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Story: COLIN DAWSON

Transit is top of the pops for van thieves
Ford Transit: Britain's favourite van is No1 choice for thieves, too

Ford Transit drivers are more likely to have their van stolen than owners of any other make, according to new information from vehicle data company HPI. The company’s latest league table of most commonly stolen LCVs shows the Transit remains top of the shopping list for thieves.

This is less surprising than it might first appear since the Transit is far and away the biggest seller in the LCV market, enjoying a 27% share in 2011. The Mercedes Sprinter is number two in the table, with the Mitsubishi L200 pick-up at number three.

Sole traders and SMEs take a risk when buying used vans. Stolen, clocked, cloned, written-off or still on finance are some of the many pitfalls that could catch out unsuspecting van buyers, HPI warns.

“It’s not just van owners that need to be concerned about which LCVs are most commonly stolen,” HPI managing director Daniel Burgess told Business Vans. “Used van buyers also need to consider the risks. Thieves will be looking to sell vans on to innocent buyers, so the general public and van dealers must be on their guard.

“Dealers who unwittingly buy a stolen van not only face losing the van and the money they paid for it, should it be returned to the legal owner, but put their reputation on the line should they innocently sell on that van to a customer who then faces financial loss,” he said.

As many as one in 17 vans are likely to have been involved in an accident and written off by an insurance company. Some insurance write-offs can be repaired legitimately by professionals and returned to the road, but many are damaged so badly they should only be scrapped. But it’s not uncommon for unscrupulous traders who are looking to make a quick profit to disguise an unsafe van so that they can put it back on the road, then sell it on to an unsuspecting buyer.

“It’s essential that used business van buyers are aware of the risks and don’t get taken in by criminals and dishonest sellers,” said Daniel Burgess. “The HPI Check will tell a dealer whether their potential purchase has been stolen, written-off, had a plate change, might be clocked or is on outstanding finance, offering valuable peace of mind for them and their customers.”

The Van Thieves’ Top Five Targets

Ford Ford Transit 25%
Mercedes Sprinter 21%
Mitsubishi Mitsubishi L200 13%
Nissan Nissan Primastar 4%
Peugeot Peugeot Expert 4%

Keep up to date with developments in our business van news section.

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