Vehicle or equipment theft is costing fleet-based businesses an average of £12,250 each year, rising to £21,000 for businesses with more than 100 vehicles.
The finding comes from research by Verizon which shows that two in five (40%) fleet-based businesses have had vehicles stolen that could not be recovered in the past year.
The study found that theft affects organisations of all sizes, with almost two-thirds (62%) of fleet-based businesses with over 100 vehicles experiencing a theft in which vehicles or assets were unable to be recovered in the last 12 months. On average, fleets of this size are losing 1.92 vehicles per year.
A lack of tracking or inability to immobilise vehicles are potential contributors to the problem. Only half (52%) of fleets use GPS asset tracking devices for vehicles. Fewer still were shown to use GPS tracking on portable assets such as IT equipment and tools (32%), construction equipment (24%) and on cargo pallets (21%).
The study also indicated that dashcams are becoming a more popular means of assisting with vehicle security – close to a third (31%) of fleet-based businesses now use them, providing evidence of theft through in-cab footage.
This can then be made available to managers via fleet management platforms, acting as a deterrent and corroborate insurance claims in the event of a vehicle being stolen.
Many platforms also now offer immobilisation functionalities, which fleet managers can use to remotely shut down vehicles and prevent unauthorised use.
Derek Bryan, vice president, EMEA, Verizon Connect, said: “Theft is always an unfortunate situation, but it is possible for fleet managers to do more to protect their business from opportunists with the right technology. Vehicles and equipment are one of the biggest overheads of any fleet, so investing in technology to prevent theft is one of the most effective ways to save a business from the administrative and financial costs associated with stolen assets.
“Fleet management technologies can not only track the location and status of a vehicle but can also remotely disable a vehicle’s ignition once the vehicle’s engine has been shut off, effectively stopping vehicle misuse in near real-time. Technology can also help fleet managers improve the performance and productivity of their entire business, from reducing fuel costs and other overheads, to running more efficiently and encouraging safer driving practices.”
The study was carried out in 2020 among over 400 fleet managers and decision-makers who operate fleets of between three and 500 vehicles. For further insights, click here.