Van security tips and tricks to ward off thieves
If you rely on your van for work, it’s vital to keep it safe and secure but with one van broken into every 23 minutes, doing so can feel like an uphill battle. So, to help keep thieves at bay and protect the tools of your trade, here’s what you can do.
Lock your van
Needless to say, you should keep your van locked if you leave it unattended but it’s all too easy to forget if you’re in between deliveries or just paying for fuel.
However, thieves are often opportunistic and it only takes a few minutes while your back’s turned for tools or parcels to be stolen.
If you’re looking to improve your van security and upgrade or enhance the existing lock, consider:
- Slamlocks – these instantly lock doors as soon as they’re slammed shut making them ideal if you’re a busy courier. Slamlocks are high security van door locks which are typically integrated with your van’s own lock so should be fitted by a professional. Locks can be opened with either a physical or digital key.
- Van security deadlocks – this is a single bolt that keeps doors secured and is used in addition to the van’s existing lock – similar to a deadbolt in front doors. The drawback of a deadlock is that you’ll need to remember to lock the van in the first place.
- Catalytic converter locks – filters in catalytic converters contain precious metals like platinum which thieves target and then sell on. You can stop this from happening by fitting a special lock that covers the ‘cat’ completely. Locks often use aircraft grade materials so are very secure and difficult to damage.
A wide range of van security locks are available from stores. If possible, you should aim to fit one that is approved by research and safety group, Thatcham.
Thatcham devices are widely recognised as the benchmark in vehicle security, so fitting an approved lock is more likely to result in a discount on your insurance premium.
Van security alarms and immobilisers
Most modern vans will already come with an alarm and immobiliser but if it doesn’t, you can install one – again, you should aim to fit a Thatcham approved system if you’re hoping to lower your premium.
If you’re worried about expense, think about a physical immobiliser instead of an electronic one. Physical immobilisers include devices like steering wheel locks which can be just as effective as an electronic system as they act as a visual deterrent, stopping thieves in their tracks.
A variety of physical immobilisers are available online and from stores so it’s worth comparing prices and checking compatibility with your van.
GPS tracking and van security cameras (dashcam)
These might not prevent your van from being stolen but they can help recover it or capture thieves on camera.
GPS trackers are steadily coming down in price so they don’t have to cost a lot to install. You can also buy dashcams that are motion sensitive when your van is parked so they’ll pick up and record anyone trying to break in.
Keep tools out of sight
Ideally tools shouldn’t be left in your van overnight but sometimes, it’s just not practical move them. If that’s the case, think about fitting:
- Window grilles or black out film – both can help stop potential thieves from seeing what’s in the back of your van. Grilles have the added bonus of acting as a secondary layer that can also prevent too much glass from smashing into the van either in an accident or attempted theft.
- A van security box – you can also keep equipment out of sight with a strongbox secured to the van itself, just don’t forget to lock the box.
You can keep expensive ladders safe by locking them to roof racks. Ladder clamps range in price so there’ll be one to suit your budget.
It’s also worth comparing features like how easy the clamps are to remove. Some clamp systems are specially designed for taller vehicles to ensure you don’t struggle to access your ladder.
DIY van security ideas
Keeping your van and tools secure doesn’t have to cost a lot; some of the simplest and most cost-effective ideas can be carried out yourself:
- Van security stickers – stickers that show you don’t keep any tools in your van overnight are cheap and can be an effective way of putting off thieves.
- Mark your tools – marking your tools with a UV pen might seem old fashioned, but if the worst does happen and equipment is stolen, you stand a better chance of getting something back if it can be identified as yours. UV pens can be bought for under £10 but can be invaluable if it means being able to prove something belongs to you.
- Keep an inventory – keeping a list of what’s in your van is a good way to keep track of tools. It can also help you decide how much your tools should be covered for when it comes to your insurance.
Insurance that meets your needs
No matter how well you secure your van, theft can still happen which is why it’s crucial to have the right level of insurance for your van and tools.
When you choose a policy look for one that covers your tools while you’re out and about as well as your personal belongings. You also shouldn’t underestimate or overestimate the value of your tools, which is where an inventory can be particularly handy.
We work with some of the leading UK van insurers so you can be sure about getting the cover you need.
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