Study Unveils Security Threat in UK Fleets

Business Insights

According to Logistics UK, more than a third of all British businesses are hit by vehicle theft every year. This is in line with a new study by Vimcar, looking into fleet security within the electrical service sector.


1 in every 3 participants of Vimcar’s study had experienced vehicle theft in the past. 

It also found that vehicle misuse (when fleet vehicles are used for unauthroised trips) within the electrician industry is very commonplace. 75% of the businesses surveyed restrict the use of their fleet - to only allow for business usage, for example. Many of the same businesses also suggested that these restrictions are often ignored, with 62% wanting to be notified every time one of their vehicles was being misused.

Vehicle theft costs the average UK business £16,000 a year; vehicle misuse can cost companies thousands in extra fuel, HMRC fines and unnecessary maintenance fees.

The solution? Well, according to the same survey, 63% of employers in the electrical service sector would purchase, or have already purchased, a telematics fleet tracking system. Fleet trackers can update employers on the live locations of vehicles and notify them of suspicious fleet activity.

See the infographic for a full overview of the findings.

Fleet security in the UK

It should come as no surprise that more and more businesses are now installing fleet tracking for security purposes. As mentioned above, vehicle theft is not a problem that is exclusive to those in the electrician services sector. Whilst joblessness has surged through the pandemic, so has the number of people turning to vehicle theft to earn extra money. 

As a result, fleet vehicle theft is at an all-time four-year high. In 2020 alone, there was a 56% increase in the robbery of vehicles compared to the previous year.

Whilst there is no evidence to suggest that vehicle misuse is on the rise, it is still a major concern for business owners: all businesses, and small to medium-sized in particular, are more risk and cost-averse than ever. 

Beyond the security advantages of fleet tracking, a separate study by Fleet Technology Trends (2019) also found that businesses have been able to improve their customer service and be more productive with fleet tracking systems. 

50% of participants found they could improve customer service, by providing customers with accurate driver ETAs and being able to locate and send out the nearest driver to their address. 53% were also more productive after installing fleet tracking, through being able to digitalise and automate much of their work.

Overall, taking into account all fleet tracking does, it can help businesses save an average of 15%

Fleet tracking in the UK

The study also found that, while most of those in the electrical service sector would invest in telematics fleet tracking systems, 32% would not.

Further research by Fleet Technology Trends shows similar results with a large minority claiming that the “realised benefits” of a tracking system far outweigh the “expected benefits”. That is to say, many that did benefit from fleet tracking did not originally anticipate the perks. 

That being said, according to the electrical services survey, a majority would still buy/have still bought a telematics system. And, it would also seem that this majority is getting bigger.

Fleet tracking providers, such as Vimcar, have still seen a persistent trend of sales growth over the past 12 months - despite the economic pressures of COVID. This could partly be due to the rise in fleet vehicle theft and businesses wanting to avoid the unforeseen costs related to vehicle misuse. 

In a bid to support small businesses through lockdown Vimcar is currently offering “Lockdown Cover”: they will cover the cost of their service all the way up to April. They hope this will help protect small businesses, including those in the electrician service sector, against any rising fleet security threats through COVID, without adding to any existing financial burdens.