Cars nowadays are a lot more solidly built than they used to be, and as a result, fewer and fewer people actually keep theirs in a garage.
Two years ago, research by Sainsbury's Car Insurance revealed that fewer than a quarter of garages actually house a car, with more than half of car owners parking on the drive and a quarter on the road.
See also: Should you move or improve?
Meanwhile, space is at a premium in almost every home.
It's no surprise, then, that more and more people are converting their garage into a more useful space - and some are really going to town. We look at seven houses with imaginative garage conversions.
Gym and games room
The double-height garage of this four-bedroom house in Grimsby now boasts a gym with rubber flooring and mirrored walls on the ground floor with a games room under the eaves, complete with bar. Built three years ago, the house boasts solid wood floors and oak doors, and is finished to a high standard throughout. Outside is an ultra-modern garden with water feature and a fireplace. It costs £350,000
through Purple Bricks.
This garage conversion makes a particularly stylish home office, with plenty of room for several people to work. In Bradford, the four-bedroom detached house is near the station in the smart location of Apperley Bridge. It has three reception rooms and the unusual luxury of a shelved shoe room; there's a pretty walled garden at the back. It costs £435,000 from agent Purple Bricks.
The garage of this four-bedroom detached house in Portavogie, County Down, has been prettily kitted out as a beauty salon, complete with sink, spotlights and its own entrance. The house itself is attractively decorated - "One of the nicest homes that I have been in recently," says the agent. The characterful downstairs loo with 'library' wallpaper is particularly appealing.
The garage of this modern home in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire has been converted into an annexe, and if anything it's lighter and brighter than the main house. With a bed-sitting room, a kitchenette and a bathroom, it commects to the house through the utility room. The original house has a large, light kitchen/diner and four bedrooms. It's up for sale for £595,000 through agents Hamptons International.
There's plenty of room for the family to sit back and relax in the cinema room of this large modern home in Chatham, Kent. Converted from a double garage, it boasts an Epson 1080 HD projector, amplifier, Dolby surround sound and thx speakers integrated into the wall. As for the rest of the house, there are five bedrooms and three reception rooms, as well as a large and luxurious kitchen. Agents Purple Bricks are looking for offers over £750,000.
The original garage space of this house in South Ockendon, Essex, has been converted by the current owner into an art studio. There's plenty of light, thanks to bifold doors and a skylight, and it's also been fitted out with daylight lighting. The house itself has three bedrooms and two receptions, and there's a pretty garden to provide inspiration. It costs £475,000 from M&P Estates.
The original beam of the garage in this four-bedrooom house in Chesterfield has been cleverly used to hang a swing. And this is a great house generally for kids, with a good-sized garden with a bark-chipping area for play. There's a family room as well as a living room, and the main bathroom has a jacuzzi bath. The house costs £340,000 through agents Hunters.