Wouldn’t it be nice if you could shrink your van down to pocket size and lock it in a safe overnight? Well, technology has not quite developed the capability to make miniature vehicles yet, so for the time being, we’re stuck with tried-and-tested security measures. Wherever you keep your van overnight, these are the key factors you should bear in mind.
Van security features
What will deter a thief or a vandal? Whenever you buy a van or review the security on your existing model, you should seek to ensure it is as safe as possible. The number one security requirement is an alarm, which will send many would-be thieves scurrying into the night.
You can also adopt measures to prevent the van being driven off: an immobiliser, steering wheel lock or handbrake lock are all worth considering. Having warning stickers on the vehicle and Bonded Vehicle Identification Numbers on the dashboard may also help. Locking wheel nuts and a lockable fuel cap will help prevent wheels and fuel from being stolen, too.
Parking your van
The location you choose for your vehicle will play an important role in ensuring its safety. If you can, find a well-lit secure parking area with passing traffic. As far as possible, take tools and equipment out of the van whenever leaving it unattended, particularly overnight.
Your van should also be locked carefully overnight and all the windows fully closed. You should also never the leave the keys inside! These points might sound obvious, but surprisingly many people fail to follow them, to their cost. Do not leave valuable items on display and use a removable stereo.
Unfortunately, nothing can guarantee your van will be 100% safe. That’s where insurance comes into play, providing protection in the event that your van is damaged or stolen. Before you take out insurance, take care to question your insurance provider about the main points of the policy to ensure you understand all the details, including your obligations.
You may wish to ask about what contents the policy covers, for example whether goods in transit are covered. You should be aware of the excesses that apply to different types of claims and check if windscreen and window repair is included. If you rely on your van to run a business, it is important to know whether a replacement van will be provided if yours is stolen or damaged and whether you would be compensated for personal items left in the vehicle.
At the end of a long hard day, it might be tempting to pull up in the first parking spot you find and leave your equipment in the van. To protect your vehicle, it is sensible to get into a routine of checking your van is safe before you leave it, for example by removing equipment and testing whether doors and windows are locked. This will save you from having that nagging feeling that you did not secure the van properly midway through the evening.