Urgent warning issued to van drivers as tool theft soars

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New research carried out by experts at Quotezone.co.uk analysed 100,000 van insurance policies. The results showed that only 10 percent of vans in the UK are kept in a garage overnight. This, according to experts, is a cause for concern as tool theft soars. 

The experts are also stressing that additional safety features must be implemented to deter thieves and improve security. 

Thieves often target vans for expensive tools that are kept inside. Metropolitan Police data showed that there were some 13,677 cases of tool theft from vehicles reported between March 2021 and March 2022.  This, in turn, equates to 37 cases of theft per day.  

Greg Wilson, the founder and CEO of Quotezone.co.uk, said: “With tool thefts on the rise, you can never be too careful when it comes to securing your van and its contents especially when it has the potential to affect your livelihood.

“Even if your vehicle comes with basic security systems and factory-fitted immobilisers and alarms, they may not cut it as modern thieves have been known to evade them with key fob cloning and blocking.

“That’s why it’s important to take some precautionary steps to keep the thieves away, even simple things like not leaving valuables in plain sight or in the van overnight, parking in a well-lit location and not drawing attention to the fact there may be tools inside the vehicle with external branding and logos.

“Adding decals and signage to a van can increase your insurance premium for that very reason.

“To help prepare for the worst and make sure you can keep your business running in case of a theft, it’s important to double check that your tools are covered by your van insurance policy, they are not always included as standard.”

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Eight tips to improve van security:

Planned parking 

Experts are stressing that it’s important for van drivers to plan where they park overnight. If van owners do not have access to a garage they could park close to a wall making the opening of the doors impossible. Parking in a busy and well-lit area that has CCTV coverage is also a good option. 

Investing in a high-quality alarm

A whopping 84 percent of van drivers rely only on the manufacturer-installed alarm and immobiliser. They stress that adding extra protection could be beneficial as thieves are often able to bypass standard security features. 

Using a GPS tracking device

The research found that only one percent of analysed drivers used a GPS tracker. The experts are encouraging drivers to buy one as it will make it easier to get the van back in case it’s stolen. 

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Using physical theft-prevention devices 

Some of these may include locks for steering wheels, gear sticks and pedals. Experts are stressing that not only are those measures affordable but they are also effective in deterring thieves. 

Upgrading the locks 

Standard factory-fitted locks may be easily picked by thieves. Upgrading locks on vans by opting for deadlocks could double the security as they are very difficult to crack. Another option could be slam locks that lock the door as soon as drivers shut them. 

Using a lockable toolbox or vault 

Investing in a lockable toolbox or a vault will offer drivers a secure storage option. It could also deter thieves from attempting to unlock them or at least delay them. 

Removing valuables 

The experts advise that the best anti-tool theft prevention is to remove them from vans in the first place. While it may be a chore, thieves cannot steal them if they are not there. Another good habit would be marking the tools, as well as keeping an itemised list and receipts. This will help with the claims process in case the tools are stolen. 

Making sure insurance covers the contents

While insurance will not help in preventing tool theft, it could provide a sense of security and will hopefully allow van owners to keep running their businesses following a theft. 

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