More than a third (36%) of van drivers fell victim to tool theft last year, representing a 33% increase since 2020, according to research by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

It said 48% of van owners confessed to keeping more than £2,150 worth of tools in their vans overnight, which it said meant that UK tradespeople were risking up to £5 billion in lost equipment.

VW has issued advice for improving security, such as parking vans in well-lit, busy areas, checking surroundings before offloading tools, considering fitting a vehicle tracking device, putting up a ‘no tools left onboard’ signs, security tagging tools, and fitting additional security locks.