RELY on your van for business? it’s vital you not only keep it running well, but keep it secure as well.
Vans can be a target for opportunistic thieves, especially if they think there’s something valuable inside such as expensive tools and equipment.
Having your van broken into is stressful and can prevent you from carrying on business as usual. It’s a real problem faced by self-employed builders, plumbers and other tradespeople. When a van – and the tools it transports – are your livelihood, having them stolen is a huge headache.
Tool theft costs tradespeople £100m (£94,521,600). Tools that workers rely on to get the job done, so it’s not surprising theft forces people to miss work and potentially lose out on money coming in.
According to a new Trademan’s Guide to Keeping Your Van Secure from Hendy Car and Van Store:
- 71% of workers admitted they felt stress and/or anxiety after being stolen from
- 50% of tradespeople couldn’t work the next day, with some workers having to take two weeks off
- Being unable to work costs 50% of tradespeople at least £500
There’s also the effects on existing customers, and potential reputational damage. It’s a lot for tradespeople to worry about and can quickly have an impact on wellbeing.
According to Hendy’s guide, the average tool theft claim is £1,692 and 50% of people asked had even been stolen from more than once. Even more (70%) knew someone who had tools taken from their van.
Keeping your van secure
Many thefts are typical smash-and-grab style but as vans use more sophisticated technology, criminals have modernised their methods.
For example, the radio signal from your keys to the locks on your van can be intercepted and replicated. Criminals can then unlock the vehicle easily using a scanner.
The Guide advises parking securely to deter criminals and to remove tools and equipment.
You can mark your van and all the tools with paint, permanent markers or ultraviolet pens to make sure you’re the recognisable owner if they’re found. Similarly, take photos and keep a note of any serial numbers to prove ownership.
Van signs can indicate to criminals what types of tools they could find inside. But large displays, including your contact details, can be deterring for criminals who don’t want to pay for a re-spray. It’s up to you.
Something as simple as additional lighting can be enough to deter criminals. They’ll know the risks of being visible to other people who might alert the police.