The UK’s most stolen work van!

It may come as no surprise to those who own one!

Most stolen work van - A-Plan Insurance

You may have read our recent article about the ‘most scammed van’ in the UK right now – the fake second-hand VW Transporter van scam! This is where a vehicle is listed on a website like Facebook Marketplace, eBay or Gumtree – and demands a deposit prior to collection – only there is no vehicle to collect. In fact, the same images and listings continue to do the rounds to this day.

According to Action Fraud, online car scams have increased by 21% since 2019 and victims can find themselves left out of pocket as many banks refuse to compensate them, finding them ‘negligent’! 

This flags another issue van drivers face – making sure they don’t buy a stolen van, or indeed, end up having their van stolen!

The most popular van for the trade in the UK is the Ford Transit. In fact, it is the most popular commercial vehicle in the UK, with a third of all new vans being Ford Transits.

Unfortunately, according to the National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (NaVCIS), the Ford Transit is also the most stolen van in the UK.

Why are Ford Transit vans targeted by thieves?

Ford Transit vans are popular for a variety of reasons. They are known for their durability, reliability, and affordability. They are also highly customisable, with a large cargo area and spacious interior, making them ideal for contractors who need to transport various tools and materials.

Additionally, they offer a range of engine sizes and payload capacities, so they can be tailored to suit the specific needs of a contractor and have a high resale value. Team that with a reliable engine, the vans have a good reputation for being easy to maintain and repair.

It’s for these same reasons that they are popular targets for theft.

It is also because they are easier to break into – unlike other manufacturers, their locks can be bypassed, making them a prime target for thieves. They can easily be loaded onto a truck for transport – and they aren’t just stolen to sell on. They have a large aftermarket for parts, making them a lucrative prospect.

Even if the van isn’t the target itself, thieves know that Ford Transit vans are, more often than not, used for commercial purposes and may contain valuable items, such as tools, supplies, or equipment.

So, let’s look at what you can to do keep your van safe!

How can you help prevent van theft?

Our simple checklist:

  • Install an immobiliser to prevent the van from starting without the correct key or code.
  • Fit an alarm system to alert you if someone is trying to break into the van – and deter potential thieves.
  • Fit an anti-theft device. This can be an additional lock on the steering wheel, gear shift or door, or a device which sounds an alarm when the vehicle is tampered with.
  • Park in a secure area. Make sure the van is parked in a well-lit, secure area.
  • We know we keep repeating it, but please keep all valuables out of sight. Don’t leave any tempting items – particularly your tools – in the van, as this may encourage thieves.
  • Install a tracker to track the vehicle’s location if it is stolen and aide recovery sooner.
  • Ensure you use signage on your van, it makes it easier to be spotted earlier.

The best way to determine if your new Ford Transit van is stolen is to contact your local police department. They will be able to provide you with information on the status of the vehicle and any potential theft investigations. Additionally, you can check vehicle identification numbers (VINs) online to ensure that the vehicle is registered to you.

Insuring your Ford Transit?

While the above may indicate monstrously high premiums, that is unlikely to be the case as many variables are taken into consideration. Steve Moss, Director of Commercial Vehicle at A-Plan, explains:

“Vans remain attractive to a would-be thief – whether it’s the vehicle itself or the tools inside it. With Ford Transits being one of the most widely purchased and driven vans, there is an argument to say that more are stolen as there are simply more on the road. However, break ins have been well documented online, so insurers carry out their own research to ensure they are carrying the right premium for the risk.

“Insurers will collate claim stats, including claim frequency, of a particular make and model, so this can impact insurance premiums, however this can also vary from insurer to insurer based on their own claims reported data. It’s a good idea to use a broker with a wide panel to choose from, as there are some insurers who may now quote less frequently for Ford Transits over the £30,000 mark, if not kept on private property.

Postcode and overnight location remain important factors – so a locked compound or driveway, for example, would be preferable to keeping it on a public road overnight. “

If you are thinking of switching to a Ford Transit van, make our Commercial vehicle team your first port of call. And if you’re also looking at making deliveries while driving your van, get in touch, and we can help set you up with a courier van insurance quote.