Car theft is on the rise in England and Wales according to government figures, increasing by 15% over the last two years, and 40% over the last five.
TRACKER says that 80% of all vehicles stolen and recovered by them last year were stolen without using the owner’s keys. With that in mind, now is the time to get back to car security basics.
Just in case you wondered, the fundamental problem with keyless entry systems is that it's vulnerable to a ‘relay attack’. This is where thieves intercept a key fob signal and use this to open the car. That's just one of the methods used with the right electronic transmitting equipment.
Last year thieves were caught on camera stealing a car by boosting the signal from the keyless entry keys and driving away with the car.
Car Theft: How Can You Stop A Relay Attack?
So what can you do to fight the threat? Well, keeping keys out of the reach of criminals is a good start. If you have a keyless entry car then protect against a relay attack with a key fob signal blocker, which is also known as a Faraday bag, that seals off the signals from the outside world. These are just a few quid and can be used like a wallet. You can get larger ones for about £10.
Another electronic signal blocker is an OBD, (On Board Diagnostic) port, protector. These plug into the port and cost over £300. They give you a say over who accesses the information in the vehicle, including criminals, so you can switch the system off. A system such as MotorEasy's FitC warranty would mean that you stand a very good chance of getting your vehicle back.
Car Theft: Less High Tech Solutions
If the above solutions sound a bit too high tech then there are some old-fashioned protection methods that will slow the modern thief down. They won’t be expecting to come across something like a steering lock, and this is simple to fit.
More serious is a wheel lock and more fiddly and messy to deal with. You could also simply park your car in a garage if you have one, or have security gates, or posts fitted. Again, that's a lot of bother, a good steering wheel or pedal lock is portable and usable wherever you decide to park.
Vehicle thefts may be on the rise, but even if you have a keyless fob, there's no reason why you should be any more vulnerable. MotorEasy GAP insurance covers the difference between the actual value of your vehicle and either the amount you paid for it or the balance still owed is certainly worth having if the worst happens.