Cars are so secure these days, thieves are now turning to commercial vehicles. In fact, two vans, the transit and the sprinter are both now in the top 10 most stolen vehicles, the ford now actually taking the not so coveted number 1 spot. So if you have one of these vehicles, you may want to take extra care.
You can help yourself hold on to your vehicle by getting into the mind set of criminals and assessing the risks to your van, and acting upon them. For instance, at night always try to park your van in areas that are well lit and busy. This will discourage anyone trying to steal your van, as they will prefer a little more shade and privacy.
Garage your van if you can. The added security will help, and if the building is alarmed this is a bonus too. If a thief does get into your garage, having an alarm blaring away will not give them the confidence to take their time hot wiring your van behind closed doors, so they may decide to give ti a miss. If the alarm is visible externally, it may also deter them to start with.
Get more security fitted. You can’t make your van completely immune from being stolen, but you can make it a much harder proposition. Faced with a bigger mountain to climb, a van thief may well decide to make it easier on themselves and choose a less secure target to steal. This is the value extra security, and don’t forget to tell your van insurance firm, as you should be rewarded with a cheaper premium.
Remove your load from your van when you park it up at night. Vans are often stolen for their contents as well as themselves, or both, as things like tools can be sold on at a good price as well as the van or it’s parts. This is something van insurance firms are aware of, so they often require you to empty the vehicle each night, and may turn down a claim, if it wasn’t.
Clear all valuables from sight, including parking change. Remember thieves aren’t the brightest people in the world, otherwise they would have well paid jobs. Some of them will steal just about anything. And remember to stow away your sat nav unit, as it is far less likely to be taken if it can’t be seen, (after all, who knows it’s actually there?) and your van is less likely to be damaged by an opportunist thief.
Always lock up your van and set the alarm/immobiliser when you leave it. A large proportion of thefts are opportunist, and happen when the owner leaves the vehicle for a couple of minutes. Certainly, never ever leave the keys in it unattended. This still happens and vehicles are still taken. If your vehicle is taken with the keys, your van insurance company will turn down your claim flat.
I am the communications manager for Coversure Insurance, an insurance broker who are experts in Van Insurance. Visit our website for a van insurance quote, or read our FAQs if you have any van insurance related questions.