There is truth to the statement that vehicle thefts in the UK have been on a downward trend since 2002, but this isn’t the entire story. In the short term, such thefts have risen, with over 130,000 reported in 2022/23. Vehicle protection and safety is a daily consideration for the average driver but becomes especially important under certain circumstances – such as the undertaking of temporary, freelance or contract work.
In some situations, you might rely on your vehicle to make basic appointments and keep to your schedule. In others, you might be reliant on vehicle borrowing or rentals to meet certain job specifications and expectations. In either case, vehicle theft or breaking-and-entering can be deeply damaging to personal finances and credibility. What can you do to ensure the safety of any vehicles under your care while undertaking such works?
Insurance is a legal requirement for any drivers on UK roads, personal, professional or otherwise. This does not change even when borrowing a vehicle insured by somebody else, let alone renting a vehicle from a private agent. With regard to borrowing a vehicle, temporary car insurance is enough to ensure you are personally and legally covered to drive it; rental cars are often provided with an insurance plan, mitigating the necessity to secure your own temporary agreement.
While insurance is a key legal provision, it is also a powerful financial one. In the event of theft or vandalism, the cost of damages or vehicle loss will be largely covered by the insurance premium. This is vital for the protection of your personal finances, and your ability to continue without your own business suffering. Courtesy cars are also often offered as part of your insurance plan, enabling you to carry on without being unable to travel.
Temporary and contract-based work will find you traveling to, and parking in, areas which are new to you. These areas are unknown quantities with respect to crime and safety unless you have time to do your own research and scope out locations outside of work. Where you might not have time, additional diligence in parking and leaving your vehicle can be crucial. Be sure to park in well-lit areas, so as not to incentivise attempted criminal activity.
Use a Dashcam
Finally, you should ensure you always install a dashcam in whichever vehicle you use. Dashcams are a new frontier in vehicle safety, being a powerful deterrent in their own right – and incredibly useful in documenting incidents to boot. Dashcam systems which record both the front and rear view are indispensable in navigating insurance claims, as they are capable of assisting in identifying objectively who might be at fault. They can also prevent crimes-in-progress, or at least assist in the capture of criminals who attempt to steal your vehicle or belongings.