Commercial Vehicle Theft on the Rise

Last year (2009), the top 10 vehicles stolen in the UK included 2 popular commercial vehicles, namely the Ford Transit, and the Mercedes Sprinter, with the Ford topping the list overall as Britain’s most stolen vehicle. But why is this? What do criminals do with these vans? xe tai hyundai

The reasons for this are threefold. The first being ever increasing dealer prices for parts and labour. This is partly down to the recession, and also due to the fact that the market for new motors is so competitive, that dealers look to make their money on servicing rather than new vehicle sales. Even Ford prices are seen as quite high now, and as a result there is a huge market in second hand parts. Vehicles are routinely stripped down and the parts sold on and the cash generated from this is much more than the vehicle itself is worth as a whole.

These vehicles are very common, so more of them are likely to be stolen anyway, but the fact there are so many of them also makes them more theft attractive. Their parts are easier to move on simply because the market for them is bigger.Vans nearly always carry cargo of some sort, that’s why their owner’s bought them in the first place, to transport their equipment or goods around for business purposes. It can be more profitable to steal a van for it’s contents AND it’s parts rather than a car with it’s limited carrying capacity.

But can anything be done about this?

Of course, and van insurance companies have a lot to say about this. There are a lot of things you can do to discourage theft of your own vehicle, and cut the chances of losing it.

Have non standard security added to the vehicle. Detailed information on the electronic systems, including alarms/immobilisers, for many manufacturers is now freely available on the internet, allowing unscrupulous individuals to use this knowledge to their advantage. If you fit your van with something non standard, it’s another hurdle in the way of anyone attempting to take it. Such after market devices frequently come with window stickers, which when clearly displayed may persuade the would be thief to go elsewhere.

Thinking along the same lines, if you have a garage or off road parking, (especially with a heat sensor switched flood light), then park your van there. Van thieves prefer to work in the shadows for obvious reasons.

Remove the contents when you park up for the night. A fully loaded van is a much more attractive prospect, and your commercial vehicle insurance will probably not include cover for your equipment. In fact, some insurance companies will reduce or avoid paying out altogether if tools are left in a vehicle overnight which is then stolen.

Lastly, install a GPS tracking device. These are not just for tracking stolen cars, they can also add value to your business Many commercial fleets now use them to track journeys and driving times. This enables them to remain compliant with EU working directives, as they can show exactly how much time a driver is actively on the road for.


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