There are enough challenges when running a fleet without having to think about what to do if a vehicle is stolen. Although incidents of theft have fallen in the United Kingdom over the past couple of years, according to data from the Office for National Statistics, 69,547 vehicles were stolen during 2014.
What should a fleet manager do if they discover that one of their vehicles has been pinched? We decided to put together a list of four concise steps to take in order to retrieve a vehicle.
Step one – Reference Tracking Data
Having fleet tracking installed in vehicles provides information that is extremely valuable to the authorities. With alerts and mapping data, business owners and managers can identify the last known location of a vehicle in order to enable a quick recovery.
Paul Oakley, Head of Operations at Clothes Aid, told us about his experience of locating one of his vans after thieves had taken it by utilising the information provided via his tracking device.
"Having access to the specific data that a tracking system provides was vitally useful information for me to give to Northumberland Police in the search for our stolen van. I was able to tell the Police of the route the van had taken on the day it was stolen so I could give them the exact time of when the burglary happened.
"In simple terms, the technology we had invested in our fleet of 40 vans enabled us to recover the vehicle in question. It's worth its weight in gold."
Step two – Phone The Police
The sooner a car is reported and the relevant information has been handed to the police, the greater the likelihood is that it will be intercepted and returned. Of course, the longer this is left, the more likely it will be that a vehicle has been abandoned, trashed, burned or stripped down for parts.
The police will take as much information on the vehicle as possible, so it's important that details such as the registration number, make, model and colour of a stolen vehicle are presented. We recommend calling '101' as opposed to '999' as nobody is in immediate danger.
Step three – Contact Insurance Company
It's worth getting in touch with the insurance company as soon as possible. This will make sure that if the vehicle isn't found or has been destroyed and the proceedings will be started quickly.
Step four – Contact The DVLA
If the car is not recovered or is rendered unusable, the DVLA will need to know.
According to information presented on the DVLA website, the owners of a stolen business vehicle can apply for a tax refund. A special application form V33 is available for this purpose an the crime reference number (given out by the police) will need to be referenced.
We at Teletrac Navman hope that you'll never have to experience the stress of having a vehicle stolen, however, being mindful of the steps above will help if the situation does arise.