Christmas is a time of peace and goodwill to all men – unless it’s to the ones who’ve broken into or stolen your van, that is. In which case, all the wrath in the world probably couldn’t sum up how you feel. Nearly a quarter (23%) of people with vans who rely on them for work, have suffered a van break in, in the last five years and 47,000 commercial vehicles are stolen every year. So, when it’s time to down tools for a much needed break over the festive period, how can you ensure that your van stays safe?
- Lock doors and windows: it sounds obvious, but it’s one of those things that’s easy to forget, especially if you’ve got other things on your mind – like getting last minute presents.
- Invest in an immobiliser or alarm: these act as visual deterrents and if a potential thief spots this, they might just decide not to bother and find an easier target, it will also lower your van insurance quote.
- Keep valuables out of sight: you’d be amazed at what other people think are worth pinching. Keep loose change, tools and even branded clothing out of sight. A secure box might be a good solution if you keep bits and bobs in your van; van boxes can be secured to your vehicle to prevent theft.
- Keep your roof rack clear: or strap down anything valuable you have on top such as ladders.
- Add a tracker: at least you stand a good chance of getting your van back should the worst happen.
- Park somewhere obvious: stick to well lit, busy areas, especially if you aren’t able to park your van in a locked garage over Christmas.
- Lock it up: there’s a good range of different locks that can make it hard even for determined thieves to get their hands on your stuff, consider deadbolts and slam locks which automatically lock your doors when they shut.
- Fuel caps: with prices as they are, some people have taken to siphoning off fuel from other vehicles, and if your van’s been parked up for a while then it could look like an open invitation; so think about a fuel cap lock.
Of course, if someone’s really taken a shine to your van and is determined to make it their own, then all the precautions in the world won’t be of use. But that’s why investing in the right level of van insurance is vital, not only do you need it by law, but making sure you’re adequately protected means that if your van is stolen or damaged you could be compensated.
Getting the right insurance doesn’t have to be expensive either, although van premiums have hit record highs, we found that half of our van insurance customers could be insured for less than £576** – it’s a small price to pay if you rely on your van and tools for your livelihood. So, have yourself a merry little Christmas and try to keep van thieves at bay – start your van insurance quote here, at comparethemarket.com
**50% of customers could achieve a premium of up to £575.62 a year based on comparethemarket.com data in April 2017.