Skip to main content
Find a member Join
3 ways to stop tools thieves in their tracks

Tool theft is an increasingly important issue for tradespeople. On average, a van is broken into every 23 minutes in the UK and around 62 thefts happen per day. This totalled a massive 22,749 thefts in 2017 alone – a rise of nearly two thirds since 2015.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent opportunistic thieves getting hold of your tools and help recover them should they be stolen.

1. Store your tools sensibly

The harder your tools are to access, the less likely thieves are to successfully steal them. It’s best to take your tools in from your van overnight, as techniques like ‘peel and steal’ can leave even well-secured vans vulnerable.

2. Park for prevention

If you can’t bring your tools in overnight or will be leaving your van unattended for a prolonged period during the day, it’s a good idea to park in a way that will prevent or deter thieves from getting to your equipment.

Parking with sliding or rear doors against a wall or sturdy fence will help keep them safe from peel and steal, but unfortunately won’t do much good against skeleton keys that some thieves have access to.

To deter thieves, you could park in a busy, well-lit area, in view of CCTV cameras. Even if someone does break into your van, you’re more likely to find a witness or catch the culprit on camera.

3. Check your insurance

If you don’t have tools insurance, you are leaving yourself vulnerable to potentially crippling business losses should the worst happen.

ECA has secured a Member-exclusive tools insurance arrangement with Covermytools to protect your business tools. ECA members have a 5% discount using the code ECA5.

Covermytools provide protection for loss, damage or theft of hand tools and portable power tools in the UK (or anywhere in the world for up to 30 days). Cover my tools goes beyond traditional tool insurance with providing 24hour insurance for your tools that are locked in a Van or unit.

Covermytools can cover tools worth up to a maximum limit of £10,000 per insured person, with no inner limit to the value of any one item.

Does this cover theft from unattended vehicles or buildings?

Absolutely! Covermytools recognise that some traditional insurance policies for tools exclude some of the most obvious risks. They have a scheme which provides cover for theft from unattended locked motor vehicles or a locked store or building.

What is covered?

  • Specialist cover for all types of handheld tools and power tools
  • Theft from unattended locked vehicles or buildings as standard (no additional excess applies)
  • Cover limit options from £1,000 to £10,000 per person
  • Choice of excess options from as low as £50
  • Damage or Theft in the UK or anywhere in the world up to 30 days.
  • Premiums start from as low as £50 per year.

Simply click go to and complete the short online form to receive a quote. Alternatively, ECA Members can call Covermytools on 0330 100 0450. Don’t forget to use the referral code ECA5 to get a 5% discount.