Millions of British motorists could be at risk of having their car stolen by criminal exploiting keyless entry car theft. In 2017-2018 incidents of car theft increased by 39 per cent, with keyless entry being one of the biggest contributors.
Recent research revealed some of the cars most at risk of being stolen into and hacked by criminals using this method.
General German Automobile Club (ADAC), which is a roadside recovery organisation tested 237 keyless cars from over 30 manufacturers.
This included some of the most popular cars in the UK such as the Ford Fiesta, Nissan Qashqai and VW Golf.
To view all the cars the firm was able to break into using this technique then click here.
Criminals use relay devices and radio transmitters to intercept the signal from the car key to trick the car into thinking it is in the vicinity to be able to open and start it.
This type of theft allows criminals to quickly and discreetly break into the car without damaging it and in a matter of seconds.
The police and the motor industry are also working on ways to identify and catch keyless car hackers.
In the meantime, if you have a keyless car, Swinton Insurance has provided five ways you can protect it against theft:
1. Check your car door is locked
Criminals can also use locking jammers to block the signal from contactless keys when you lock your car door.
Make sure a hacker hasn’t used a device to block the ‘lock’ signal from the key when you leave your car. Double check that the door is definitely locked before you walk away.
2. Switch the key off
Some cars allow you to turn the keyless entry feature off when you’re not using it. Your manual should tell you if this is possible, but if you can’t find the answer, contact the dealer where you bought the car.
3. Take care when storing your car key
Make sure you keep your key away from any doors or windows in your home. This makes it harder for car thieves to pick up the radio signal from your key fob and use it to get in your car.
4. Use a signal blocking pouch
You can find signal-blocking pouches – also known as faraday bags – on sale on Amazon.
They’re made from smart materials which block the radio signal from your key, so criminals can’t copy it to open your car. Test it first by putting the key inside and, if the car doesn’t open when you approach, the pouch is doing its job.
5. Use physical barriers
Sometimes it’s worth looking at old-fashioned security devices to keep your car safe. Protect your car using a steering wheel lock, a driveway parking post or even a wheel clamp. Even if thieves get inside your car, they won’t be going far.