If you use a van for business, the chances are that it is your main workplace/office/store room and tool box all rolled into one. Losing it or having it damaged or the contents taken would be like losing your right arm and could potentially put your business at risk.
And that’s not all. Did you know that there’s been a sharp rise in the theft of catalytic converters because of their high value metal components contained within the converter itself? Vehicles such as vans that are higher off the ground are an easier target than cars.
It’s obvious that you should make every effort to make your van as secure as possible. Here are our 12 top tips to do just that.
1. Buy a van with built-in security systems
If you’ve yet to purchase your van, it makes sense to buy one with a high level of security built in from the outset. Here’s a list of the top 5 vans based on their security.
2. Retro fit older vans with better security gadgets
Of course, buying a new van ensures that any built-in security systems will meet the Thatcham Security standards, which is required by insurance companies. For older vans, it’s a good idea to retro fit additional security gadgets to help make the vehicle secure. As long as the devices comply with the Thatcham standards, they will help keep your van and its contents safe.
3. Install a tracking device
As well as alarms and immobilisers, a tracking device can help to get your vehicle back quickly should the worst case scenario occur and your van is stolen.
4. Use forensic markings
Other tips to help retrieve your vehicle and belongings quickly includes using forensic markings on both your van and all your equipment. It won’t hurt to brag about this on your van either. Letting potential thieves know that you are doing your best to protect your stuff and make their lives more difficult can be an effective deterrent.
5. Livery your van
Odd though this may sound, if you have your name or business plastered all over your van it will make it a lot easier to find than if it’s just another white van on the road. It will also make it a lot harder for the thief to hide the vehicle, meaning they will look for an easier option (i.e. another van to steal) first.
6. Install rear view windows
Rear view windows may help with visibility whilst driving but if you carry expensive gear in the back of the van it can also provide a shop window for light fingered thieves. Glass is also much easier to break into so if you do have windows in the back of your van, consider having a grille or bars added to them.
7. Choose one: Side access or rear doors
On the subject of easy access to your van, it’s worth considering whether you really need side access in addition to the rear doors, as it’s one more means of entry that could be compromised.
8. Use deadlocks and slam locks
Additional door locks can also be useful in the fight against theft, with deadlocks and slam locks being very popular options. Slam locks in particular are easy to use and ensure that the door is locked automatically when you close it, so there’s no chance of you forgetting to lock the van.
9. Double check your doors
Another dirty trick that thieves can employ is to use a gadget to block the signal from your key fob locking system, so don’t just assume that you’ve locked your van and walk away. A quick check of the doors could save you from falling prey to this kind of scam.
10. Park in a secure parking area
A van can appear to be the perfect vehicle to break into, especially if you make it an easy target by parking it somewhere that’s tucked out of sight but easy to get at. Ideally, you want to park in a secure, locked and dedicated parking area. If that’s not available, do make sure that you park in an area that is well lit and busy. If you can put it somewhere protected by CCTV, even better. If your van is parked outside your house each night, it may be worth your while installing motion sensor lighting and a CCTV system, especially if you are in a high risk area.
11. Secure your equipment elsewhere
Don’t ever leave equipment in the van overnight, tempting though it may be at the end of a long tiring day. Spending a few minutes putting your equipment somewhere safe under lock and key will make it safer than leaving it in your van. Again, letting potential crooks know that there is nothing in the van overnight could mean that they look for a more lucrative alternative.
12. Secure your outdoor equipment
Don’t forget to protect your equipment that’s on the outside as well. If you carry a ladder on the roof, for example, consider a padlock and chain to ensure that it can’t be simply lifted off.
Of course, the side benefit of making your van as secure as you can is that it helps to lower the cost of your insurance premiums too. When you are shopping around for your next van insurance quote from websites such as https://www.comparevaninsurance.com, be sure to list all your security features to get the best quotes from the insurance companies.