According to insurance companies, car theft payouts reached their highest level in seven years at the start of the year.
Car theft appears to have reached its highest point since 2012. We take a look at how this news could affect you.
What’s this story about?
The Association of British Insurers have said theft claims over January to March were higher than for any quarter since 2012.
They have said that the rise in keyless cars could be a contributing factor, although they didn’t have the figures on which claims came from owners of keyless cars.
Keyless car entry systems let drivers open and start their car without taking their keys out of their pocket. A radio transmitter in the key fob will activate when drivers are about 5-20 metres away from the car, allowing them to open the door when they touch the handle.
To carry out keyless theft, thieves will usually work in pairs to target a car parked outside of a house. One thief will hold a device near the car which boosts the signal meant for the key, while the other thief will stand close to the house with a device that relays the signal to the key – these are called ‘relay attacks’.
As Home Office figures show that car theft has risen by 50% over the last five years, it’s thought that the rise in keyless technology could be to blame.
How does this affect you?
Recent testing had found that six new cars launched this year had a poor security rating, including the Ford Mondeo, Hyundai Nexo, Kia ProCeed, Lexus UX, Porsche Macan and the Toyota Corolla Hybrid.
If you have a keyless car, you could be more vulnerable to ‘relay attacks’ if you’re not vigilant about theft.
Our key tips
To avoid being a victim of keyless car theft, it’s worth following these tips:
- Park your car in a well-lit area
- Keep your car keys far away from external doors or windows
- Think about investing in a signal-block pouch to store your keys
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