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Keyless car theft: What you need to know

Ever wondered why the £100,000 Range Rover parked on your street is sporting a crappy £20 lock on the steering wheel?

Well, it’s because expensive cars with keyless entry can be incredibly easy to steal if you’re a clued-up criminal  with the correct kit. Thankfully, there are a number of precautions you can take to keep your keyless motor as safe as possible.

Read everything you need to know below:

What is a keyless-entry car?

Most older cars require you to lock and unlock the doors using a button on the key fob or with a good old-fashioned key. With a keyless-entry model, you can avoid that annoying fumble through your pockets before opening the doors. All you need is your keys on your person, and the door will open when you pull the handle. This works thanks to unique short-range radio waves that are transmitted between your key and your car.

A lot of keyless cars also have a keyless start functionality, so you can start the car simply by pressing a button on the dashboard.

Keyless car theft prevention

Because keyless-entry systems work by transmitting and receiving radio waves, they’re a prime target for potential thieves armed with relay boxes. These can reflect those radio waves back towards the car and, basically, trick it into thinking that the key is nearby when it is in fact safely (you’d assume) secured in your house.

Luckily, there are a few ways to make your keyless-entry car more secure and help prevent it from being stolen. The simplest of these is to ensure that if you park on a driveway or close to your house your keys are kept as far from your car as possible. Some keyless car doors can open when your keys are between five and 20 metres from them, so you should definitely keep your fob further away than that while you’re home.

There are also other, more general ways to make your keyless car more secure. If you live in a household that owns more than one vehicle, using the other car to block your own in your driveway would make it much more difficult for thieves to drive away.

A similar answer would be to fit a security post in your driveway. This is a removable bollard that locks in place and prevents your car from moving. With this in place, it would be much harder for a thief to escape with your keyless car without causing an awful lot of damage and noise.

How to protect your key fob

If you’re a keyless car owner particularly if your house isn’t big enough to store your key far away from your car it’s worth investing in a Faraday safe box. Their thick metal construction can block the radio waves from your keyless fob, preventing thieves from amplifying the signal and, ultimately, stealing your car.

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