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How to keep tools safe in a van: best van security products and tips

3-minute read

Tradesman working near van
Simply Business Editorial Team

Simply Business Editorial Team

10 October 2022

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With tool theft costing UK tradespeople an estimated £2.8 billion, van security is a top priority for the industry.

Whether you’re looking for some tips to maintain the safety of your vehicle, or van security products, our guide explains the most important considerations when it comes to tool theft.

Van security – five top tips

There are some easy steps you can take to help protect the security of your van – here are our top tips to get you started:

1. Don’t forget the basics

It might sound obvious, but it’s sometimes easy to forget: make sure that all of your van’s doors and windows are locked when you’re outside the vehicle, even if it’s just for a minute.

You might just be nipping out, but as thieves become more sophisticated, it can take them barely any time to make off with your valuables.

This can be particularly easy to overlook in summer, so make sure that you’re taking the correct basic precautions.

2. Grills and tints

Windows are often a pain point for trades van theft, as they tend to be the weakest part of the vehicle.

To help avoid this, you could consider fitting grills or tints. You might also want to think about tinted window foils to help prevent break-ins – we've got more on that below.

3. Internal locking

Inside the van itself, make sure that tools and other objects are properly secured.

Consider using padlocks or specialist locking devices to make your tools as difficult as possible to remove from the vehicle.

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4. Understand van locks

On the subject of van security locks, it’s worth doing some research into the different types of locks to work out which is right for you.

If you want to go high-tech, you should also look at the smart alarm systems now on the market.

Look out for van alarms that are rated ‘Thatcham CAT 1’ – these are the highest-rated alarm systems currently available, as determined by the Thatcham Research group.

5. Think about parking

When you're parking your van, even for short periods, you should think carefully about where you stop.

Parking with the rear or side doors against a wall or very sturdy railings will help to make sure that they can't be prised open.

Where possible, make sure you park in well-lit areas with lots of foot traffic, and ideally with CCTV cameras in sight.

Win up to £2,000 of equipment to secure your van

With our research finding that 78 per cent of tradespeople have had their tools stolen, losing £4,770 of equipment on average, we want to help businesses secure their vans and protect their tools.

We’re giving away 10 security van packages worth up to £2,000. Winners of our competition can get a tailored van security package, which could include:

  • Van vaults by VanGuardian and Armorgard
  • 3G Battery ULtraPIR Alarm from ARMD
  • Dual/single alarms from VanGuard
  • ImmobiTag by Immobilise

Enter your business today to be in with a chance of winning.

It pays to invest in some top van security systems, whether they’re for securing the vehicle itself or protecting its contents. Here are five of the most popular:


The rear doors of your van are one of the most important entry points that need to be protected.

The Stoplock is a great and affordable way of doing this. The device links the two rear doors together, making it much more difficult for thieves to pull them apart.

It’s worth noting that the Stoplock needs to be drilled into the doors themselves, so you may require a professional installer.

Van vaults

Ideally you wouldn’t keep your tools in your van when you’re not also in it, but sometimes this is unavoidable, especially if you’re on a job.

Van safes, also known as ‘vaults’, come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Van tool safes are designed to protect different objects, including for copper piping stored on the roof.

Window security

Windows are another key point of risk, especially if there are objects visible through them. Luckily, it’s easy to fit window foil to help prevent theft.

These devices fit over the inside and outside of your windows, and help to prevent them from smashing.

Dash cams

Dash cams are becoming increasingly popular as a tool in the event of road accidents, but they also have uses for preventing theft and keeping tools safe in a van.

Many dash cams have a special mode that senses movement around your vehicle even when it’s parked, and records anyone approaching.

This can be extremely useful in the unfortunate event that your van is broken into, and can often be invaluable in catching the perpetrators.


The Disklok is now a highly recognisable product. It fits over the steering wheel, and is locked by the driver to immobilise the vehicle.

The Disklok comes in a range of sizes for different steering wheels, and it's recommended by Thatcham - the research group we mentioned above.

Do you have the right insurance?

Even the most careful van owners can still be at risk when it comes to van security. However hard you try, you might still fall victim to theft. In these cases, it's vital that you're insured so that you can get your business back on its feet as quickly as possible.

Tool insurance should be a key consideration for every tradesperson. Whether you own your tools or are hiring them in, this insurance can cover the cost of replacing stolen or damaged items.

What are your top tips for keeping your van safe? Let us know in the comments below.

Are you protecting your tools?

As the UK's biggest business insurance provider, we know the importance of covering your tools. Why not take a look now and build a quick, tailored tool insurance quote?

Start your quote
Simply Business Editorial Team

Written by

Simply Business Editorial Team

We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always take professional advice. Read our full disclaimer

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