Your definitive guide to securing your van, tools, business and livelihood

CatLocks – catalytic convertor locking mechanism

Typically £125-£150

Catalytic converter thefts from vans and in fact all vehicles have been on the rise for a few years now, with its precious metal content, the bigger the better for potential thieves and so the catalytic convertors on vans are of particular interest.  The dealership at one stage had to remove the cats from all of there new vehicles on-site due to mass theft of them – refitting them at the point of sale when the new customer arrived to collect their new vehicle.

A factory available option but also very easy to find and install on from the aftermarket retailers too. A Catlock could save you thousands of pounds in parts, downtime, inconvenience and loss of business.

Essentially a piece of stainless steel that encases the catalytic convertor with a stainless steel clamp, that is secured to the chassis using an ultra-strong stainless steel cable.

*A replacement cat could cost in excess of £1500.

*It might surprise you to know that without protection, a thief can remove the catalytic convertor in around a minute!


Costing £50-£100

Armaplating is quite simply a moulded sheet of metal that covers the vulnerable lock barrel or handle and the surrounding area. Bolted through the skin of the van door to give maximum strength, then secured with locknuts.

It will help prevent forced entry, but can also reduce the need for costly body shop repairs after a break-in, again improving on downtime and damage costs.

  • Made from high strength stainless steel
  • Impossible to dislodge with hammer blows
  • Concealed fixings
  • No moving parts
  • Does not rely on driver activation

Loom Guard

Cost £25

Savvy thieves realised they could gain access to a vehicle simply by cutting the door cables, resulting in access to the vehicle being obtained in a very short amount of time and with minimal fuss – a loom guard protects those electronic cables and prevents tricks like this being possible.

Slam Locks

Approx £70

Slamlocks ensure that the van door locks automatically when closed. Essentially adding an additional lock to the door of your vehicle and a favourite amongst small businesses, the Slamlock reduces the chance of drivers leaving the doors unlocked – the Slamlock is connected directly to the van door lock usually offering a one-handed operation (on turning the key, the door will “pop” open).

Slamlocks are supplied keyed alike to work on one key for your convenience.


Cost £26.50

Owners simply use a key to undo the mechanism, which is straightforward. This Stoplock model can be fitted to rear doors or sliding side doors. Fitting requires the door skin to be drilled, so those who aren’t confident themselves should get a professional to install it.

Van Vault – equipment storage

Between £150-£300 (size dependent)

It’s always best to take expensive tools and equipment out of a van where possible, but not always possible. A Van Vault is secure tool chests and other van security products including a lockable roof tube for safely transporting copper pipes.

There are various designs available including drawer systems, chests and lockable roof tube (for copper piping for example)


Varying between £75 – £125

An oldie but a goodie – used on all types of vehicles this device simply clamps around your steering wheel, making it impossible to move the steering wheel and therefore the vehicle pretty much unmovable. A great deterrent for thieves.

Vehicle location by Tracker

Varies dependent on the quality of the product – £25-£500

Once a vehicle is stolen there is a good chance it’ll never be recovered, and when speaking to claimants, some would want their car back after it had been subject to theft but your van is essential for working and earning so a tracking system can make a big difference. Following a theft, the owner can contact the tracking provider who will turn on tracking and send details to the police. The police can then track the vehicle using in-car equipment, increasing the chance of recovery and sometimes even resulting in the thief being caught red-handed at the wheel.

Window tinting/security film

£40 per window

It might seem like a modification to suit the petrolhead that lives next door but it’s easy to leave a phone or power tools on display in the van – whether you accept it or not, it is an invite to opportunistic thieves to smash the window and successfully break into your van within seconds. A security film prevents can deter this from happening simply by making it more difficult to see anything inside the van.

Most window tinting companies offer security films.

SafeClamp ladder protection

Approx £60

Lots of you need to carry ladders on a roof rack – Well-known equipment manufacturer Rhino makes a lockable clamping system to keep roof-mounted ladders safe and secure, requiring a key to remove the clamps.

The SafeClamp system is far easier to use alongside one of the Rhino ladder racking systems, which make it possible to load and unload ladders even from high-roofed vans without twisting or stretching. In fact, they’re designed to be so light and easy to operate that no real strength is required at all.


Varying quality – £50-£150

A dash camera can be useful for catching criminals by recording evidence in the event of an insurance claim. With ever-increasing popularity amongst drivers and motorcyclists, manufacturers of dash cameras have seen a big rise in sales of dash cams.

With parking mode – a motion sensor that will pick up people or objects moving nearby. They can detect vandals, accidents and criminals who want to take items from inside the van.

It would be advisable to mount it out of sight to deter theft.

Slamplate Handle

Approx £60 per lock

A Slamplate handle has been designed due to the increasing number of break-ins resulting from van handles being forced off.  Fitted to the door with steel fixing plates or large washers and anti-locking nuts, it connects directly to the door lock to give a one-handed operation.

Insurance of course…!

Last of all – and most important – is insurance. It’s definitely worth spending money on some additional van security equipment, but making sure your van and all of its contents are properly insured will make life that much easier if your van is targeted.

It’s easy to forget about all the tools and equipment in a van when paying for insurance, but making an effort to ensure everything is properly valued and covered is essential. Don’t just go for the cheapest cover – sometimes paying a little more is a better value when you factor in additional extras.


Top tips for improving your van security

  • Prioritise security when choosing your van
  • Modify the van to your needs
  • Invest in the latest security technology
  • Don’t forget the cat
  • Use your van locks
  • Don’t leave valuables inside your van
  • Think about where you park
  • Keep a record of what’s in your van
  • Make your staff aware of van security

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