Builders, roofers, landscapers and the like will be ferrying specialist equipment in their vans to sites across the UK as spring arrives and work comes in.
It’s kit that’s essential to someone’s livelihood. And that’s why it’s so important for tradesmen to ensure they’re protected from theft.
With that in mind, Select Car Leasing ha provided tips on how to keep your van – and its content secure – no matter where you’re parked up:
Park your van in a safe location
Thieves like to avoid being disrupted and caught in the act, so van theft is more likely to take place in quiet, out-of-sight areas. If possible, you should park on a customer’s driveway or the car park of the building you are working at, which is likely to have CCTV. Alternatively, if street parking is the only option, it’s important to choose a well-lit and busy street, not a location that’s off the beaten track.
Invest in an advanced alarm system
Most new vans will come with an alarm system, but if you’re wanting to add extra security, you can also upgrade it. Whether it’s an alarm system that emits an instant alarm alongside sending alerts to your phone, or an immobiliser that prevents the van from being started without the correct key or fob. You can also add extras such as a wiring loom guard to your van lease, for a small additional cost, which stops thieves cutting the wires to unlock the van.
Improve your locking system
There are a number of ways you can upgrade or add to the locking system on your van to make it more secure against theft. Starting with a slam lock, which is great if you’re worried you’ll forget to lock your van door when taking something out of it. Slam locks mean doors will automatically lock when you slam them shut. You could add a stoplock, which links both van doors together, making them harder to break into with items like a crowbar. You can also add a deadlock as a further security measure. Again, all such items can be added to your lease agreement for a low additional fee.
Add internal locks on items
Adding extra locks to items inside the van, like a lockable toolbox, is another great way to protect your tools without spending a lot of money. You could also have a lockable cage installed into the van to secure larger, higher-value power tools.
Consider electronic GPS trackers
If your van is stolen, having a fitted GPS tracker can massively increase your chances of the police locating your vehicle. The tracker itself could be costly and you will usually have to pay a subscription for the tracking app, but it could save you from the larger cost of replacing a stolen vehicle down the line.
Protect your catalytic converter
Vehicles’ original catalytic converters are a key target for thieves, as they are made from the precious metals platinum, palladium and rhodium. This means that thieves can effortlessly cash them in at scrap yards or sell them online for an easy profit. As vans are already higher off the ground than standard cars, it makes them more of a target for thieves, which is why it’s important to invest in a shield or guard to make the catalytic converter less accessible.
Ensure you have the right insurance
Usually, van insurance policies won’t cover the contents of the van, which is often the biggest expense if a van is broken into. However, you can purchase add-on insurance that will cover your tools and equipment in the event of theft.
Remove tools and valuables from your van
When leaving your van outside of your own property overnight, it’s important to remove all the valuable items. Whilst this may seem like a lot of effort each evening after a day of work, it could prevent you from having to suffer a greater financial loss down the line. You can also purchase a sticker that says ‘no tools left in this vehicle overnight’ to further deter thieves from attempting to get into your van.