Millions of tools left in vans overnight, study finds

Credit: AdobeStock / von Lieres
Credit: AdobeStock / von Lieres

New data from Direct Line business insurance has found that tradespeople leave their tools in their vehicle on average ten nights a month, with 15% leaving their tools in their vehicle every night.

The findings come as nearly one-in-five tradespeople report having tools stolen from their van in the last 12 months. Two-thirds (62%) of tradespeople say they have been a victim of tool theft in their careers, with 34% having tools taken on multiple occasions.

However, tradespeople are taking measures to help secure their tools and deal with consequences of tool theft, with 28% installing additional security.

Other steps tradespeople have taken include becoming a member of social media groups where other tradespeople post about stolen goods (27%), keeping insurance up-to-date (21%), bringing tools indoors to a securely locked building (20%), keeping up-to-date information such as photos, serial numbers and identifying marks (18%), engraving or using invisible ink to mark tools (16%) and using tracking devices (15%).

Commenting on the findings, Alison Traboulsi, product manager at Direct Line business insurance, said: “The frequency of tool theft is a growing concern, with recent research showing that tools were stolen every 15 minutes across England, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2022. Our latest data reveals vehicles remain the primary target, with nearly two-thirds of all tools stolen from this location.”

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