2 August 2019
Why are keyless cars so vulnerable to theft?
Over the last five years there has been a dramatic surge in UK car theft. Much of this has been attributed to the vulnerability of keyless cars.
Why are keyless cars so vulnerable?
It is relatively easy for thieves to steal a keyless car with the correct equipment. Armed with a relay transmitter and relay amplifier, a thief can unlock a car and drive off within 18 seconds. With the whole crime committed in relative silence, it is no wonder that it has become big business for organised criminals.
Five top tips to avoid theft
There are ways to beat the thieves. Here are five of the best:
- Check with your dealer: The manufacturers are working continuously to combat the problem. They may have software updates for your model which give you better protection. Also, it may be possible to switch off your key’s signal. Many car makers have built this in. For example, with older Mercedes models, the signal can be deactivated by pressing the lock button twice. Ultimately, if you wish, the dealer may be able to disable your keyless system altogether.
- Take sensible precautions: Always check your car is properly locked when you leave it. When at home, keep the key away from doors and windows and either in a Faraday Pouch or a closed metal tin.
- Use a Faraday Pouch: Consider carrying your key in a Faraday Pouch. These are made of a metallic material that blocks the signal from your key. Auto Express recently tested a range of pouches and recommended their top three as the Defender Signal Blocker, Disklabs Key Shield KS1 and Ecence RFID Radiation Protection Bag.
- Fit a tracker device: Cars fitted with a tracker have a 96% rate of recovery when stolen (Thatcham). This falls to 50%, or lower, without a device.
- Apply belt and braces: As a failsafe, consider security devices such as a steering wheel lock, a wheel clamp or a driveway parking post. Even if the thieves can access and start your car, these should prevent them from driving it away. More likely, most criminals will give your car a miss if they spot these devices – simply to avoid the hassle.
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