Don't Be a Car Theft Victim

Don't Be a Car Theft Victim

Keyless cars are convenient and sold to us as a feature but they’re also potential rich pickings for criminals.

A recent poll of 2,000 by motoring retailer Halfords has found that nearly three out of four motorists are unaware that their key fob can be ‘hacked’ by potential thieves.

Shockingly, one in five British drivers have had their car stolen at least once and official figures for England and Wales show that 114,656 vehicle thefts were reported in 2018-19, a statistic that has risen by 52% in five years.

Too many UK car owners believe their keyless entry car is secure and aren’t fully aware of the dangers.

We are told that the winter months are when our treasured motors are most at risk of being stolen, damaged or broken into and yet a significant number of motorists have not fitted any anti-theft devices.

Although cars are getting smarter, Halfords research suggests that the old school security methods remain among the best deterrents here – such as steering wheel locks, GPS trackers and car window etching.

David Howells, Halfords’ car security expert says:

“New in-car security systems can only do so much to prevent a car being stolen. From our research it seems that many anti-theft systems can be easily bypassed and using a simple device like an RFID wallet or a steering lock can prevent your car being hacked for a small amount of money. We’ve seen sales of classic old school steel steering locks double in the last year. They remain an extremely effective – and visual – way of deterring thieves.

Top tips to avoid becoming a car theft victim

  1. Don’t rely on your car’s security system alone however new it is.
  2. If you have bought a new car, you might think it comes with a security system which will protect your car but many motors are quite vulnerable to theft; using a visual deterrent like a steering wheel lock which looks like a big strong dustbin lid that covers your entire steering wheel will put them off.
  3. Consider window etching for your car security – this is a visible deterrent that makes your car less likely to be stolen and more likely to be recovered if it is. It also helps deter vehicle cloning.
  4. Decide where to leave your key fob. Many car owners believe that locking their keys in a drawer or placing them out of sight in a secure home is enough to protect their vehicles but criminals can use devices to detect the signal from keys and unlock vehicles remotely. Keep your keys as far away as possible from doors and windows. You can also use an RFID or Faraday Wallet which uses a special lining to block the signal sent from key to car.
  5. Use a dash cam with a surveillance mode. All dash cams are designed to record your drive, but did you know there are some dashboard cameras that can also monitor your car when you are not there. It is a very useful feature to guard against any would-be thieves or if you are worried about any potential vandalism on your car.

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