Van theft up 81% since 2015, to double by 2030

  • Massive increase in van theft only set to continue
  • Top 10 worst areas in the UK for van theft revealed
  • Most stolen vans – and the items most often stolen from them

According to Comparethemarket.com, recent statistics show an alarming rise in van theft – with the insurance comparison site predicting that by 2030 over 20,000 vans could be stolen every year in the UK.

The research, based on information from Logistics UK and WhatDoTheyKnow.com, has also revealed which regions of the country have the highest levels of van theft, and which vans are most commonly stolen. Plus the items most likely to be taken from vans as well.

>> Worried about van theft? Check out the Parkers guide to van security

How many vans are stolen each year?

Comparethemarket.com says that between 2015 and 2019, van theft increased by 81% from 4,450 vans to 8,072.

The full statistics from 2020 aren’t available yet, but this is expected to see a further rise to 10,928 vans, with 2021 set to reach around 12,669 vans stolen this year.

Van theft increasing - empty van load area

Projecting this clear trend into the future, Comparethemarket.com reckons that by 2030, van theft will have nearly doubled to around 20,531 per year.

How many vans are stolen each day?

Breaking those figures down, this info suggests that 12 vans were being stolen every day in 2015.

By 2019, it was up to 22 vans per day, while in 2020 it’s predicted that 30 vans were stolen each day. In 2021 that figure is expected to rise to 35 vans per day.

Using the crystal ball of statistical analysis, the claim is that by 2030 as many as 56 vans per day will be taken without their owners’ consent.

Which areas of the UK are worst for van theft?

Here’s the top 10 according to this research:

 Rank   Region   Van thefts in 2019 
 1.  Greater London   1,504
 2.  East Midlands  188
 3.  Yorkshire and Humberside   145
 4.  North West England  112
 5.  South East England  110
 6.  East England  104
 7.  Wales  79
 8.  South West England  65
 9.  West Midlands  61
 10.  North England  59

 

Which vans are most likely to be stolen?

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is the most stolen van in the UK, with the 313 CDI and 314 CDI models ranking one and two in the most stolen chart for 2019.

Collectively 2,595 of them were stolen that year.

The rest of the top 10 is made up by various models of Ford Transit and Ford Transit Custom. Not the biggest surprise, as these are typically the bestselling vans in the UK as well, so there are more of them on the road to fall victim to crime.

What items are most commonly stolen from vans?

Tools are the favourite target of van thieves, with 67% of van break-ins resulting in stolen tools.

More alarmingly, only 1% of those stolen tools are ever recovered, according to this data.

The next most stolen items are ‘equipment’, which includes ladders, storage and – ironically – van safes. Some 55.6% of van theft results in the loss of these kinds of things.

Personal items are the third most common van contents to go missing, vanishing in 41.7% instances of van crime.

Items most likely to be stolen from vans:

  1. Tools (66.7%)
  2. Equipment (55.6%)
  3. Personal items (41.7%)
  4. Electronic devices (25.0%)
  5. Sale goods (16.7%)
  6. Customer supplies (13.9%)
  7. Van equipment / parts (13.9%)
  8. Cash (5.6%)
  9. Other (2.8%)

What can I do to prevent van theft?

Our guide to van security is packed for helpful tips and tricks to help prevent van theft – covering the whole van being stolen as well as the items in it.

Starting right now, however, first of all, don’t forget to lock your van (and set any security devices) and think carefully about how and where you park – consider making access to the vehicle more difficult and park in plain sight of any CCTV cameras that might be in the area.

More sophisticated solutions, such as additional locks, GPS trackers and other add-on van security devices are explained in detail in the guide.

Also read:

>> The Parkers guide to van security

>> One in four van drivers victims of tool theft in last 12 months

>> The Parkers guide to van insurance