6 Tips to Prevent Keyless Car Theft 🔑
Keyless car technology is one of those gadgets that make modern life easier. Plus, it looks cool.
However, many argue that keyless cars are potentially easier to steal. This largely depends on the car’s make and model, but how well you protect your vehicle can also be a factor. If you have a keyless car, there are a few things you can do to deter and prevent criminals from taking advantage of keyless entry.
How Does Keyless Car Theft Work?
Relay attack is the most popular technique used to gain access to keyless cars. It usually requires two criminals working together to relay the key fob signal to your car using a transmitter.
One device needs to be reasonably close to the key fob which will pick up the signal and relay it to a transmitter held by the other criminal, near your car. After this, once a clear enough signal is transmitted, the car’s system is tricked into unlocking.
Relay devices can be purchased for as little as £100, and can access your vehicle within 20 seconds.
How Can You Prevent Keyless Car Theft?
1. Keep the key fob away from windows and doors
To intercept and copy the signal from your key fob, the fob must be in reasonably close proximity. Car keys are often left by the front door, which is perfect for thieves who are reliant on a strong signal. The closer the key fob is to the vehicle, the easier it is for thieves to amplify the signal.
Therefore keep your key fob away from doors and windows, and as far away from the car as is practical.
2. Keep the fob in a blocking bag
Another method is to keep the fob in a blocking bag. Small and portable, blocking bags stop communication with the fob by blocking the signal. They also work with other remote entry fobs and can be picked up for around £5.
3. Switch off the fob’s wireless receiver
A deceptively simple way to prevent thieves from using your key fob’s signal is to turn the signal off. Depending on the make and model of the car, you may be able to manually switch off the signal when not in use. Check your vehicle user guide for further information.
4. Reprogramme pre-used key fobs
Reprogramming key fobs is not cheap, but it will give you peace of mind. If you’ve lost a key fob or if your vehicle is second-hand, then get the system reset. This will mean any previous key fobs or any copies made can no longer be used to access the car.
5. Invest in a steering wheel lock
Steering wheel locks present criminals with a visual barrier to driving away with your car. A thief specialising in digital hijacking may stumped when presented with a mechanical obstacle.
Steering wheel locks are visible from outside the vehicle and work well to deter criminals who may be considering targeting your car. Steering wheel locks could also reduce your car insurance.
6. Lock your car and don’t leave anything on display
Never leave a keyless car unlocked, even if you’re popping into a shop or paying for petrol. A car thief needs less than 20 seconds to trick-start your car.
Sometimes your car may not be the main target, and opportunists are on the lookout for valuables left in your car. Hide any valuables you may be storing or better yet, remove them altogether. Thieves are particularly on the lookout for electronic items such as smart devices and laptops.
Keyless Car Models Most Vulnerable to Theft
Overall, any keyless car is vulnerable to attack since they rely on similar fob-to-car signal recognition. Although digital systems and security continue to improve, unfortunately, car theft is becoming all the more common. Desirable models amongst the most targeted include Range Rovers, BMW and Land Rovers.
What to Look For
The most secure models to look for are those that have a sleep mode for the wireless system. Using a motion sensor to trigger sleep mode means the signal on a stationary fob is inactive and cannot be intercepted. Additionally, more secure keyless cars may also come with the ability to turn off the signal manually.
At INSHUR, we always want to help our drivers by offering helpful advice to make your day easier or by ensuring you’ve got the right insurance cover. For more on how we can help and to get a quote in minutes, check out INSHUR now.