If you rely on a van for your business chances are the equipment or goods in your van are of great importance to you too. Vans are not cheap, and if they’re being used to transport goods or store trade equipment, you definitely won’t want to be a victim of theft.
Van theft is on the up. Recent research carried out by Ironmongery Direct found that 23% of surveyed tradespeople had experienced a vehicle break-in within the last 5 years. West Yorkshire and the West Midlands were found to be the worst affected areas where just under 3,000 break-ins and thefts were reported. Quite surprisingly, London was the area with the least break-ins and van thefts where only 2 incidents occurred.
Fortunately, there are now van security devices available that may be able to help protect your van and the goods you keep inside it…
- Door Lock
Standard van locks can be easily broken and a door lock is the best way to prevent thieves from getting into your van and many won’t even attempt to break in once they’ve realised there is a door lock in place. A popular choice of door lock is the Stoplock which is usually fitted to the rear doors of the vehicle and makes it harder for thieves to pry the doors open with a bar as the device links the two doors together. The device can also be used on sliding doors. It is particularly useful for vans that already have a weak lock mechanism and acts as an additional security measure for the van.
The Stoplock is simple to operate for the vehicle owners and can be unlocked with a key. However, fitting the device requires the door skin to be drilled and a professional may be needed depending on the owners’ confidence.
How much is it? Prices start from £25 + fitting*
Where can I get one? Stoplocks are available with a number of retailers online including Amazon.
- Steering Wheel Lock
An old device but still effective all these years later, the traditional steering wheel lock is the most effective way to prevent criminals from driving away in your vehicle. Recommended by the police and top security experts, the steering wheel lock is one of the most popular security devices for cars and vans and could even reduce your insurance.
The locks come in various sizes for different steering wheels and we recommend choosing a brand that comes with a cover to protect the wheel and a bag for when the lock is not in use. The Disklok steering wheel lock is a popular favourite that comes with a bag and cover.
How much is it? Prices start from £99.00*
Where can I get one? The Disklok is available from a number of online retailers including Amazon.
- Location Tracker
If your van is stolen, you’re likely to be out of work and out of pocket as many vans are never recovered. Fortunately, a tracking system can help to locate the vehicle, send details to the police and catch the offenders.
The police use in-car equipment to track the vehicle in real time meaning there is a high chance they will recover the vehicle for you as well as arrest the thieves.
How much is it? Prices start from around £200 depending on the brand, with annual subscriptions of around £100*
Where can I get one? Tracker.co.uk
- Dash Camera
The main purpose of a dash camera is to record road traffic accidents and provide insurers with evidence of who is at fault. However, dash cameras are also great for catching criminals in the act, but can also attract criminals if they are in obvious sight.
It’s a good idea to keep your dash camera out of sight when you’re not driving to avoid a break in. Many dash cameras have a parking mode with a motion sensor that detects any nearby moving objects and criminals. Even though the dash camera might not prevent a thief, it could at least help with identifying them.
We recommend Nextbase as they make good quality cameras that record clear footage.
How much is it? Prices start from £149.99 for a commercial camera*
Where can I get one? Nextbase.co.uk
- Ladder clamp
If you’re a tradesperson, you’ll most likely need to carry a ladder on the roof of your van. Given that ladders are externally attached and not carried within the vehicle makes them easy for criminals to steal.
But this doesn’t have to be the case anymore thanks to a new ladder clamping device. The Rhino Safe Clamp keeps roof-mounted ladders safe and secure and the ladder can only be removed with the owners key.
Pairing the Safe Clamp with Rhino’s ladder racking system makes it even easier to remove the ladder from even high-roofed vans.
How much is it? Usually around £70 but currently on sale for £40.50*
Where can I get one? – RhinoRoofRacks.com
- Van Storage System
Whilst it’s safer to remove your equipment from the van at the end of the working day and store it safely at home or at work, this option is not always suitable for everyone.
Storing your tools and equipment inside a secure unit within the van could be the solution. Van Vault products are secure chests and drawers for vans so that tools can be locked away and not just placed in the back of the van.
How much is it? Prices start from around £120*
Where can I get one? VanVault.co.uk
- Catalytic Converter Lock
In recent years, there has been an increase in catalytic converter thefts as criminals cash in by selling them for scrap. This is due to valuable precious metals such as platinum and palladium that are present in the emissions control system. Fortunately, a new device has been created to prevent the theft of catalytic converters. The device is a clamp which covers the catalytic converter completely and is attached to the chassis of the vehicle with aircraft-grade steel cabling making it particularly tricky for quick and easy removal.
How much is it? From £150*
Where can I get one? CatClamp.com
- Window security film
Having anything of value on display in your vehicle is like an open invitation to thieves. They could simply be walking past without intending to steal anything, but then catch a glimpse of something valuable in the van and break in without any hesitation.
A security film on the windows could prevent this from happening by deflecting attacks completely or encasing splintered objects such as glass or wood between the two film layers. Some thieves still may be able to enter the vehicle, but it will require a lot more effort and time that many will give up and disappear in risk of being caught. Adding a security film will also prevent any glass from flying into the cabin and causing further internal damage.
How much is it? Price varies depending on size, make and model*
Where can I get one? As this device needs to be fitted by an expert, it’s best to search for a local provider.
Whilst taking these precautionary security measures is a good idea, they aren’t always 100% guaranteed to keep your vehicle safe. In some cases, criminals will out-smart the devices and manage to break in and steal the equipment in or on the van or the van itself.
That’s where insurance comes in. Having the right van insurance is crucial if you use your van for business. Should a break in occur, van insurance is designed to cover the cost of the goods and tools that were in the vehicle and pay to repair damage caused to the vehicle. Should your van get stolen, van insurance cover can help you get a replacement van so you can continue carrying out jobs.
Without van insurance, the owner is responsible for covering any costs associated with damage to the vehicle, replacing the vehicle, damage to the goods inside the vehicle and repairing or replacing any tools or equipment stolen – all of which can be very expensive.
If your van is targeted, having the right insurance policy in place will give you peace of mind that everything will be taken care of, without it burning a hole in your pocket and affecting your business.
Have you got the right van insurance for your business? Check out our policies here.
*There may be other security devices by other brands and manufacturers other than the ones we have mentioned in this article. Prices featured are estimates and can vary based on the supplier and date of purchase.