How to prevent your car being stolen without keys, as thefts continue to rise

Car theft is on the rise, so any advice on how to keep your vehicle safe is well worth heeding.

New data reveals that 93 per cent of stolen cars in the UK last year were taken without keys.

With almost 48,500 vehicles reported as stolen in 2021, a four per cent increase from the previous year, detailed analysis has revealed which cars are the most susceptible to keyless theft, and how to avoid your car being taken.

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    Detective Sergeant Best from PSNI, has warned of the danger of keyless entry to vehicles, which is possible without even gaining entry to a house.

    He said: "With advances in technology, thieves are now able to gain access to your vehicle by redirecting the wireless signal from your key fob.

    "Motor vehicles are extremely expensive, and owners should take the same precautions as they do with home security. Where possible, keep your car in a garage or lock your driveway gates.”

    Currently, the top five cars stolen as a result of keyless car theft are: Range Rover, BMW, Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, and Ford.

    To support security and reduce keyless car theft statistics, safe.co.uk  advises following five simple security tips:

    Place keys in a signal blocking pouch

    A blocking pouch contains a signal blocker and prevents remote access to a key’s signal. Place keys in the sack which has a metallic lining to stop the transmission of radio waves, making the car secure from theft.

    Pouches are available online and will protect the majority of keys as long as the pouch is closed. A hack to replicate this is by storing keys in a microwave, although this isn’t as reliable.

    Install deterrents

    Houses without deterrents are twice as likely to be burgled than those with security in place.

    AlarmsCCTV and security lighting can instantly change a burglar’s mind, and the higher the security presence in place, the less likely someone will attempt to break in.

    Being more visible will startle an intruder and provide a homeowner with the opportunity to call the police to catch them in the act.

    Lock the car away

    If possible, lock a vehicle correctly in a garage as this is the most secure way of protecting a vehicle. If you don’t have a garage, then install a steering wheel lock.

    With technology being used to break into cars, thieves won’t expect this layer of security to be in place and will avoid the hassle. Another benefit is that your insurance premiums could be lowered from having one.

    Police forces recommend purchasing one that is Sold Secure tested or Secured by Design (SBD) approved.

    Place keys far away from your vehicle

    The further the key fob is from a vehicle, the safer it is. Fobs generally have a range of around 10 metres so storing keys away from downstairs entry points will provide the best chance to prevent the relayed signal being effective.  Ensure spare keys are also locked away at distance too.

    Disable keyless entry

    The majority won’t know this is available to them, but a lot of car models can have the keyless entry turned off.

    If in an area that has high levels of crime, this is a good way to provide additional security that the signal is protected. It can be tricky to turn off the signal, depending on the vehicle, with each having different ways to do this. Look at the manual or contact the manufacturer for further help on how to activate it.

    Anthony Neary, managing director for safe.co.uk said: “The rise in keyless car theft is worrying, as many won’t be aware they could lose their vehicle this way.

    "Thieves are looking for an easy target, so the more deterrents you can put in place, the less likely they are to attempt to take your vehicle.

    "We hope that our advice encourages people to take the protection of their vehicle more seriously, keeping their main source of transport secure through signal-blocking pouches and increased security around it.”