Nearly 100,000 vehicles were stolen in the UK last year and 250,000 were broken in to according to the latest crime figures from the Office for National Statistics
Modern car theft is on the rise and while we can't prevent thieves from stealing our car, we can deter them. You may think your brand new car is less susceptible to theft but newer cars are still vulnerable, especially to thieves who are using hi-tech gadgets to access vehicles with electric locks.
The devices were originally intended to allow locksmiths instant access to a vehicle without a key, but now thieves are using easily obtainable equipment to intercept signals from key fobs.
Modern cars contain around 50 low-powered computers that criminals have learned to take advantage of and they can make off with a vehicle in less than 10 seconds, without causing any damage.
A report published in August 2017 by recovery firm Tracker reveals 70% car theft victims still had their keys – showing a surge in the keyless car theft.
Thieves are commonly using the relay method – working in pairs using two off-the-shelf radio devices, they are able to transmit signals to open and start keyless vehicles.
Secure your car
Seven easy ways to deter thieves from stealing your car
- Steering wheel locks are a good place to start as removing them can be too time consuming for a thief
- Most new cars are fitted with an electric immobiliser, but if yours doesn't have one it could be a worthwhile investment. The same goes for car alarms
- Park with your wheels turned towards the pavement, and turn your wheels to the side in car parks and driveways - it will make the car harder to tow away
- Park in well-lit areas with CCTV, avoid unattended parking spots
- If you are leaving your car unattended for a long period, use a wheel lock (clamp)
- Remove your sat nav and wipe away any marks left on the window - thieves look for the rings left by the sucker and may attempt to break into your car in the hope the sat nav is still in there
- Consider fitting a lockable cover to your vehicle’s diagnostic port
Thieves can easily using jammers to block the signals from your key fob, so make sure your car doors are actually locked once you’ve hit the button.