5 Tips to prevent Keyless Car Theft
Keyless car theft is on the rise, stats shows. In the last year, over 100,000 cars have been stolen. That’s almost 300 cars a day. Of course, modern vehicles with motion sensors and immobilisers are harder to steal, but thieves use increasingly sophisticated ways to target high-value vehicles such as Land Rovers and Range Rovers. It’s called keyless car theft, and you need to know about it.
If you’ve got a modern car, then keyless car theft prevention should be a priority. There is a range of anti-theft devices for keyless vehicles, including both physical devices and deterrents, alongside technological solutions. In this blog, we explain what keyless car theft is, and identify 5 tips to prevent keyless thefts.
What is keyless car theft?
The days of a thief smashing a window and hotwiring a car are long gone (although they still do so in films). Today, thieves often steal high-value vehicles to order and use sophisticated mechanisms to access your vehicle.
Keyless cars enable you to jump in your vehicle and start up without sliding a key into the slot. Instead, you can carry a key in your pocket or bag. If the car recognises the signal emitted by the key, it’ll open the door and enable you to push a button to kick it into life.
It’s a simple, easy, and time-saving solution. But the issue is that thieves can crack it. Using relay devices, one thief will walk around your property trying to get the signal emitted by the key. If they can pick it up, the signal is relayed to another person besides the car.
By relaying the signal, they can unlock the doors, start it up, and leave your property – all in less than 60 seconds. It’s called relay theft, and it’s the biggest danger for cars with keyless entry systems.
Official figures show that half of those with keyless cars aren’t taking action to prevent them from being stolen. Thieves can spot keyless vehicles and know owners aren’t doing the basics. Don’t be this person.
Here are 5 tips to prevent keyless car theft.
1. Be careful where you put the keys
Keyless car key fobs work through proximity. They only open doors if they’re within short range. The solution? Never keep your keys near your car!
One simple tip is to put your car keys as far away from your car as possible inside your home. You can keep them upstairs in a bedroom or office. The further away from the vehicle, the safer they are.
Many people still leave car keys on a hook by the door. As well as using advanced technology, thieves can find opportunities to break through doors and windows to get access. They can smash French doors, or force an opening through your front or back door, so we recommend upping your home security, especially if you’ve got a £100,000 car on the drive.
2. Increase physical protection
Keyless car thieves won’t want to hang around but will want to make a speedy getaway – so don’t let them. If you’ve got a driveway, removable and retractable bollards are immovable objects that even the most dedicated car thief won’t be able to break down.
Securian’s large retractable bollard and retractable bollards are easy-to-install and deliver the ultimate in theft protection. Built from hard wearing, high-quality materials in the UK, there’s no way that thieves can drive over, or around them. In most cases, they’ll not bother attempting to steal your vehicle.
If you’re wondering how strong the bollards are, they’ve been security tested to withstand aggressive and sustained attacks.
3. Invest in a Faraday pouch
Have you ever wondered why planes don’t crash when they’re hit by lightning? It’s because the structure acts as a Faraday cage, shielding those inside from electromagnetic fields. Why is this important? Because a Faraday pouch (or a Faraday bag) performs the same function, but they protect the signal from your keyfob from being accessed.
You can pick up a Faraday pouch for less than £10, and they’re one the best anti-theft devices for keyless cars. Store your keys in it, and it should provide excellent (but not total!) protection.
4. Add a steering lock
If your vehicle is parked on the stress (or you don’t have space for a driveway bollard), then fitting a steering lock could provide a visible and physical deterrent that will have thieves thinking twice.
Traditional steering wheel locks are big, often yellow, and very bold – but they’re not unbreakable. Sadly, no steering lock is – but some are better than others! Securian’s steering wheel to seat-belt lock wraps around the steering wheel and is secure to the seat belt slot. It’s small enough to be stowed away in the glove box, but when in place, it provides solid protection.
5. Fit a tracking device
GPS trackers enable you to monitor the location of your vehicle at any time using a computer or programme, or smartphone app. Car trackers are hardwired to your car and send a signal to satellites to provide real-time information on where your vehicle is at all times.
You can find a huge range of GPS vehicle trackers, from entry-level battery-powered units to costly hardwired solutions that provide 24/7 tracking and support.
Sadly, thieves are aware that trackers are used – and are experts at identifying and removing them. If your vehicle is stolen by an inexperienced thief, it’ll help locate it. If you’re the victim of a criminal gang, then it’ll provide data until the device is detected and removed.
Keyless car theft is on the rise, and if you’ve invested in a high-value vehicle, you should take all steps to protect it. Alongside protecting the key fob and fitting a tracker, you should also invest in physical protection and visible deterrents. Despite being the lowest-cost interventions, they can often have the most significant impact. Why? Because all thieves want a quick and easy getaway. A steering local or removable bollard prevents that. In most cases, they’ll move on to an easier target.