor Nick Cheek for some words of advice:
‘If your pushchair is stolen from inside your property or just outside – from a garage, for example – a decent home contents policy should cover the cost of a replacement model, but it’s wise to check the smallprint and in particular the excess you’d have to pay if you were to make a claim. If you have personal possessions cover attached to your policy, you’ll usually be covered for thefts that occur while you’re away from home.
‘In any case, it’s worth speaking to your insurers when you have a baby, particularly if you’ve shelled out for a top-of-the-range pushchair, cot or car seat. All those new baby product purchases you make can really add up, so it’s important to ensure they’re covered.’
Protect your pushchair
Here are a few ways you can minimise the risk of your pushchair being stolen.
- Keep your pushchair out of sight at home – particularly away from windows, porches or driveways.
- Secure your pushchair when storing it at home – in a locked garage, shed or cupboard, for example.
- Don’t leave your pushchair unattended while you’re out.
- Consider investing in a pushchair lock – or a bike lock will do the job just as well.