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Keyless Car Security Tips

While keyless entry systems cannot entirely protect vehicles against theft attempts, they are definitely one of the gadgets that can simplify drivers’ lives while adding more appeal to any car. According to statistics, keyless cars are easier to steal compared to vehicles with standard lock and key systems.

If you want to know how common is keyless car theft, which keyless cars are most stolen, and what is the best way to stop keyless car theft, keep reading. 

Keyless Car Theft Statisticskeyless car theft prevention

According to Home Office data, the number of stolen vehicles has gone up by close to 100% in recent years. Apparently, keyless car technology might be one of the main culprits for the worrisome numbers. Data from insurer LV= has also shown that insurance claims for car theft have increased by 20% between 2-16 and 2019. Out of the claims, keyless car theft represented a large portion.

The same data from the insurer proves that luxury cars including BMW, Audi, Jaguar, Lexus, Land Rover, Tesla, and Mercedes are the keyless car models most likely to fall victim to thieves. Together, these makes accounted for closer to 50% of all recorded cases of vehicle theft claims. Thieves interested in keyless entity vehicles also have a preference for stealing parts for these vehicles. The claims for these theft incidents spiked by 140% in the last few years, with catalytic converters representing the most popular car parts preferred by thieves.

What You Need to Know About Relay Car Theft

If you own a vehicle with advanced tech where you can start the engine without the need to use any keys and you want the answer to the question “how are thieves unlocking cars with no keys?”, here is what you need to know. One of the most common practices used by tech-savvy thieves to steal a keyless vehicle is the relay attack. This technique requires a pair of thieves to work together to get access to a keyless car. The duo must try to relay the key fob signal to a keyless vehicle with the help of a transmitter. 

One of the devices should be placed in close proximity to the key fob location (near home or office door or window) to pick up its signal and proceed to relay it to the transmitter held by the other thief located next to the targeted car. Once this procedure is over and a clear and strong signal is obtained and transmitted, the vehicle’s system is tricked into unlocking. Relay devices can be bought for as little as $100 and can provide access to a car in 20 to 30 seconds. In other words, stealing a keyless car today is easier than ever before, especially when the thieves also possess basic expertise and experience working with transponder devices that can capture keyless entry codes as they are sent from the fob to the vehicle.

Luckily, there are things you can do to lower the risk of your car falling victim to such a criminal. Here are our top recommendations: 

Keyless Entry Car Theft Prevention 

Focus on making your keyless car as least attractive for potential thieves as possible. This means you should:

  • Never leave any valuable items like shopping bags, laptop bags, wallets, purses, or GPS systems inside the vehicle when parked. Only store them inside the locked trunk or glove box, if you cannot take them without when exiting the car.
  • Use closed, well-lit, and secured garages for parking to turn your vehicle into a far less obvious target.
  • Consider installing a steering wheel lock to keep potential thieves away.
  • Place your key fobs (duplicates also) inside metal containers whenever you do not need to use them. The metal will offer a much-needed barrier that should prevent any radio signals from reaching the smart fob, rendering the relay technique useless.
  • Invest in affordable RFID pouches with metal mesh linings that do a good job of shielding key fobs from sending and receiving radio signals.
  • Set up motion detection lights and surveillance cameras around your house, above the garage door, and in your driveway for additional thief deterrent solutions. 
  • Learn how to switch off the key fob’s wireless receiver whenever you do not need to use it. This can be normally done manually, depending on the make and model of the vehicle that you own. If you are not sure how to do this, take a look at the car’s vehicle user guide. This is the best way to stop keyless car theft when it comes to the threat of relay attacks. 

What Else Can You Do to Prevent a Keyless Car from Being Stolen? 

Reprogram previously used key fobs. Get in touch with our expert car locksmiths and have them reprogram your key fobs. While the procedure is not the cheapest solution out there nor the quickest, it will provide you with the extra peace of mind you are looking for when it comes to your car’s safety. Losing a key fob or buying a used vehicle should automatically ask for a full system reset. In other words, all the previous key fobs and any existing copies should no longer work to control access to the vehicle.

Keep your key fob away from doors and windows. This is mandatory if you live on a ground floor as it can stop any signal intercepting and copying attempts initiated by car thieves luring around the neighborhood in search of their next victim. 

Most people tend to leave their cat keys by the front door, creating the ideal conditions for thieves to act. Make a habit of always storing your key fobs as far away from the front door and windows as possible.

Follow our tips to stop car thieves from taking advantage of your keyless entry system or get in touch with us for additional tips and practical solutions for your key fobs.