Having any of your possessions stolen is an awful experience. But when it comes to your business it can be even more devastating especially if it affects your livelihood. Vehicle theft and fleet vehicle theft has been on the rise in recent years. But new research has shown just how much of a financial impact fleet vehicle theft can have on a business.
How much does fleet vehicle theft cost?
Recent research by Verizon Connect, a supplier of fleet management solutions, has suggested that on average fleets lose as much as £16,000 a year due to vehicle or equipment theft.
In addition, they found that businesses have at least one vehicle stolen a year.
These figures rise significantly for fleets with 101-250 vehicles. Averaging 3 vehicle’s stolen a year at a cost to their business of £50,000
These are significant costs. Especially when coupled with the fact that vehicle theft also leads to business disruption. Particularly for smaller businesses whose livelihood can be compromised if their only vehicle or the bulk of their equipment is stolen.
Why are vehicle thefts rising?
Many sources suggest that vehicle theft is on the rise. Home Office figures to the year ending September 2019 showed a 5% increase in “theft or unauthorised taking of a motor vehicle”. Whilst ABI figures for the first quarter of 2019 showed a payment made to a car crime victim every 8 minutes.
Much has been written about the vulnerabilities that keyless entry systems pose to vehicles. Particularly when it comes to theft. Different techniques are utilised by thieves to mimic the key, allowing them to unlock the vehicle.
In fact, it is thought that keyless entry systems and their vulnerabilities are one of, if not the main reasons why vehicle theft has been rising in recent years.
What can fleets do to minimise the risk of theft?
If you have a vehicle which has a keyless entry system, there are steps you can take to protect your vehicle.
- Keep your keys far away from windows and doors at night or when you are at home to help prevent the signal emitted from your key being compromised
- You can invest in a signal blocking pouch – keep your key in here whilst your vehicle is not being used
- You can also completely switch the signal off in the key for added security
Other tips to improve the security of your vehicles include
- If you can, keep your vehicle in a secure garage. Again, if it is not possible to do so, then park it in a well-lit area. Ideally on a driveway rather than on the street
- Always shut your windows and check that your vehicle is locked before leaving it. Even if you will only be gone for a short period.
- Try not to leave too many possessions in your vehicle overnight. If this is not possible and you have to leave equipment in a van for example, then ensure that it is not visible. Make sure you have an alarm and that you activate it. Alarms are only useful if used
- Fit a tracker to all of your vehicles – it may not prevent hem being stolen but may increase chances of recovery
- Fit an immobiliser into your vehicle’s – this can help prevent thieves being able to drive your vehicles away even if they do manage to gain entry. A range of products exist so choose the one which is right for your fleet
- You can also consider additional locks and alarms to those installed on your vehicle as standard by manufacturers as an extra security boost
If the worst should happen and you do suffer a fleet vehicle theft, then you will want to be confident in the knowledge that your loss can be covered by your fleet insurance. Working with a broker such as Anthony Jones can give you the reassurance that you have the right insurance and enough insurance cover in place to protect your business.