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Survey shows one-third (36%) of van drivers fell victim to tool theft last year

By Mathilda Bartholomew | October 2, 2023


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Research conducted by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles found that tool theft from vans has increased significantly, with 36% of van drivers experiencing theft in the past year - a 33% rise compared to 2020.

Survey shows one-third (36%) of van drivers fell victim to tool theft last year

UK tradespeople reported a staggering £3.5 billion in stolen equipment last year, a consequence of the surge in tool theft. Almost half (48%) of van drivers admit to storing over £2,150 worth of tools overnight, putting up to £5 billion worth of equipment at risk.

Police Forces received over 9,000 tool theft complaints in 2022, with London being a hotspot with over 6,000 reports.

Van owners facing tool theft risk seeing a rise in future insurance premiums. Given the increasing trend in theft, it's crucial for van drivers to take measures to protect their vehicles.

Volkswagen Financial Services suggests the following tips for van drivers to safeguard their vehicles:  

  • Be a conscious parker: Opt for well-lit, visible parking spaces rather than secluded or dark areas.
  • Stay alert, be aware: Before unloading tools, check surroundings, as savvy thieves can identify high-value items and take risks.
  • Track your vehicle: Consider using tracking devices for vans or tools to monitor their location.
  • "No tools on board": Avoid leaving tools in the van, especially overnight. Use a sign indicating no tools are left in the vehicle.
  • Take note: If tools must be left, security mark them and note serial numbers. Display stickers indicating security measures.
  • Extra precautions: Install additional safety measures like locks on doors, lockable racking, or safe boxes to make it harder for thieves to break in.

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