Keyless car theft – what is it?
Cars with keyless entry unlock automatically when the key comes within a short distance of the car.
Keyless car theft, also known as 'relay theft', occurs when a device is used to fool the car into thinking the key is close by; this unlocks the car and allowed the ignition to be started.
Thieves only need to be within a few metres of your car key to capture the signal and can take just 20 to 30 seconds.
If you must push a button on your car key to access your car, you don't have keyless entry – but please still be aware and look out for your neighbours!
How to protect your car -
Ask your dealer
• Is keyless entry standard or optional fit on your vehicle?
• Can the wireless signals on your fob be turned off overnight?
• Is a motion sensor fob available? This puts the key to sleep and deactivates it when it's not moving.
Keep car keys safe
• When at home, keep your car key (and the spare) well away from the car and avoid leaving near your doors or windows.
• Put the keys in a screened tin/box/bag to disrupt the communication range. Test to check that it works.
Use a signal-blocking pouch
• The pouch, such as a Faraday bag, is inexpensive and lined with layers of metallic materials.
Use a steering wheel lock
• A steering wheel lock is an effective mechanical device that thieves' technology can't unlock.
Re-programme your keys
• If you buy a second-hand vehicle, you may not have been given all of the keys. To be sure, get the keys re-programmed so previous owners can't access the vehicle.
• Contact an approved auto locksmith or your vehicle manufacturer.
Check if your vehicle has an immobiliser
• Find out by looking in the handbook or ask a mechanic to check. Fitting a Thatcham-approved immobiliser will make it harder to steal and can lower your insurance premium.
• If you park on a driveway, park as close to the property as you can.
• If you have more than one vehicle on your driveway, park the less desirable vehicle in front of the more desirable one to block its access.
• Fold down or removable driveway bollards are a simple and secure solution adding an extra layer of security.
• A wide range of wired and wireless options are available to put you in control of your security.
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