Insurers warn against keyless car theft

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Insurers have reiterated their concerns over some keyless vehicles. 


A new insurance claim is made every six minutes following car theft in the UK. The Association of British Insurers (ABI) said that its members paid out £376m in 2018 following vehicles being stolen, nearly 30% more than in 2017.


Data from the Home Office for 2017/18 reveals that vehicle thefts reached more than 110,000, 10% more than 2016/17 and 50% increase over the last five years. 


The ABI said that the increase in car theft could be partly down to the vulnerability of modern cars to relay attacks on keyless entry and start systems.


Thatcham Research published its latest theft-risk last week, and has started to look specifically at the vulnerability of cars’ keyless systems in a bid to address increasingly prevalent relay attacks. 


The report gave several cars a poor security rating, as they had inadequate protection for their keyless systems making them susceptible to theft.


SMMT have criticised the report’s methodology, saying it didn’t compare “like with like” and offered a “signpost for thieves and increasing the risk of targeted criminal activity.”


How to protect your vehicle from keyless theft:

  • Park your car in a locked garage

  • Check your car has the latest software updates

  • Keep your car key well away from external doors or windows

  • Turn off your key’s signal overnight 

  • Keep your keys in a metal-shielded RFID blocking pouch.

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