How to help prevent keyless car theft

How to help prevent keyless car theft

It would be an easy assumption to make that since cars have such advanced technology that it is now considerably safer - and harder to steal - than ever before. That assumption, however, is not necessarily true. In recent years there has been a huge influx in the number of vehicles being stolen via what is known as "keyless car theft".

What is Keyless?

Many new vehicles are fitted with keyless entry. Essentially this means the owner simply needs to have their key on their purpose, and they can gain entry to the vehicle simply by opening the door when standing nearby. Once the vehicle detects the key, it will unlock the doors automatically. Similar, once you are inside the vehicle, it will automatically detect you are there, and when you press the Start/Stop button the vehicle simple turns on. Effortless.

Isn't Keyless Secure?

There is a sinister downside to this awesome new technology though - what if your vehicle gets hacked? Sadly, it's not as far-fetched as you might imagine. More and more vehicles are being stolen this way, and it's a lot simpler than you might think.

Cunning thieves have developed a new strategy to stealing these high-tech vehicles. They simply need to purchase two devices; a Relay Amplifier and a Relay Transmitter. Next, they drive round whichever neighbourhood they choose, and if they see a nice car parked outside one of the houses, they move to the next step...

How are keyless vehicles actually taken?

One of the thieves stands near the desired vehicle holding the Relay Transmitter. The other walked around the property with the Relay Amplifier. The idea is that the amplifier picks up the low signal from the keys inside the house, and amplifies it. The transmitter then picks up this amplified signal. The vehicle is then tricked into thinking the transmitter is actually the key itself and allows instant entry in the vehicle. Once inside, the thief simply presses the Start/Stop button, and they are away.

Frighteningly, with experience this process can be achieved in a number of seconds. It is also completely silent as gone are the days of smashing the driver-side window and setting off the vehicle's alarm (if it even had one!).

Can the criminals use the vehicle without the proper key?

In reality, once the car is turned on and driven away from the property then the thieves will not be able to restart it again once it stops without the correct key. Not a huge issue really, as most stolen vehicles are quickly scrapped and broken down for parts. Usually this happens within 24 hours of the vehicle being stolen, so if it happens to you, then you may have little time to get your cherished vehicle back.

How do I prevent my vehicle being stolen?

The easiest way is to buy a special signal-blocking pouch for your key. This is a simple holder that you can place your vehicle key in which blocks any signal. This way your vehicle can never be stolen in this manner.

It's also advisable to follow vehicle safety best practices, such as:

  • Ensuring your vehicle is locked at all times
  • When possible keep it in a secure location, such as a locked garage
  • Consider fitting wheel locks or additional vehicle immobilisers

How can Driver Buddy help?

Driver Buddy has a unique stolen vehicle alert system. If your vehicle is ever stolen, simply tap the stolen button and all Driver Buddy users will be notified, it will be posted to our social media channels, to social media channels were affiliated with and our custom widgets posted across multiple forums. If anyone sees your vehicle they can report it to us, or directly to the police. We believe this to be an invaluable tool in helping keep vehicles safe and discouraging vehicle theft by making them too hot to handle.

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Recommended Products

Monojoy offer a great range of faraday pouches that will block the signal from your vehicle keys. They have a good choice of styles and options available for all tastes, and at a good price. They also have great reviews too!

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By Niall St John

Niall is the Co-founder of DriverBuddy and loves his cars!