Theft from vans can be a very expensive problem for British tradesman and women but now a team of motoring experts from LeaseVan have issued five top tips to improve van security.
The team have compiled a short, concise list of some of the easiest and most affordable ways van owners can improve their vehicles’ security and deter pesky thieves.
From removing all valuables at the end of each day to parking in busy, well-lit areas, making some small changes to routine can help van drivers reduce the chance of being broken into and having precious belongings damaged or stolen.
Tim Alcock from LeaseVan.co.uk: “Anyone who has suffered a break-in or has had valuables stolen will know how devastating it can be – it’s even worse if the perpetrator causes great damage to your vehicle in the process.
“You might think that your van’s factory fitted immobiliser and alarm system is enough, but criminals are savvier than ever and some could easily manage to find a way around these basic security systems.
“As the saying goes, you can never be too careful, so we’re trying to advocate prevention over everything else.
“Investing in a high-quality, heavy-duty steering wheel lock and applying plastic window tints are just some of the straightforward things everyone can be doing to prevent their vehicles or belongings from being taken.
“Similarly, upping your security technology and simply prioritising security when choosing a new van will help make sure you’re reducing the chances of theft and break-in as much as possible.”
Prioritise security when choosing a new van
When you’re looking for a new van for your business, it can be easy to be dazzled by the glossy brochures and fancy, modern options but don’t let security slip down your priority list along the way. Even the basic configuration of your van can impact its security. Glazed rear doors, for example, are great for visibility but they can be a security risk as they let everybody know what’s in your vehicle and they can be more easily broken. Most modern vans offer a good range of security features, but if you need to add extras, consider specifying an alarm, immobiliser and deadlocks for all the doors.
Don’t leave valuables inside your van
Seems obvious, but the best way of preventing valuables from being nicked from your van is to make sure you’re not leaving them there to begin with. If it’s possible to take all your tools out of the van when leaving it, then do so. If not, then at least take the mostly costly and valuable items with you.
Take your parking location into consideration
Parking in a busy, well-lit area is the best option, and areas covered by CCTV are even better. If you park your van at home or work, you can improve security by adding motion-detecting security lights, lockable gates or even rising bollards to your property.
Use simple and affordable security upgrades
Turning your van into Fort Knox doesn’t have to cost the earth – there are plenty of simple and affordable measures you can take to help boost your van’s security. Heavy-duty steering wheel locks, handbrake locks, lockable fuel filler caps and locking wheel nuts are all relatively cheap and easy ways to deter opportunistic thieves, or you can even go so far as applying plastic window tints to keep smashed windows in place. Lockable toolboxes for valuable equipment and upgraded deadlocks or slam locks for doors are some more of the physical add-ons for commercial vehicles that can be adapted to suit different needs.
Invest in the latest security technology
The majority of new vehicles will come fitted with an alarm and immobiliser as standard, but there’s always the option of upgrading to a more advanced electronic alarm system or even a vehicle tracking device. Electronic GPS trackers can vastly improve the chances of recovering your van if it is stolen, and the most advanced systems can alert the police about stolen vehicles too. Otherwise, think about installing a CCTV system to monitor the area or areas your van is mostly parked. The latest cameras can even be connected to your local wi-fi network to stream images directly to your smartphone or computer. They can also be set to activate when they detect movement!