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Top 10 – Stolen Vans – 2013

Top 10 stolenWe’ve all seen the ‘no tools left in this overnight’ stickers that builders and tradesman put on the back of their vans in the hope that it might dissuade an opportunist thief that it’s worth breaking into. But worse than having your van broken into is having your van stolen lock stock and barrel. So is your van at risk? We list the top 10 vans that are most stolen in the UK.

For the purposes of this list, we’ve set a limit of 5000 vehicles on the road for each model to make it representative of the whole van market. This means vans like the Citroen C15 and DAF Sherpa aren’t in this list as only a few thousand are on the road but you can of course read the whole list here.

1. Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 

We would have expected the ubiquitous Ford Transit to be the most stolen van from our data but instead it’s the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. As one of the most expensive vans on the market it’s no surprise that this is an attractive vehicle for thieves. A new Sprinter was launched in 2013 with improved security.

2. Nissan Cabstar

While our picture shows a Nissan Cabstar as a box van, most on the road are tippers being a popular choice for builders and gardeners. It’s a van that’s been around since the early 1990s and it’s likely these older models will account for the vast majority of the examples stolen.

3. Ford Transit

As Britain’s best selling van it’s inevitable the trusty Transit would appear in this list. More were actually stolen than the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter but as a proportion of the total on the road, it was actually smaller – a testament to the security of the Ford. The larger 3.5t Transit will be replaced next year by an all-new model.

4. Volkswagen LT35

The LT35 has now been replaced by the Volkswagen Crafter, but the LT name goes all the way back to 1975. The first generation model soldiered on until 1995 although there are few of these earlier examples left and those tend to be in the hands of enthusiasts who have turned them into campervans. 

5. Citroen Relay

The Citroen Relay is the sister van to the Peugeot Boxer and Fiat Ducato – they’re all essentially the same van albeit with different badges. But it’s the Citroen which is more likely to be stolen, more than likely to early models from the mid 90s which had basic security by today’s standards.

6. Volkswagen Crafter

Like the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, we were surprised to see the Volkswagen Crafter in this list, especially as it was only launched in 2006. It’s actually based on the Sprinter and built at the same factory. As one of the more upmarket and costly vans it’s no surprise to see thieves targeting it.

7. Volkswagen Transporter

The Transporter name actually encompasses a wide series of vans going back to 1950 with the now much sought after T1. Pretty much all these early T1 and T2 vans are now in the hands of enthusiasts and due to their rarity and popularity command a high price. Although it’s the more modern versions which thieves are likely to target.

8. Toyota Hiace 

The Toyota Hiace was the top performing model in reliability stakes so it makes it appealing to thieves. However, it’s more likely that older versions with more basic security are the models being stolen. The model has now been replaced by the Toyota Proace – a rebadged version of the Peugeot Expert.

9. Vauxhall Vivaro

A favorite of the AA and Royal Mail, the Vivaro represents good value for money as a medium van. It’s based on the Renault Traffic but the Vauxhall is very much a British van, being built at Vauxhall’s plant in Luton. However clearly a favorite of the van thieves.

10. Ford Transit Connect

It may be in our top 10 most stolen vans but a theft rate is very low.

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Information courtest of HJ car crime census.


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