A survey by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has found 27% of van drivers had equipment stolen from their vehicle during the last 12 months.
The survey found that while 57% of van drivers regularly leave equipment in vans overnight, 31% are not protecting it with extra alarms, secondary locks, or vehicle trackers.
London was found to be the UK’s tool theft hotspot with a 55% occurrence rate in the last 12 months, followed by the West Midlands (33%), North East England (28%), North West England (25%), and East Anglia (23%).
VW said an average of 20,000 individual cases were reported to UK police each year, with the with the estimated annual cost of replacement tools and equipment standing at £15million.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles head of sales operations David Hanna said: “Tool theft is a massive problem for tradespeople with thieves targeting vans parked up overnight across the country.
“It not only costs van drivers millions in buying new kit, but also impacts their ability to do their jobs, further impacting their finances.
“We’re urging people who own expensive equipment to take extra precautions to deter would-be thieves, whether that’s removing items overnight, adding extra security measures, or avoiding parking in unlit, secluded areas.”