ACCORDING to statistics, each year 47,000 commercial vehicles are stolen in the UK, costing owners and insurers a total of around £152 million.
Your van and the tools inside, are key to you being able to do your jobs and any downtime spent off the road, plus the potential replacement cost of your van and tools could hit you or your business’ productivity hard.
So how can you make sure your van doesn’t become one of the 185,000 vehicle statistics? We’ve asked the experts and have come up with five key things to help keep your vans and its contents safe from thieves.
Is it correctly locked?
Is your van correctly locked? It might sound obvious, but it really is worth checking twice when leaving your vehicle. In fact, it could be the difference between receiving an insurance pay out – or not – should your van be stolen.
It is also worth breaking bad habits like leaving your van visibly open and unattended whilst unloading, or similarly leaving your vehicle running while you make a quick delivery, or leaving the keys in at a petrol station.
Do the double?
Many modern vans are fitted with a double lock or deadlocking system. If you’ve got such a feature on your van, make sure it’s activated as this will prevent thieves breaking in through a window and opening the door from the inside.
It is also worth looking at using a secure van toolbox to keep your tools safe. This is because, if a thief does manage to bypass your double locks, they’ll also need to break into the secure box to get your tools – which will take some time…
Add more locks
High or low crime area? Parked on your drive or on the road? Wherever your van lives overnight, we think it’s always worth looking at the quality of your locks – or fitting more.
These extra locks which work as soon as the door is shut and work on top of the standard locking systems, can easily enhance many locks that can be overcome by tools like a screwdriver.
Another thing to consider when talking about locks, is many of them are connected by an internal release wire that controls all of the locks – so in theory if one of the doors is opened – they are all open. To solve this, there are many guards and protectors available to reinforce the standard locks and keep your van and its contents safe..
Don’t leave expensive items in your van!
Some insurance companies have limits on the maximum amount they will pay out per tool if you’re unlucky enough to have them stolen. With that in mind, if you’ve got any particularly expensive tools in your van, it’s always worth taking them with you when you lock it and leave it. The same is true for items such as sat-navs in the cabin. Basically leave nothing on show that might tempt thieves!
Any extra measures?
Is there any other security measure that could help your van’s security? Well, should your van be stolen, there is more chance of it being recovered quickly, if it has been fitted with a GPS tracker. Plus, if you’re looking at new vans, it’s worth discussing to see if there’s a telematics option to further protect your investment.
We also think that it’s worth putting some contingency in place with your vehicle provider to make sure that if the worst happens, your business will carry on as usual. Are they able to supply an immediate replacement?
Even if you follow these rules, there’s still no guarantee that your van will be safe, but at least you will be better prepared.