Vehicle Theft Figures Should Sound Fleet Alarm Bells

This was posted by on March 29th, 2023

Businesses with a fleet of company cars or vans should take note of the increase in car thefts and make sure that all their company car drivers are aware of the risks and taking care to protect their vehicles.

A shortage of car parts is thought to be fuelling a rise in vehicle thefts, with certain cars and vehicles being highly in-demand. Thieves are said to be stripping down stolen vehicles within hours, so that their components can be sold on.[1]

There was a much-publicised computer chip shortage during 2021[2] but other car parts have also been hard to come by. Factory production of some marques of car has still not recovered and there are long waits for brand-new vehicles. Used vehicles are having to be owned for longer, putting pressures on car parts for repairs. As in many cases where a high market demand emerges, thieves are capitalising on the situation.

This is the first step to being more vigilant. Fleet owners should make all drivers aware of thefts and their implications and urge them to be cautious about where and how they park up.

Leaving keys in the ignition, even to just run into a shop or petrol station, should be an absolutely no. It only takes seconds for a thief to steal a car that is ready to go. Delivery drivers should be extra cautious about this, prioritising vehicle security over speedy drop offs in which they keep the engine running, whilst they head to a front door.

Drivers should also not rely too heavily on automatic locking systems via their key fobs. Thieves can use blocking devices to prevent the key signal working as the driver presses the fob and then swoop once the driver has left the car, believing it to be locked. So if there is ever a doubt, double check the lock has engaged, particularly if parking in a notorious car theft area.

Adding extra security devices, a steering lock for instance could also be advantageous, as the more deterrents in place, the more likely it is that a thief will opt for an alternative target.

In the year to March 7, 2022, there were 88,915 vehicle thefts recorded by 34 police forces, this equated to around 244 vehicle thefts a day so caution should become second nature in vehicle security.

Keeping company vehicles safe is imperative for any business, particularly when it is currently so difficult to replace vehicles quickly, because of car manufacturers’ issues and order backlogs. Having cars or vans on the road can be a key part of business continuity and ensuring that customers remain satisfied and loyal with the service provided.

Risk management is more important than ever and it is well worth analysing all of your risks with an experienced insurance broker and putting in place the insurance umbrella that your business needs to protect its assets, people and operations.

If you would like to find a broker who can help you, please get in touch.


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