Theft from vans costing tradespeople £264 million a year

Can put tradies out of work for an average of 30 days

Tool theft from vans costs trade professionals £264 million a year and can put them out of work for 30 days at a time on average, a new study has found.

A survey of 1,037 tradespeople commissioned by Honcho, the UK’s first reverse-auction marketplace for financial services to mark the launch of Honcho van insurance, has revealed that tool theft costs tradespeople a £5,584 on average each time their van gets broken into.

On average, a tradesperson’s van is broken into every 23 minutes in the UK, and the impact of this on workers’ livelihoods can be devastating. Van theft not only sets workers back financially due to needing to replace the stolen goods, but it also costs them work and income in the meantime.

On top of the cost of replacing tools and materials, the average tradesperson reports that having suffered van theft they lost an additional £5,982 in income as a result of not being able to carry out the jobs they had booked in – which can amount to at least six weeks’ earnings for tradespeople who earn less than £42,500 per year.

To make matters worse, 89% of respondents said that when making a claim on their van insurance, they weren’t covered for the full value of their stolen tools.

An additional 84% also weren’t provided with a courtesy van to get them back on their feet in the meantime, meaning they were unable to work – adding to the loss of earnings.

“Van theft remains one of the biggest obstacles for tradespeople in the UK,” said Graeme Stoker from Honcho. “With a van being broken into in the UK every 23 minutes it is impossible to ignore the problems tradies face as a result.

“We know how tough it can be to have to come back from van theft and too many hardworking professionals are being caught short with their van insurance policy by solely looking for the best price and not ensuring it covers all of their needs. Looking after your van, tools and income is always going to be a top priority in the trades so taking the time to really investigate your insurance and use a marketplace that has your best interests at heart to find the right insurance cover is imperative to the success and stability of your business.”

Dan Parton
Dan Parton
Dan Parton is a former editor of Truck & Driver, the UK’s biggest selling truck magazine. He is now the editor of our three commercial vehicle titles: The Van Expert, The Truck Expert and Commercial Vehicle Engineer.

What are your thoughts? Let us know below.

Latest articles

Van crime falls in 2019 but still costs victims thousands

The number of vans stolen fell by 5% and thefts from vans dropped by 10% in 2019 – but the average cost of goods stolen is increasing, according to new figures.

Renault releases first details of new Kangoo

Renault has released the first details of its all-new Kangoo van, which boasts a fresh look as well as new infotainment and safety systems.

Ford unveils E-Transit

Fully electric version of the bestselling Transit range claims an estimated range of 217 miles, lower TCO and no compromise on payload.

MAN and Bevan Group team up to provide St John Ambulance vehicles

St John Ambulance is preparing to deploy a new fleet of eight specially designed logistics vehicles that will be used to provide frontline support to the NHS and local communities.

Whitby Morrison buys 55 new Mercedes-Benz Sprinters to make into ice cream vans

Crewe-based ice cream van manufacturer Whitby Morrison has taken delivery of 55 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 314 CDI chassis cabs to build ice cream bodies onto.

Can I get a service or MOT during the new lockdown?

We answer your questions about whether garages, service centres and MOT test stations can remain open during the UK's second lockdown.