How To Avoid Your Van Being Nicked

How To Avoid Your Van Being Nicked

Simple answer seems to be, buy the right kind. One that doesn’t appeal to the miscreant’s sense of style. Then look at all the other gizmos like alarms, immobilisers etc. But if you buy, lease or hire what the villains’ consider “too naff to nick” that’s probably the first most important step.

Figures from the Association of Chief Police Officers Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (AVCIS) show that 40% of British van or car drivers have been the victims of motor crime. That’s especially important for many van drivers as their vehicles are likely to contain valuable tools and equipment as well as whatever intrinsic appeal the van itself has to the thief. With cars, it’s likely that older models are attractive to teenage joy riders, because they are easier to steal! It’s also not that cool to be seen joyriding in a van (a beat up Marina is OK and a Beamer preferable of course). What that means is that theft of or from a van is likelier to be a “professional crime” after equipment or cargo. Whatever security features like alarms or immobiliser you may have in place, a brick through the window does the job!

Secure your van:
Secure your van

The only other advice in the survey seems to be don’t own a Ford Transit – it’s the most commonly stolen van in the UK – and don’t drive or work in Chislehurst, Redbridge in east London, Wingate in Durham or Hatfield in Doncaster as these have all been highlighted as the UK’s leading van crime hotspots. The Ford Fiesta, Escort, Focus and Mondeo along with their van derivatives also seem to rank highly on the nicked list, but that may be hardly surprising as they also happen to be among the top 10 most commonly owned cars and vans on the road. The Vauxhall Vivaro on the other hand seems relatively impregnable even although it’s a bit of a looker.

The likelihood of theft is also a factor that insurers will take into account when they set your premiums, but that depends more on the area in which you intend to keep the van rather than the make of van itself. Where you park the van overnight can have a huge impact on insurance costs. To save money on premiums and at least try to deter thieves, fitting the van with an alarm and immobiliser that is recognised by your insurer can help. It’s also the age old conundrum that faces any householder. Does the act of fitting an alarm to your property or van act as a genuine deterrent, or does it simply broadcast to the world the message “I’ve got something worth nicking!” Almost half of all stolen vehicles are never recovered, so fitting any one of the various GPS tracking systems on the market will also please your insurer and at least you’ll know where the van has finally come to rest.

Of course, all the measures described will count for nothing if you leave any valuables on show. Removing temptation by making sure nothing of value can be seen (easier to do in a van than a car perhaps) is probably the most effective crime prevention measure you can take. That and you could always consider the possibility of vans lease if you can’t face purchase on what many Internet surveys consider to be the ugliest and least desirable van on the planet – The Toyota Hiace.

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