Cars with keyless entry unlock automatically when the key comes within a short distance of the car. This can be from inside a pocket or bag.
If you have to push a button on your car key to access your car, you don't have keyless entry.
Keyless car theft, also known as 'relay theft', occurs when a device is used to fool the car into thinking the key is close by; this unlocks the car and allowed the ignition to be started.
Thieves only need to be within a few metres of your car key to capture the signal.
Keyless car theft can take just 20 to 30 seconds.
How to protect your car
Ask your dealer
- Is keyless entry standard or optional fit on your vehicle?
- Can the wireless signals on your fob be turned of overnight?
- Is a motion sensor fob available? This puts the key to sleep and deactivates it when it's not moving.
Keep car keys safe
- When at home, keep your car key (and the spare) well away from the car and avoid leaving near your doors or windows.
- Put th ekeys in a screened tin/box/bag to disrupt the communication range. Test to check that it works.
Use a signal-blocking pouch
- The pouch, such as a Faraday bag, is inexpensive and lined with layers of metallic materials.
- When the key is inside the pouch, it can block the transmission of the signal from the car key to the vehicle.
Use a steering wheel lock
- A steering wheel lock is an effective mechanical device that thieves' technology can't unlock.
Re-programme your keys
- If you buy a second-hand vehicle, you may not have been given all of the keys. To be sure, get the keys re-programmed so previous owners can't access the vehicle.
- Contact an approved auto locksmith or your vehicle manufacturer.
Check if your vehicle has an immobiliser
- Find out by looking in the handbook or ask a mechanic to check. Fitting a Thatcham-approved immobiliser will make it harder to steal and can lower your insurance premium.
- Parking in a garage is the best option. If you park on a driveway, park as close to the property as you can.
- If you have more than one vehicle on your driveway, park the less desirable vehicle in front of the more desirable one to block its access.
- Fold down or removable driveway bollards are a simple and secure solution adding an extra layer of security.
- A wide range of wired and wireless options are available to put you in control of your security.