The UK has witnessed a huge spike in car theft in recent years, with the total number of vehicle thefts jumping by 30% since 2020, and London is the main target of these attacks.  

The most targeted cars are the ones equipped with a keyless entry system. If improvements in car security devices, like immobilisers and alarms, have made it more difficult to break into a car, some keyless entry systems provide a weakness in modern cars, which burglars take full advantage of.  

As Uber drivers are on the road every day getting exposed to this kind of threat, it’s important to know how to prevent car theft and what precautions should be taken. 

What is a keyless car? 

Many modern cars are equipped with the latest tech systems, allowing you to get into the car without using the key directly. These systems work using short-range radio waves, with the key in your pocket or bag transmitting a signal the receiver in your car picks up. The car will recognise this signal, and you can just open your car door or press a small button to enter the car.  

However, if the car doesn’t recognise the signal, the car door won’t open.  

How does keyless car theft work? 

Unfortunately, it’s pretty simple to open an unsecured keyless entry car. All thieves need are two small boxes of equipment, and they can open the car in less than a minute. Their equipment can detect if a car has keyless entry.  

They usually identify a desirable car parked in front of a house and try to capture the signal transmitted by your key if you have it inside. When the receiver used picks up and replicates the amplified signal from the key, the vehicle will open right away.  

How can I prevent keyless car theft? 

Luckily, you can take a few extra steps to protect your car against these threats. 

1. Buy a Faraday pouch 

Buying a Faraday pouch will prevent any signals from being intercepted using a metallic lining. They’re easy to find online, and their prices start from as little as £5. While they’ve proven to be quite effective, you should also take additional security precautions to stay on the safe side.  

2. Keep your keys away from your car 

This is as simple as it sounds, and it might save your car from being stolen — keep your keys as far away as possible from your car and your house’s doors and windows to make it harder for thieves to detect and amplify the key signal. 

Where you’re parking your car can make a difference too. If you don’t have a garage, try parking it further away from your house so the thieves won’t know which house the car corresponds to.  

3. Block in your car 

Even if the burglars enter your car, it’s hard to steal it if they can’t physically get it off the driveway, right? Try a steering lock, wheel clamps that lock around your car’s wheels or a pedal box that encases your car’s accelerator, brake and clutch pedals.  

4. Fit a tracking device 

If the worst happens and your car gets stolen, if it has a tracking device fitted to it, the chances of getting it recovered by the police increase.  

Did you know? All Splend vehicles have a tracking device included. 

Are car manufacturers taking measures in this situation? 

Yes. Fortunately, several car manufacturers introduced preventive measures to decrease the risk of keyless car theft. Several car companies have added to their vehicles a motion sensor that deactivates the signal when the key is resting.

At the same time, many cars fitted with keyless entry systems allow you to turn the system off. Check your handbook or with your car dealer to see how and if this can be done on your car.  

About Splend

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