Given the Transit’s domination of the new market this is to be expected and it accounted for one-in-four of all vans stolen. More surprising is that the Mercedes Sprinter, which the large model Transit outsells by almost two-to-one, was not too far behind in making up 21% of vans stolen.

The third most popular commercial vehicle with the light fingered was the Mitsubishi L200 pick-up truck (13%) followed by Nissan Primastar and Peugeot Expert on 4% each. Again the statistics for stolen vans did not mirror the new van sales chart. The Primaster, for example, is marketed as the Vivara by by Vauxhall and the Trafic by Renault and is outsold by both.     

HPI warned used buyers to be wary of a minefield of potential problems including stolen, clocked, cloned and written-off vans as well as those with outstanding finance attached.

HPI boss Daniel Burgess said dealers duped into buying stolen vans faced not only losing the vehicle and the money paid for it but could see their reputation tarnished if they sell the van on to a customer who then faces financial loss.

“One-in-four vans checked has something to hide but used van buyers can avoid risks by carrying out an HPI check, which will uncover the vehicle’s history and confirm if there is anything untoward that needs investigating,” he said.