No one wants to wake up and find their car has been stolen. Unfortunately, car crime in the UK is showing little sign of going away.
Many people assume that the newer the car, the harder it is to steal. But those horrible car thieves are a sneaky bunch, and extra measures are often needed to thwart them.
It’s a terrifying truth, but a Google search can throw up millions of results for ‘how to steal a car’ and even more for ‘car stolen’. Whether it’s cracking the lock, overriding the keyless entry or accessing your home to grab the keys, car thieves are becoming increasingly savvy, which is why vehicle theft is sadly on the rise. Whether you have a £500 ‘banger’ or a £5million supercar, trying to sort out a stolen car is a time consuming, hurtful and often, scary experience.
While we can’t eradicate crime overnight, vehicle owners can take a few extra precautions to protect their investment, as advised by Global Telemetrics, one of the UK’s leading vehicle tracking and theft recovery experts.
Global Telemetrics’ Gavin Hennessey explains: “We specialise in providing 24/7 tracking support for our customers. At all times, we know the location of the vehicle and are able to respond within minutes should a vehicle be stolen. With car theft on the rise – the latest stats show a vehicle is stolen every five minutes – we are seeing more owners incorporate vehicle tracking into their security plans. However, there are some additional steps that can be taken to protect your vehicle, whether you have a tracker or not.”
Add a tracking device
A tracking device, coupled with an immobiliser, is the perfect way to vehicle security peace of mind. A tracker gives you confidence in the location of your vehicle at any given moment, whilst the 24/7 support team at the likes of Global Telemetrics will work with you should there be any suspicious or illegal activity, e.g. the ignition is started without the key. A tracking device can also help to lower your insurance premium*. (*dependent on your insurance provider)
Vehicles that use keyless entry might offer convenience, but the ‘key device’ is a car thief’s dream. Each key emits a signal that can be hacked remotely to provide access to the vehicle and switch on the engine for a speedy exit in as little as 20 – 30 seconds. A Faraday Bag is a simple solution that protects your key when not in use. These small windowless bag isolates the signals from your key, meaning they cannot be connected to remotely, preventing remote hacking, remote wiping of data/evidence and remote surveillance. Available from Global Telemetrics.
Turn off Keyless Fob’s Wireless Signal
Wireless signals on some keyless fobs can be switched off. To turn this off, visit your vehicle handbook or manual, where instructions should be available. If you can’t find anything in your manual about turning off your fob contact the vehicle’s manufacturer for more info.
Re-programme your keys
If you buy a second-hand vehicle, there is a risk that you may not be given all of the sets of car keys. If you’re unsure, get car keys reprogrammed so previous owners can’t access the vehicle.
Keep your vehicle locked at all times, even while driving.
A chancer will see an open door as the perfect opportunity to pounce – from stealing your bag off the passenger seat to getting control of the vehicle.
When parked, never leave your keys in the car. Close all the windows and the sunroof.
This also applies to not leaving your valuables in the car. Whether it’s a handbag, laptop bag or anything else that might be ‘useful’, tools for example, or valuable, also, avoid keeping your vehicle titles in the car.
Thieves prefer to work in the dark. Be particularly cautious at night about where you park your car. Park it in a well-lit area if possible.
Be sure that wherever you park that you look around. Be aware of your surroundings, especially in garages, parking lots and gas stations as this are often the stomping grounds for opportunistic vehicle thieves. At home, if possible, add lighting to areas where your car is parked.
Have your car’s vehicle identification number (VIN) etched on each of the windows.
Car thieves want to get off cheap. They don’t want to go to the expense of replacing all the glass.
On an incline, leave your car in park or in gear with the wheels turned toward the curb or some other obstruction.
This will not only prevent your vehicle from making a run for it if the handbrake fails, but it also makes it harder for thieves to tow your vehicle.
Take action if you lose your car keys & think carefully about where you keep your keys at home.
If you lose your car keys, or if they are stolen, contact a local auto locksmith who will be able to ensure that they can no longer be used with your vehicle.
Where you keep your keys whilst at home is also something of importance to consider. A nice bowl on the hallway table may be convenient, but it’s also the first place thieves will look. A hook on a fishing rod might sound like a fairground game, but for car thieves, it is the easiest way to get your keys without breaking and entering. Think about introducing a less obvious place to keep your keys.
Which cars pass the Thatcham keyless entry test?
In March 2020, Thatcham – the vehicle security experts who set the standards for car security systems – released its keyless entry test results. But who came out on top, and who needs to revisit the drawing board? Let’s find out!
Relay Attack pass – Security Rating: Superior
- BMW X6 M50d
- BMW 218i Gran Couple M Sport
- Land Rover Discovery Sport D150
- Mini EV
- Porsche Taycan Turbo
- Škoda Superb
- Toyota Supra
Relay Attack pass – Security Rating: Basic
- Hyundai i10 Premium Mpi
- Tesla Model 3
Relay Attack fail– Security Rating: Poor.
- Mazda CX-30
- MG HS Excite T-GDI
- Subaru Forester e-Boxer XE Premium
- Vauxhall Corsa Ultimate Turbo 100
For the full report, including the 2019 data, click here.
To find out more about Global Telemetrics’s vehicle tracking options and how they can help you avoid the stress of a stolen car, please visit www.smartrack.uk.net or 0800 279 6401.
Read more motoring-related articles in our dedicated section here.