Churchill Business magazine

Protect your van from thieves

Published on: July 18, 2023

Updated on: December 13, 2023


If you rely on your van to get your tools to the site or carry your valuable business stock around, keeping it safe and secure is vital.

Van thefts are on the rise. Around 33 vans were stolen every day in the UK during 2022 and that figure is predicted to hit 56 by 2030.

That’s why it so important to make sure you take all the necessary safety precautions to protect your van from thieves. If you lose your van, it can put your livelihood at risk.

You also need to guard against thefts from your van. In the UK a van is broken into every 23 minutes.

While these statistics are worrying, there are some simple steps you can take to keep thieves at bay.

Stop your van being stolen

Park smart – Always try and park your van away from dark or secluded areas. Even if you have to walk a few extra minutes, it’s a good idea to park somewhere well-lit and busy.

If you’re using a car park, try and find one that’s staffed and has plenty of lighting.

Keep your keys safe – When you’re at home, keep your keys out of sight and away from the front door. It’s fairly common for thieves to use a stick or something similar to hook keys through the letterbox if they’re left close enough to reach.

Be secure – Consider fitting an alarm to your van. Not only will it make a loud noise if someone breaks in, it also acts as a deterrent, making it less likely for thieves to target your vehicle. Another good way to put criminals off is to use a good old-fashioned steering lock. If criminals see that you have one, they are less likely to try and steal your van

Stop break-ins

Always lock up – Get into the habit of locking your van even if you’re only leaving it for a moment. Most thieves are opportunists and won’t hesitate if they see an unlocked vehicle.

Close your windows – Make sure you close your windows when you leave your van unattended to prevent ‘fishing.’ This is where thieves use their hands or something like a coat hanger to grab items or unlock the doors.

Take valuables with you – Leaving your phone, wallet, sunglasses, medication, or anything else a thief can earn quick cash from on view in your van is asking for trouble. They won’t hesitate to smash a window to get in, which could cost you more than the stolen items.

Tag your tools – Thieves often target vans because they think there are tools inside. If you must keep your tools in your van, it’s a good idea to clearly mark them with your name or your company name using paint pens. If they're marked up, it’s much harder for criminals to sell them on.

It’s also worth considering storing your tools in a lockable cabinet inside your van and registering them on a property registering website like Immobilise