What's best for van security?


Whether a van is electric, hybrid, or diesel, all types carry valuable equipment, making them prime targets for thieves. While complete protection isn’t possible, there are effective ways to delay thieves and minimise the risk. This guide will help you make informed decisions.

Commercial vehicle theft results in millions of pounds in losses annually. With van break-ins at an all-time high and showing no signs of slowing down, it’s crucial to enhance your vehicle’s security with additional measures.

Protecting valuable equipment is essential to reduce the risk of theft and vandalism. Whether your van is electric, hybrid, or diesel, all types carry valuable equipment, making them prime targets for thieves. While complete protection isn’t possible, there are effective ways to delay thieves and minimize the risk.

The wide array of available security products can be overwhelming, leading some to postpone acting until it’s too late. This guide aims to assist fleet operators in making informed decisions regarding van security.

The evolution of van security

Security measures have evolved significantly since the 90s, moving from adapted household locks to bespoke kits specifically designed for various vehicle makes and models.

Modern locks are rigorously tested to withstand physical attacks and environmental conditions, ensuring long-lasting protection.

That’s why it’s always best to buy professional products designed for their specific purpose. Always look for a lock that has been tested by a third party. Sold Secure is an independent testing house that evaluates the security level of these products, offering a comprehensive solution to understand how secure a product is.

Sold Secure SS102 Automotive Silver is ideal for vehicles parked in medium-risk areas, providing entry-level protection. This grade represents the minimum standard for automotive security products.

Sold Secure SS102 Automotive Gold offers a high level of protection for your vehicle. It features robust locks with substantial resistance against theft.

Sold Secure SS102 Automotive Diamond provides Sold Secure’s highest level of security for vehicles. Recommended if you need an extra layer of security, as these locks have been tested against tools like angle grinders.

Understanding your vehicle

Before contacting an installer, know the type of vehicle you have – panel van, Luton box van, tipper truck, pickup truck, or a commercialised company car. Installers will also ask about the vehicle’s use – whether it’s for multi-drops/courier work, service work, or as a mobile workshop.

Types of Locks

Slam locks are Ideal for courier/multi-drop vehicles, though users must be cautious to avoid locking themselves out. They replace the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) handle with a cylinder lock, which automatically locks when the door closes, requiring a key to open the door each time. This solution only latches the door, which isn’t ideal for overnight security.

Hook Locks are suitable for service vehicles with expensive tools. They offer robust security against physical attacks. Installed professionally, these locks have become a staple in commercial vehicle security.

The locks are installed within the van panels, with hooks locking into opposing panels, reducing forced entry. They can be installed on rear and side doors, as well as cab doors, to protect against keyless entry attacks.

Exterior door locks are exterior-mounted and highly visible, serving as a deterrent. They can function as slam locks or deadlocks, providing flexibility. They help prevent peel attacks by clamping the door to adjacent panels.

Additional security measures

Replacement locks replace the standard manufacturer locks on the driver’s door, also known as Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) locks, with high-resistance alternatives that prevent attacks capable of unlocking the entire van.

On Board Diagnostics (OBD) Protection protects the OBD port, which can be exploited to program new keys and steal the vehicle. Options include relocating the port or securing it with a lockable housing.

Trackers and Immobilisers provide real-time tracking and alerts for unusual activity. Geo-fencing and immobilisers prevent the vehicle from being started or driven away without authorisation. Methods include using passwords with vehicle controls or touch fobs to deactivate the immobiliser.

Aftermarket alarms offer enhanced protection compared to standard alarms. They include motion sensors, PIR sensors, sounders, and door contacts to detect and alert against intrusion.

Shielding plates cover and protect damaged panels from further attacks. They offer a cost-effective alternative to extensive bodywork repairs, with quick installation and minimal vehicle downtime.

Fleet operators might also consider replacement roller shutter locks, electronic security, exhaust catalytic converter protection, loom protection and spare wheel protection to enhance their van security.

Future of vehicle security

As electric commercial vehicles and new body materials enter the market, security solutions will continue to evolve. The cat-and-mouse game between lock manufacturers and criminals drives ongoing innovation, ensuring that security measures keep pace with emerging threats to vehicles.

Professional Support

We would always recommend having your locks professionally installed to ensure your vehicles secure. The Master Locksmiths Association (MLA) offers a network of approved locksmiths and affiliated manufacturers who provide and install high-quality security products.

To find your local MLA Approved Van Lock Installer please visit the website. The MLA offers a Van Lock Fitting Course, to help businesses secure their vehicles effectively. This one-day course, conducted in partnership with Locks 4 Vans, provides hands-on training in installing van deadlocks, slam locks, and hook bolts.


Investing in van security is essential to protect your assets and minimise downtime and costs associated with theft and repairs. By understanding the types of locks and additional measures available, you can make informed decisions to safeguard your vehicles and ensure the continuity of your operations.