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5 tips for avoiding keyless theft

May 21, 2019 | News

Keyless theft is a crime which is on the rise, with growing numbers of cars and vans being stolen via keyless theft. Car & Van Finance Direct reveals 5 tips to help keep your vehicle safe!

What is keyless theft?

Keyless theft is also known as relay theft, the process which criminals use to steal a vehicle via this method is relatively simple, however nonetheless affective. They firstly buy a relay amplifier and a relay transmitter, then then identify a house with a nice vehicle parked outside and by using these gadgets can determine whether the vehicle features keyless entry and go.

One criminal then stands by the vehicle with their transmitter, whilst another waves their amplifier around the outside of the house, if the key is close enough to amplifier will detect its signal, amplify it and send it to the transmitter held by the accomplice. This then effectively becomes the key and tricks the vehicle into thinking the key is nearby, this allows the thieves to open the vehicle, get in and drive away. There is very little to stop the thieves, as for safety reasons the engine won’t just cut out when the key is out of range.

So what can be done?

5 tips for avoiding keyless theft

1. Remember the basics

You shouldn’t forget to take standard safety measures, ensuring the vehicle is locked properly and keys are kept far away from doors and windows. This will minimise the probability that criminals will be able to find the key’s signal and amplify it and is good practice, as it’ll prevent thieves from easily breaking in and taking them. It is also worth keeping keys in a metal tin to block signal.

2. Can you turn off your key?

It is worth investigating whether it is possible to turn off your key’s signal as some new vehicles offer this function. Check your manual to find out if this is possible with your key.

3. Physical barriers

You can also purchase an aftermarket security device such as a steering wheel lock, driveway parking post or even a wheel clamp to prevent the theft even if the thieves can transmit your key’s signal. Even if they can access and start your vehicle, these should prevent them from driving off, whilst many criminals will see these as too much hassle to overcome.

4. Vehicle tracking devices

If thieves are lucky enough to drive off in your vehicle, there’s a far higher chance of them being recovered should they happen to be fitted with a tracking device.

5. Signal blocking pouches

It may be worth purchasing a special pouch designed to block signal to keep your vehicle keys in. These pouches contain signal blocking materials which stop your key from transmitting its code and hence prevent thieves from being able to detect and amplify the signal.

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