More than nine in 10 vans (92%) recovered by Tracker in 2019 were stolen without their keys; up from under half (44%) in 2016.
The research shows how the widespread adoption of keyless technology on vans has led to increased use of so-called relay-attack methods of theft.
Clive Wain, head of police liaison at Tracker, said: “Keyless entry technology has now been widely adopted in the LCV market, and this is evident in the fact that last year, the majority of LCVs were being stolen without the owner’s keys. Today’s tech-savvy criminals are commonly using relay-attack tools that can activate a van key fob remotely, fooling the system into unlocking the doors and starting the engine.”
Tracker has also warned how the impact of van theft goes beyond the loss of the vehicle itself; victims also need to consider the financial impact such as loss of business, admin costs, a likely increase in insurance premiums and the cost of replacing tools.
According to analysis by ECIC, the cost of insurance claims for theft of tools from vans has increased by 55% with the average theft of tools claim reaching £2,685.
Clive Wain added: “It is worth remembering it’s not just about protecting your van from being stolen but safeguarding your business too. Ideally tools should be removed from vehicles and stored securely elsewhere overnight, or within a secure box fixed inside the van.
“Technology is just one part of vehicle security; more vigilance needs to be taken across the board to ensure all businesses are protecting their livelihoods.”