Owning a van can be a great way to assert your independence, butunless you take proper care of your vehicle, you could soon findyourself falling victim to criminals. Van theft is at a high in theUK, due to the effects of the recession still being felt, whilevehicle vandalism on the whole is also on the rise, compared toprevious years. This makes it essential that responsible vandrivers take steps to protect their vehicles when not in use, andtake out the appropriate cover. When parking your van, avoid darkand empty streets where opportunists are more likely to attempt abreak-in. While your own garage can be safest, by parking in awell-lit public place or a car park, you’re less likely to fallvictim to criminals if your van is protected by sophisticatedsecurity devices, as criminals will be less keen to spend timeattempting to get past these when the risk of being caught isheightened. It’s also not a good idea to leave valuables or otheritems clearly visible inside your van that could make it an evenmore tempting target for thieves. Van drivers should be aware thattheir vehicles already tend to fetch a higher value from resellthan many cars, however some criminals are more interested insmall-scale theft, and may enter your van if they see signs ofvaluables or cash on display. Many van drivers who report van theftadmit that they left doors or windows open or unlocked, which canprovide easy access to criminals. By taking care to ensure allentry points to your van are sealed, not only will you reduce yourrisk of burglary, but you can also help your vaninsurance claim, if you’re able to prove that the theft wasn’tyour own fault. There are further steps that can be taken in theinterest of safeguarding your van, and improving your chances ofbeing reunited following theft. If your Vehicle IdentificationNumber (VIN) is not already engraved on your van’s components, youcan do this yourself, as it will make all parts of your van easierto trace if re-sold. Another, more advanced method that can helpbring your van home safe and sound is to sign up for vehicletracking, which will allow the police to track a device hiddeninside your van as soon as you report it missing.