Almost half of 2020 vehicle thefts were from unlocked vehicles
Security has always been – and will probably always remain – a huge issue for van owners and fleet operators. As commercial vehicles, vans are frequently targeted by thieves because of their potential to hold valuable tools and equipment. Sometimes thieves aren’t out to steal the contents of a van, but rather the vehicle itself, especially if it’s one of the new or high-tech models you’ll find when looking for the best van deals.
Now thankfully, there are lots of things that drivers and fleet operators can do to discourage these sorts of thefts. However, all of them count for nothing if the van itself is simply left unlocked – which apparently happens more often than you’d think.
How often do you leave your van unlocked?
This is a particularly unsettling statistic from last year, and from the Office of National Statistics, no less – almost half of thefts (47%) from vehicles in England and Wales last year suggest that the vehicles had been left unlocked.
This is backed up by data from UK insurer Aviva, which found that almost a quarter of drivers (23%) don’t always lock their vehicles, and in 14% of car thefts, the stolen vehicle itself had been left unlocked. After unlocked doors, the next most common methods of entry included broken windows (19%) and simply forcing the doors (13%).
While this data encompassed both private car owners and commercial van drivers, a study by Logistics UK demonstrated why it’s a particular concern for commercial vehicle owners – more than a third of their respondents had a van stolen within the last 12 months. The recent dark winter months are an especially risky time, as around 80% of vehicle-related thefts in England and Wales happen under the cover of darkness.
Our top security tips for your light commercial vehicles
So, you’re probably asking, how can you protect your van? Well, we’ve actually published a post on this topic before, and amongst our suggestions are to invest in products like steering locks. However, another finding from Aviva is that apparently even when drivers own items that could protect their vehicles, they still don’t use them. That includes steering locks, parking posts, and even dedicated spaces like garages. With that in mind, we suppose our first top tip would be – make sure you actually use all the available measures at your disposal!
Here are a few useful further tips:
- Always make sure that you lock up your van – no matter where you are, and no matter how soon you’re going to be back. In summer, it’s worth taking an extra few seconds to ensure that you close the windows and sun roof, which are both common points of access.
- Keep your keys and vehicle fobs out of sight, especially from doors and windows. It’s best to keep them in a safe place like a dedicated box or tin. In fact, a tin is a particularly good choice because it can act as a makeshift Faraday cage, preventing thieves from trying any high-tech trickery such as bouncing the signal from your fob to open your car.
- Don’t leave tools in your van overnight. It’s a good idea to invest in a sticker or notice to warn passers-by of that fact, as some thieves have been known to break in just to try their luck. If you do have to store any of your equipment in the van, make sure it’s well out of sight.
- We covered a few additional good purchases in another previous post, but just to recap some of them – a decent steering lock and tracking system are always good bets. And of course, always park in a well-lit area or dedicated parking spot wherever you can. If someone is set on taking a peek inside your van, they’re not going to want to be lit up like a Christmas tree.
When it comes right down to it, lots of security hinges on developing good habits when it comes to your van, and ensuring that they’re effectively ingrained within your staff, too. Lots of newer vans can also make that easier with a range of handy in-built security features – including on vans we supply right here at Van Discount. We save our buyers an average of 40% of the recommended retail price of their new van, a saving that often equates to thousands of pounds.
We’re the UK’s home of cheap van deals on a range of makes and models from globally renowned manufacturers, including new Ford vans, Vauxhall vans and Fiat vans. Why not take a look around our site, or give us a call on 01282 872 530, and see what we can do for you?