While it’s important for all drivers, security is crucial for anyone doing courier work. Your vehicle is your livelihood, so replacing or repairing it can affect your earnings severely. Worse than this, thieves can steal or damage the goods you’re transporting, leaving you to make financial amends with your clients.
According to London Car Locksmith, a van is broken into in the UK every 90 seconds, and delivery drivers are among the most targeted groups.
Luckily, there are many products on the market to help keep your vehicle secure. Standard tips like locking up, keeping valuables out of sight and using a lockbox are still useful, but if you want that extra bit of security, consider investing in some of the extras listed below.
It is a predictable but depressing truth that most stolen goods are never recovered, and this goes for vehicles too. At best, they’ll often be found burnt out and ruined in some empty carpark.
Imagine, though, how it would feel to catch a thief red-handed. Well, with location trackers, you can do just that. With a tracker installed, you simply call the provider to report a theft. They’ll then turn the tracker on and send through the details, enabling police to locate your van. If you’re lucky, the thief will be at the wheel when they do.
How Much Does it Cost? Trackers begin at around £250 for the tech, while providers charge for subscription (usually around £100+ per year).
Window Tint Film
Most theft is opportunistic. Criminals are far less likely to risk getting caught without some idea what they’re going after. When it comes to vehicle safety, this means it’s crucial to keep valuables out of sight. For courier work, however, this can be easier said than done, as delivery goods are often awkwardly sized.
Consider investing in a security film to add some darkness to your van. In addition to making it harder for prospective thieves to see inside, many films also offer protection against attacks, either deflecting window-shattering blows or sealing splintered glass between two layers of film.
Top Tip: Shop around for the best deal, as prices can vary a LOT.
We’ve talked a lot about theft so far, but there are other security issues in courier work. One major one is false or fraudulent claims, which cost drivers a total of nearly £400 million every year. Dashcams can help guard against these claims, providing video evidence to insurers and, if necessary, courts.
Slamlocks and Deadlocks
Slamlocks integrate with existing locking mechanisms to ensure that slammed doors lock automatically – perfect if your courier work requires you to make multiple drop-offs.
Deadlocks, by contrast, add an independent high-security locking mechanism, giving thieves an extra barrier to getting in to your vehicle.
Finally, we come to one of the best ways to protect your vehicle: the immobiliser. While some vans come with their own immobilisers, aftermarket tech is still preferable, as it’s much harder to even detect, let alone disable.
The best all-round product is the Ghost immobiliser, which allows drivers to set a PIN and authorise access from a mobile device. Without authorisation, the vehicle simply will not start. The best a thief can do to a Ghost-protected vehicle is tow it. And even then it won’t do them much good.
Did You Know?
A 2016 study by the Economic Journal found that immobilisers lowered van theft by a total of 40% in the period 1995-2008.
We hope these products give you some ideas on protecting your van. Combine these with responsible practices to keep your business as protected as possible.
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day courier work in the express freight exchange industry. Numerous transport exchange businesses are networked together on their website, trading jobs and capacity through what is now the fastest growing Freight Exchange company in the UK.
This article is copyright free.