Recently news and social media are full of videos showing the growing numbers of cars stolen via keyless theft. We look at how to avoid keyless car theft and the steps you can take to keep your car safe.
Keyless theft is still a relatively new phenomenon, but if the number of recent reports is anything to go by, it’s a growing. In fact, experts consider keyless theft is partly to blame for a sharp increase in car theft. It's alarming as rates have leapt by almost a third since 2013. An estimated 66 percent of stolen cars get taken due to being electronically compromised.
What Is Keyless Car Theft?
It's a process also known as relay theft and it's relatively simple. So simple anyone with a basic understand of radio signals can do it. We are not about to show you how to mimic the process but we can tell you how to defend against it.
- First, they buy a relay amplifier and transmitter; these devices can be purchased the internet, and there is no need to visit the dark web either.
- Next, they identify a house with a nice car parked outside and, by using these gadgets, can detect whether the car features key-less entry and go.
- One criminal then stands close to the car with his transmitter, while a second waves the amplifier around the perimeter of the target house. If the car key is close enough the amplifier will detect its signal, amplify it and send it to the accomplice’s transmitter.
- This transmitter becomes the key, and tricks the car into thinking the real key is next to the car. Thieves simply to open the car, get in and drive away. The whole process can take as little as 60 seconds and silently. Even rolling the car off your drive.
How To Avoid Key less Theft – Motoring Deals Top Tips
Key less theft sounds almost like the perfect crime – but that doesn’t mean there aren’t steps you can take to stop it from happening to you. We spoke to some of the industry’s leading security experts to find out what you can do.
- Ensure cars are locked and keep keys far away from doors and windows. This will minimise the chances a crook will be able to find and amplify the key’s signal.
- Investigate whether it’s possible to switch off the key’s signal. Some manufactures such as Tesla offer offer this function. Check your manual or speak to your dealer to find out if your key has this function.
You could also purchase an aftermarket security device such as a steering wheel lock, a driveway parking post, or even a wheel clamp. Even if the thieves are able to access and start your car, these should prevent them from driving away.
Signal Blocking Pouches
Consider purchasing a Defender Signal Blocker Faraday pouch to keep your car key in. These pouches contain signal-blocking materials that stop your key transmitting its code, preventing crooks from being able to detect and amplify the signal. Test it regularly but standing next to your car with it in the pouch. The ones Motoring Deals has in its shop have proven reliable, you can also find a larger selection of Defender Signal Blockers on EVAccessories.co.uk. They are cheap and easy to use. Prices start at around £5.99
What Else Can Be Done?
Other steps you can take to keep your car safe include. Checking if there are any software updates for the car itself. Remaining vigilant for unusual activity in your area and having an aftermarket immobiliser or tracker fitted. Car manufacturers are working on ways to combat key-less theft. If you are still worried about key less theft, contact your car dealer to see if the system can be disabled.