6 In 10 Tradespeople Have Been Offered Stolen Tools

A recent survey by Direct Line business insurance has revealed that 6 in 10 tradespeople have been approached by or seen someone trying to sell second-hand tools which they suspected were stolen. It is estimated that about 3 in 10 UK consumers purchase second-hand tools and equipment, but there is concern about the scale of theft across the UK.

Pro Builder Mag reports that reassuringly, 91% of tradespeople who took part in the study refused to buy goods from suspect sources. 24% went on to notify a trade body, and 23% reported their concerns to the police.

29% of respondents came into contact with the suspicious seller by word of mouth, and just over a quarter of encounters were on social media, a website, or other selling platform. 18% reported that the suspect was a friend, and one in 10 went ahead with a purchase of tools despite the dubious nature of their origin.

The problem of tool theft is a cause of frequent concern among tradespeople, who may face serious disruption to their livelihoods and significant expense to replace them. For this reason, 39% of tradespeople said they would buy second-hand replacements online if their tools were stolen, as brand-new tools would be a fresh target for thieves.

The survey also revealed that while 81% of people were vigilant about security, one in 10 did not have any insurance cover in place for tools and equipment. Jonny McHugh, SME Business Manager at Direct Line, said:

“Tradespeople can help to protect themselves by ensuring they lock tools away securely and take precautions when parking their vehicles. It is also important that they invest in comprehensive insurance cover to help ensure that they are not hit hard in the pocket if their equipment is stolen.”

It is estimated that 28% of tools are stolen from vehicles, and owners are urged to install security features such as steering wheel locks and alarm systems.

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