According to Tracker, the Ford Transit was the UK’s most stolen and recovered van in 2018, followed closely by the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. With news of a 55% increase in claims costs for the theft of tools from vans in the past year, tradespeople are not just at risk of losing their vehicle, but their livelihood too. Tracker, which works in partnership with UK police forces, is urging tradespeople to protect their van and its contents from theft.
“Over half a million pounds worth of vans were stolen and recovered by Tracker last year,” explains Clive Wain, Head of Police Liaison at Tracker. “But that’s just one side of the story; with the average tool theft costing victims over £3000 together in lost earnings and tool replacement – not to mention the loss of reputation when you can’t turn up for a job, it’s not surprising tradespeople are feeling increasingly victimised by organised van thieves.”
With the increase in thefts of vans, 89% of which were keyless, showing no signs of abating, insurers are also feeling the pinch in rising claims. There is greater onus on van owners to demonstrate they are doing their utmost to protect their van and its contents from theft. That’s why Tracker is offering pointers to tradespeople on what to do to protect their van and its contents:
7 practical tips for protecting your van
- Lock and key: use additional deadlocks and steel-clad locks, as standard locks are easy for thieves to pick. Slam locks ensure a door locks every time it’s closed – ideal for quick stops.
- If your van has keyless entry buy a faraday bag that blocks electronic key fob signals from being compromised – use it on site and at home.
- Reinforce doors: Stop thieves prising open sliding doors by adding an extra lock at the top or reinforcing the top of the doors.
- Park with any sliding or rear doors by a wall to make access slower and harder and in a well-lit area to try and avoid ‘peal and steal’ – where thieves cut open the side of the van before ransacking it.
- Alarms: add extra alarms to vans and use immobilisers to stop thieves, even if they do manage to break in.
- Store tools securely: make sure tools are removed from vans overnight and lock them in a secure storage box in a garage or building.
- Track it: Install a tracking device to help police recover a stolen van and close the net on thieves.
Clive Wain concludes: “As van thefts increase, owners need to up their game in securing their property from theft or help ensure recovery if a van is stolen. If they don’t keep informed of the latest ways of protecting their van, they may find themselves facing an uphill battle if their insurer feels they haven’t taken enough security precautions.
“It’s tempting to rely on the security technology that comes as standard with your van, but ultimately, taking a few extra safeguards is not just protecting your van, but taking care of your business’ bottom line too. Of course, while a tracking device cannot guarantee your vehicle is safe from theft, it can be incredibly efficient in helping retrieve not just the van, but the tools needed by tradespeople for their very livelihood.”