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Top tips and accessories to keep your van secure

Whether keeping your gear hidden from prying eyes, or protecting your van overnight, we’ve handpicked the best tips and accessories to keep your van guarded...

Volkswagen Transporter 6.1

Like a laptop to a graphic designer, or a camera to a photographer, your van is the heart of your business. As your mobile office, daily transport, load-lugger and dependable co-worker all rolled into one, it’s paramount that your van – and its contents – are kept secure, both on and off the job.

According to an article by the RAC, since 2016 over £61.9 million worth of tools and accessories have been stolen from over 117,000 thousand vans across the UK. Over 43,000 vans were also outright stolen – nearly 30 a day – and, unfortunately, this trend is only increasing[1].

To help you keep your van secure, we’ve created a list of preventative measures and easy-to-implement habits to help you deter thieves – from keeping your van tidy to parking in well-lit areas.

And to help protect your van further, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles provides a range of manufacturer-approved accessories to do just that. From window guards to vehicle trackers, all of these accessories are custom-designed to perfectly match Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and can be professionally fitted by a Van Centre.

To find out more about Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, visit volkswagen-vans.co.uk

Volkswagen Caddy

Always keep it locked

Sometimes the most basic things are the most important, but also the easiest to miss. From tools worth thousands of pounds, to high-end customer products and client equipment, it’s a van driver’s responsibility to keep the contents of their van protected. And, despite new Volkswagen Caddys, Transporters and Crafters coming with a plethora of security features like alarms and trackers, many vehicles are still susceptible to break-ins.

So, the first tip is one of the most basic: always lock your doors. When it’s hectic on site or you’re busy with deliveries, it’s easy to become careless about security. However, a door left ajar, or even just unlocked, is the perfect opportunity for a thief to grab your gear and scarper. Always, always, always lock your doors, no matter how long you’re gone for.

And, if you’re approaching your vehicle and there’s a shifty individual lurking nearby, all new Caddy, Transporter and Crafter models allow you to unlock just the driver's door from the fob, thus preventing unwelcome hands opening your doors as you get in.

Volkswagen Transporter 6.1 interior

Keep it tidy

Next, you need to keep your van tidy – especially in the cab. Even trivial items left on show are potential targets for thieves. Whether a sat nav or even a smartphone charing cable, keep gadgets and accessories that could indicate the presence of other gadgets out of sight. But don’t just use the glovebox, that’s obvious. Instead, look to empty your cab of clutter and expensive items every night.

The same goes for your load area. Keeping tools and equipment away from prying eyes is the key to deterring thieves. There are several Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles-approved accessories to help with this. Rear window guards – either solid or mesh – increase your vehicle’s security by stopping people looking into the back, and reinforcing your doors in case of an attempted break-in.

Many traders will also utilise the space on their roof to carry things like ladders. As bulky items, it’s not always possible to remove ladders each night. Therefore, the SafeClamp by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles-approved manufacturer Rhino allows you to lock ladders to the roof of your Caddy or Transporter.

Volkswagen Transporter 6.1

Load privately, park publicly

When it comes to loading your van, it’s advisable to do this out of sight. Packing high-value items in public places can lead to people taking an interest in your gear. By loading openly, you’re effectively advertising the contents of your van. Where possible, load in private areas, to ensure the goods of your van are a mystery to all but yourself.

And if you’re loading at night, Volkswagen-approved LED cab and load area lighting accessories provide further security by illuminating the interior of your van, thus preventing a thief nabbing your gear under the cover of darkness.

When it comes to parking your van for extended periods, publicity is your ally. Whether on the road, in a car park or on site, always park in well-lit areas with plenty of visibility. Avoid large vehicles, fences or hedges that thieves could use as cover, and utilise walls, posts and columns to restrict your doors being opened, limiting access to grimey unwanted hands.

Man holding can keys

Use physical deterrents and hide your keys

It’s not just about keeping your things inside the van safe; thousands of traders and fleet drivers have their vans stolen every year. To tackle this, physical deterrents can help. Many thefts start with intent of stealing the vehicle itself, so using steering wheel locks, clamps and exterior door locks can discourage thieves.

And while physical deterrents can dissuade criminals, the easiest way to protect your van is by hiding your keys. Never leave them in the vehicle, even if they’re hidden - most thieves know of the usual hiding spots like the sun visor, glovebox, floor mats and the wheel well.

And, if you own a van with keyless entry, always remember to keep your fob away from your front door at night and in a protective pouch that stops the waves being transmitted.

Dash cam

Technology to help

Finally, there is a range of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles-approved technology that can help protect your van on the move as well as when it’s parked.

Dash cams aren’t just useful for insurance claims, but they also act as a deterrent for thieves. The range of dash cams available through Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles – from companies such as Kenwood and Next base – often feature a ‘park mode’ that will detect people or objects that move nearby. This will capture anyone that has attempted to damage or break into your vehicle on camera.

And to give you full peace of mind, trackers can be fitted to your vehicle that utilize GPS to pinpoint your van’s location anywhere in Europe should it be stolen.

For advice on security, and fitment details on any Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles accessories, contact your local Van Centre for more information.

To find out more about Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, visit volkswagen-vans.co.uk