EDITOR'S NOTE: This post was originally published in March 2016 and has been updated for accuracy.
Staggering data has revealed that the number of stolen vans in the West Midlands has almost tripled since 2012.
West Midlands Police revealed that 375 vans were stolen in the year of 2012, while a shocking 878 were taken between 2016 and April 2017.
The data shows that vehicle crime still remains a very real and very expensive threat to businesses. So what can businesses do to prevent vehicle theft and how can van hire play a role? We explore below.
Keyless vehicle theft a rising threat
Whilst a Home Office report last year found vehicle crime had fallen to a 20-year low, there has been a rise in cases of keyless vehicle theft affecting vans.
According to Superintendent Paul Keasey, the head of the UK’s Central Motorway Police Group, vehicle theft is “a national issue, with London as the worst affected area.” He advised those attending the National Light Commercial Vehicle Workshop that, “The technology is no longer just in the higher end of the market, it’s used by all producers of vans, and vans are using it because it’s the new gimmick.”
An article in Commercial Fleet reports that the commercial vehicles most at risk of being stolen include the Ford Transit, the Ford Transit Connect and Mercedes-Benz Sprinters. Some criminals are “bypassing manufacturers’ security software” by buying the equipment that garages use to work on keyless vehicles and using it instead to steal vehicles.
The impact of vehicle theft on your business
Have you ever wondered what would happen to your business if your van security was compromised and your vehicles were stolen – or damaged during an attempted theft?
Is it a situation you could afford to find yourself in?
Think about it for a moment:
- How would you meet your overall performance targets?
- How could you compensate for the expense of being off the road?
- How would you manage any potential damage to your reputation, due to fleet downtime?
Could your business cope with the loss of customer appointments and a host of disappointed customers?
As one national fleet manager told delegates at the National Light Commercial Vehicle Workshop, “I think the biggest issue for us is the after-effect. You can resolve the loss of equipment or vehicles relatively easily, but it’s the loss of customer appointments and disappointed customers which affect us the most.”
Could van hire be the answer?
So, with the rise in keyless vehicle thefts, what can you do to better protect your fleet, and your business? A possible solution is commercial van hire. Instead of buying your commercial vehicles, hiring the vehicles in your fleet gives you access to the latest developments in van security and the peace of mind that comes with an official van hire contract.
Would your business benefit from an agreement that provides you with replacement vehicle cover in the event of theft, preventing expensive downtime?
A van hire agreement provides you with both additional van security and business operations support, giving you a simple way to ensure your fleet stays on the road.
So, in the event that your vehicles are stolen, or are damaged in the course of an attempted theft, your fleet provider will supply the required number of vehicles to get you back on the road and running at full capacity as quickly as possible.
Commercial van hire doesn't need to be expensive either. Why not download our guide to how to finance your van fleet below?