Stolen vehicles and equipment costs fleet-based businesses an average of more than £16,000 each year, according to new research.

A study conducted by Opinium for Verizon Connect has revealed that the average business has at least one vehicle stolen each year.

The theft of vehicles and equipment costs fleet-based businesses an average of £16,253 each year, Opinium found.

The average loss increases to nearly £50,000 for those businesses that have between 101-250 vehicles, as the number of vehicles stolen rises to three for businesses of this size.

More than half (58%) of fleet managers don’t use technology, such as immobilisation devices, to assist in recovering lost or stolen vehicles, according to the research.

As a result, only 44% of businesses who reported a vehicle stolen have been able to recover it, and any equipment, in usable condition.

‘For many businesses across Britain, vehicles and the equipment inside, are their livelihood – theft represents a huge cost, not just in terms of the lost vehicle or equipment, there’s the additional cost through lost business,’ said Derek Bryan, vice president EMEA, Verizon Connect.

‘With vehicle crime on the rise, fleet and business managers need to be extra vigilant.’

Recent ONS data shows that vehicle theft increased by 7% during the year ending June 2019.

‘Technology can not only track the location and status of a vehicle, but can also remotely disable a vehicle’s ignition once the vehicle’s engine has been shut off, effectively stopping vehicle misuse in near real time,’ said Mr Bryan.

‘This not only helps prevent the unauthorised use of vehicles, it helps businesses run more effectively by better monitoring fuel usage, safety metrics and managing customer expectations.’