The Keyless Theft Risk

In recent months there has been a significant rise in keyless van thefts, in particular the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van, across the country, emphasising the need for companies to review and upgrade their current vehicle theft prevention procedures.

Recent research has revealed that the Sprinter is one of the most commonly stolen commercial vehicles (CVs), with thefts without using the owner’s keys up nearly 90 per cent of all stolen CVs.

Thieves are programming new keys by removing the vehicles ignition and extracting the last code used from it, this then allows them to use their own ignition barrel to drive away.

How To Protect Your Vans

Don’t let the crisis affect your fleet, deter any potential thieves and keep your CV’s safe by considering the following guidance and implementing the correct precautions:

Extra locks and alarms

Simple actions like adding deadlocks to the doors can act as a huge deterrent to thieves before a keyless theft is even attempted while installing more advanced alarm systems should be considered.

Ignition shields

These are strong metal shields bolted through existing bolt holes behind the dashboard and around a vehicle’s ignition, which make it difficult for thieves to remove the ignition barrel.


These limit thieves’ ability to drive away and can be implemented in different ways:

  • digital immobilisers require a short code or sequence to be input to unlock the steering wheel.
  • pedal boxes prevent the vehicle from moving by encasing the clutch, accelerator and brake pedals.

Tracking devices

While these won’t stop a theft, they do massively increase the chances of recovering any stolen vehicles, which will significantly reduce the value of any claim and can often be integrated into a wider vehicle use/fleet management system.


Contact Bullerwell & Co Ltd today for more guidance on industry-specific insurance solutions and to protect your fleet with appropriate cover.