The increase in staycations this year has been great news for the motorhome rental industry. The demand for motorhomes and campervans continues to rise, offering staycationers a safe and socially-distanced alternative to a holiday abroad. However, this increased popularity has inevitably lead to a rise in vehicle thefts. Mark Casey, Self-Drive Hire Account Executive, explains how you can keep your vehicles safe.
Simple measures to protect your vehicle
Now that we’re in the winter months, chances are your motorhome is spending more time in storage, in the yard or on the drive. “It’s important to put protective measures in place, wherever your vehicle is stored,” says Mark. “Items such as wheel clamps, pedal locks, extra door locks and steering wheel clamps – as long as they cover the whole steering wheel – are a fairly straightforward way to add extra layers of security.”
Physical barriers to your vehicle can also help ward off would-be thieves. “Security posts, bollards and barriers are powerful visual deterrents,” Mark explains. “CCTV systems are also worth considering – not only will cameras show thieves that you take your security seriously, but CCTV footage can also help to identify a criminal should you fall victim to a theft.”
Don’t forget that the keys to the vehicle are vulnerable to theft too. Store keys in a safe place and out of sight. A key safe provides secure storage and a Faraday or key-shielding pouch is particularly recommended if your vehicle uses a smart key. Mark warns: “Thieves are getting more sophisticated and can use devices which copy the frequency of your smart key. Once they have that copy, they can open the door to the motorhome and drive off, leaving no broken glass or blaring car alarm to alert you to the theft. A Faraday pouch will block the signal of any such devices – a simple way to provide invaluable vehicle protection.”
Don’t forget that keys are vulnerable to theft too. Store them in a safe place, out of sight
Get peace of mind with a vehicle tracker
One of the best ways to be reassured that your vehicle is protected is by installing a tracker. These systems are monitored remotely and provide a whole host of information about where your vehicle was and when. “Installing a tracker is a brilliant thing to do – if you have one, you can always find out where your vehicle has been,” says Mark.
“We always encourage clients to have a Thatcham approved tracker system in place. Not only is it a good anti-theft tool, but it can also aid any spurious claims and assist with hire timings. For example, if someone is alleging your motorhome clipped a vehicle in one city, the tracker can show whether this is true, or not.
Additionally, if you’ve got a new hirer coming in at three o’clock and the vehicle is due back at 12pm, but the previous hirers have been delayed, you can put the new hires back an hour or two.”
We always encourage clients to have a Thatcham approved tracker system in place
Regularly review your security
Mark emphasises the importance of regularly reviewing your security systems. “It’s crucial that you check that any security measures you have installed are still working as expected. There’s no point having expensive CCTV or trackers if they’re not working.
“We don’t want to scare anyone,” Mark adds. “But we do want to make sure our clients are aware of the risks, and they know how best to protect themselves.”
Our team is here to help, so please do get in touch if you have any questions or concerns.
Check the security measures you have are still working as expected – there’s no point having expensive CCTV or trackers if they’re not working
Alan Boswell Group offers a range of insurance products for self-drive hire companies. The following are add-ons we strongly recommend considering:
Public Liability insurance will cover your business in the event of damage or injury to third parties and their property. Employers’ Liability cover is required by law and failure to insure can result in hefty fine.
Motor Breakdown Cover
What would you do if your vehicle broke down whilst on hire in the UK or Europe? Our breakdown policy offers roadside assistance, nationwide recovery, Homestart and European breakdown cover.
Motor Legal Expenses
If you have an accident that is not your fault, this policy will help you to recover your out-of-pocket expenses. These can range from a replacement vehicle while yours is repaired to the costs of claiming for personal injury.
Commercial Legal Expenses
Unexpected legal disputes can be costly at the best of times, but with the ever changing burden of employment legislation, Inland Revenue demands and a rise in contractual disputes, businesses ought to be protecting themselves with this important cover.
Cyber insurance makes sure your business is protected against cyber-crime. This includes fraud, data theft and social engineering, where criminals attempt to fool you into parting with money or information. A policy also provides cover for data breaches where sensitive information is accidentally shared. If you hold large amounts of customer data, cyber insurance is strongly recommended.
Directors’ and Officers’ Insurance
Directors and officers (D&O) insurance provides financial protection offer for company managers to protect them from claims which may arise from the decisions and actions taken within the scope of their regular duties.