The three points to consider when thinking about protecting your van are deterrence, protection and recovery.
This means reducing your likelihood of becoming a victim in the first place and involves methods to make your van less appealing to potential thieves.
Locks – when leaving your van, always make sure that doors and windows are locked, even if you’re only going to be a couple of minutes. Never leave keys in the ignition. These might all sound obvious, but it’s amazing how many fast and opportunistic thefts take place when a vehicle is left only momentarily.
Valuables and tools – If you can, don’t leave any equipment inside your van. Valuables such as laptops, phones, satnavs, wallets and keys should always be removed and never left visible inside the cab, especially if leaving the van parked up overnight.
Location – Try to park in well-lit, well-used places as these are less appealing for thieves. Leaving your van in a dimly lit alleyway for example is an open invitation to thievesto target your property.
Don’t overlook smaller measures that can increase your van’s security, like locking wheel nuts, a locking fuel cap and visible steering lock.
If deterrence doesn’t work, the next step is to focus on protection.
Alarms –Most new vehicles come with alarms already fitted but these are usually pretty standard, and you may want to upgrade. Apply stickers alerting to the fact that you have an alarm but don’t provide details of which make it is.
Immobilisers – These work by cutting off the engine when unauthorised use is detected. If your vehicle hasn’t got this as standard, you can have them retrofitted.
Deadlocks–These additional locks operate separately to the normal van locks and are made from steel, providing a second line of defence against theft.
Slam locks–Delivery van drivers will benefit from slam locks, which automatically lock as soon as the van door is closed. This is ideal for multi-drop delivery drivers.
Having your van fitted with a tracker makes it much more likely you’ll get your van back if it is stolen. Whilst you might not see your tools or valuables again, vehicle tracking can reunite you with your biggest asset. For more information on the benefits of Vehicle Tracking, visit Vehicle Accessories.
Van boxes – These boxes are lockable steel cases that are bolted to the floor of your van to prevent theft. You can store your valuables and tools inside the box.
Worst-case scenario and your van has been taken, there are steps you take to make it easier for you to get your property returned to you.
Marking – It is vital that all your tools are engraved or permanently marked by some other method with identifying details, such as your initials and postcode, for example. Take photos of your tools for quicker identification should you need to prove ownership.