How to protect your van from theft
A van is a valuable asset and can be the lifeblood of any business. Not just the price of the vehicle itself, but the tools and materials kept in it. Van security should be a top priority for anybody with a commercial vehicle.
Protecting your investment
While UK vehicle crime figures have declined during 2016, business owners and light commercial vehicle users continue to see their vehicles targeted by thieves.
Often left unattended for long periods, and usually containing expensive tools and equipment, light commercial vehicles can be easy targets.
Trevor Hodgson-Philips, head of service and parts at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles offers some useful advice:
“Having your van broken into or stolen can not only be very stressful in terms of having to deal with insurers and police, but also result in days or even weeks of lost work as you go through the hassle of replacing tools and equipment.
Most vans today are now fitted with an alarm or electronic vehicle immobiliser to help protect the van and its contents. However, for those owners who wish to add further protection to their vehicle, there is a range of steps they can take.
Firstly, consider where you’re parking your vehicle. Parking it in a well-lit area or in a car park with CCTV will definitely help reduce the possibility of unwanted attention. Thieves will normally pick easier targets.
When there are no well lit or CCTV covered spaces available or if you have more than one vehicle, parking them defensively can also help. By parking behind other vehicles or positioning a van so that the doors are blocked by another vehicle or object can be a very good deterrent.
Protect your keys at all time. Know where they are and keep them hidden at all times. Consider investing in key chains that track the location of your keys.
There’s also a vast array of extra options available:
Fitting items such as window guards or a full internal bulkhead can stop people from looking inside a van and provide additional security to the load area.
Adding a security film to the glass will help prevent thieves from smashing a window.
Fitting additional lock systems to the rear doors or sliding doors can make it more difficult for thieves to force the doors open on a vehicle. However, although they offer additional protection, they are very visible and can advertise the fact that you are carrying something that needs security.
Another option could be to fit secure storage within a vehicle. Systems such as secure storage boxes or lockable internal racking and tool chests can all provide protection for expensive tools and equipment. Most racking solutions can be supplied with locking draws or compartments
A more expensive route is to fit a Thatcham’s approved alarm system. In addition to this, there are also products that will track a vehicle should it get stolen. The police can then track the vehicle, increasing the chance of recovery.
Finally, with the cost of diesel continuing to rise, the theft of fuel remains a problem so fitting an anti-siphoning device could help your peace-of-mind. Catalytic converters are also targets. To stop this type of theft involves the fitment of items such as welded-bolts or a protective screen.
No matter which approach you take to protect your vehicle, the key thing to remember is that the harder you make it for a thief, the more likely it is that yours will be the van they ignore.”
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