Keep Your Tools Safe – Guide to Securing Your Van

In the last five years vehicle related thefts have continued to rise with 114,000 recorded in 2019 alone. Many of these vehicles will have been vans with valuable tools and equipment stored in them accounting for millions of pounds. In fact between 2017 and 2019 the value of tools stolen was £23 million and sadly less than 3% of tools that are stolen are ever returned to the owner.

For many, the theft of these tools results in the loss of income as jobs are unable to be fulfilled and carried out as well as the frustration of time spent replacing equipment and sorting out insurance claims.

Securing your van and the contents within it is crucial if you want to avoid being a victim of this crime. Below are some ways you can increase the security of your vehicle or van and deter thieves.

Extra Locks

Enhance the security of your van with additional locks such as deadlocks which have bolts and no spring mechanism so are not easy to pick or slamlocks which lock automatically.

There are also specialist vehicle locks which fit across both doors – such as the ArmaD Lock suitable for sliding or rear van doors. Such locks are designed to withstand forced entry with items such as crowbars and hammers and therefore act as a strong deterrent to thieves.

Cash Boxes / Safes

Although we are moving more and more towards a cashless environment, some jobs are still paid in cash. Ensuring this is secure within your van before you deposit it at the bank is vital. specialist cash safes are available which offer greater protection of your cash as the safe can be fixed to your vehicle.

Cash Safe

Be Aware of Keyless Vehicle Theft

As keyless cars become more and more popular, tradesman and van owners should be aware of keyless vehicle theft – where thieves use amplifiers and transmitters to enhance signals from nearby car keys and trick the vehicle into thinking the key is nearby.

Keep Tools Out of Sight

If it’s on show, it has the potential to be attractive to thieves and makes your van an easy target, so make sure any valuables are hidden out of site. If you have space, consider moving your tools into your home overnight.

Window Tints and Grills

If your van has windows, consider tinting them, adding window blanks or putting steel grills over them to securely store and hide your equipment and tools from preying eyes.

Alarm System

Thieves will often ‘bump’ a van first to see if there is an alarm system before they attempt to break in to ascertain whether they can break in without arousing suspicion. Having stickers to indicate that there is an alarm is also a good deterrent. (Don’t actually tell them which alarm you have though as they may know how to disable it!).


Even if a thief is successful at breaking in – an immobiliser will prevent them from getting away with the vehicle.

GPS Tracking

Fitting GPS Tracking allows you to know where the van is at all times. Should your van be stolen this will help you and the police reclaim it.


Marking your van with your logo or contact details will really deter thieves from trying to steal your vehicle as it will be far more easily identified than a plain white/grey van.

Signage / Stickers

The use of signs or stickers such as ‘no tools/cash left in this vehicle overnight’ are another way of deterring thieves from attempting to break in and see what they can find.

Marking Your Tools

Marking your tools with your name or postcode is another way to deter tools from being taken and sold on and will help to recover them should they be stolen. You can do this with paint, permanent markers, ultraviolet pens or engraving.

Parking in a Well-lit Area

At night parking your van on a driveway or in a well-lit area will deter thieves from operating if they can be seen. Also parking so that the rear doors are very close to a wall, garage or hedge will make it very difficult for someone to even attempt to open the doors.

By increasing the security features of your vehicle, you will deter and thwart the attempts of a would-be thief saving you stress and any loss of tools or income. The additional benefit of adding security measures may also be lower insurance premiums, but it is always advisable to check with your insurer first before your modify.

More Help & Advice

 If you require more information about our range of vehicle security locks including the ArmaD Lock, we can help. Whether you are a tradesmen with a single van or a fleet owner with hundreds, give us a call on 0117 967 4994 or feel free to fill out the contact form.

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