UK tradespeople reported a staggering £3.5 billion worth of stolen equipment last year.
According to research by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, tool theft has increased by 33% since 2020, with a third (36%) of van drivers falling victim in the last year.
The average value of tools stolen per van last year stands at just over £2,000.
The study also revealed that almost half (48%) of van drivers confess to keeping more than £2,150 worth of tools in their vans overnight.
From a financial perspective, van owners who are on the receiving end of tool theft are at risk of an increase in future insurance premiums.
With theft on the rise, there has never been a more pressing time for van drivers to ensure that their vehicles are protected.
Here are Volkswagen Financial Services’ top tips on the best ways van drivers can protect their vehicles:
- Be a conscious parker – When possible, ensure that the van is parked in a well-lit place which is visible to passers-by, not in areas which are secluded and dark
- Stay alert, be aware – Check your surroundings before offloading your tools – savvy thieves can spot a high value tool and are willing to take risks to steal them
- Track your vehicle – Consider fitting your van, or tools, with a tracking device so that you can see where they are at all times
- “No tools on board” – The best way to prevent your tools from being stolen is to not leave them in the van, especially overnight. If you remove your vehicles from your van, then consider affixing a sign to the van saying ‘no tools left in vehicle overnight’
- Take note – If you do need to leave any tools in your vehicles, then ensure that they are security marked (noting the serial numbers of all tools is also advised). If your tools are tagged, then put a sticker on them to advertise this fact
- Taking extra precautionary measures – Sometimes tools have to be left in a vehicle, in a vulnerable location. If this is the case, then consider fitting additional safety locks to the rear and side door, or install lockable racking and safe boxes, making it harder for thieves to break in
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles understands the importance of incorporating theft prevention technology into its vehicles, to protect van owners.
For instance, the all-electric ID. Buzz Cargo is fitted with an anti-theft alarm system, interior monitoring in the cab, back-up horn and towing protection as standard. When activated, the anti-theft alarm system sounds the horn and activates the hazard lights, ensuring that bypassers are aware there has been an unwelcome intrusion.