Vast amount of tools left in vans overnight, data finds


On average, tradespeople leave their tools in their vehicle on average ten nights a month while 15% of tradespeople leave their tools in their vehicle every night, according to new data from Direct Line business insurance.

The findings come as 22% of tradespeople report having tools stolen from their van in the last 12 months. A total of 62% of tradespeople said they have been a victim of tool theft in their careers, with 34% having tools taken on multiple occasions.

Vehicles were the most frequent location where tools are stolen accounting for 59% of thefts. The data revealed that 26% of vehicles were targeted while parked in the street and 22% of vehicles were targeted while parked on the tradesperson’s own drive.

The most common tools stolen from tradespeople included hand tools, compressors, power washers, rotary multi tools, hedge trimmers, electric drills, electric saws, angle grinders, nail guns and electric wood working power tools, a statement outlined.

Tradespeople were taking measures to help secure their tools and deal with consequences of tool theft, with 28% installing additional security. Other steps included becoming a member of social media groups where other tradespeople post about stolen goods, keeping insurance up-to-date, bringing tools indoors to a securely locked building, keeping up-to-date information such as photos, serial numbers and identifying marks, engraving or using invisible ink to mark tools, and using tracking devices.

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. Because of this, it’s important to consider tool security when getting insurance.”

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