Are you worried about your car being broken into?
You’re not alone. Keyless Car theft is a real problem, especially in major cities. In fact, car thefts are on the rise as car manufacturers continue to make it easier for drivers to enter and start their cars.
The good news is that there are simple steps you can take to prevent your vehicle from being stolen this way.
Here are our top 10 tips on how to avoid this fast-growing form of motor vehicle crime.
1) Keep Your Keys in a Safe Place or Buy an Electronic Car Safe
If you keep your keys in the door pocket while driving, criminals may be able to gain access by breaking into your car after following you home. A better option is installing an electronic car safe where the spare set of keys can be stored securely. Thieves know which cars carry valuables so they will concentrate their attention on the cars without car safes.
2) Lock Your Doors With One Click, Even When You Are Standing Right Next to the Car
Do not make it easy for thieves by leaving your car door unlocked, even if only for a few seconds. Always lock up with one click – this is just enough time for most people to walk from their front door to their vehicle, but is often all that’s needed by opportunistic criminals who will kick or break windows where there are no deterrents in place.
On keyless models, set the central locking so it locks automatically as soon as you walk away. Some modern models can now be locked and unlocked remotely via mobile phone app too – so if you have lost your keys you don’t need to break a window, you can just get in using your mobile.
3) Never Store Your Car Key Where It Could Be Copied by Criminals
Smash and grab thefts often involve crooks copying the key of a parked vehicle. If they see or hear you lock up, they’ll typically wait for you to walk away, then use their copy of the key to enter and drive off with your car while you’re away from home. To avoid this happening:
- Always keep your keys out of sight when not in use and never leave them inside overnight;
- When leaving the house, don’t allow yourself enough time to return and collect them before locking up;
- Hide spare keys in an unexpected place such as under some loose floorboards or in a hanging basket
- Get into the habit of always locking up when leaving your car unattended to make it more difficult for thieves.
Follow this advice to ensure your keys are not stolen. You can even install a GPS tracker so in the event your car is taken, you can track where it is at all times.
4) Install an Engine Immobilizer to Protect Against ‘Relay Theft’
A relay immobilizer system makes it impossible for criminals to start your car without having access to your key or electronic fob (see our security advice here). This is why professional car thieves target cars fitted with immobilizers.
If you have one, be sure to keep it turned off while driving so that crooks can’t detect its presence and attempt any nasty tricks. The only drawback is that if your battery ever runs flat, you won’t be able to get inside someone comes along with another key and starts your car.
This can be a major problem if you happen to break down in a dark and secluded place. If this is a concern, consider buying an electronic safe as well as having a relay immobilizer installed to give yourself two layers of protection.
5) Don’t Make It Easy for Thieves by Leaving Your Keys in the Ignition or Storing Them Nearby
Leaving your car key where it’s easily accessible from outside the vehicle makes it far too easy for thieves, who may gain access from another vehicle, windowsill, or even underneath the car door where they can push up into. Always lock up whenever leaving your vehicle unattended – even just to pop into a shop.
And never put your keys in the glove compartment as crooks have been known to break into the car and remove them from there, or use a garage door opener or a replica key made by ‘shimming’ (a process where a thin piece of metal is inserted between the lock barrel and housing) to open it.
6) Never Leave Valuables Inside Your Vehicle Overnight
The most common way for thieves to get into cars at night is simply smashing windows after stealing items from within homes in the area. Don’t make this any easier for them – don’t be tempted to leave laptops, tablets, sat-navs, etc in your car overnight.
If you must keep valuables in your vehicle, keep them hidden out of sight – under floor mats, under-seat upholstery, underneath seats, etc.
7) Make Sure Your Number Plate Is Not Visible From the Outside
This one’s relatively easy to do if you park on your driveway or in a garage each night. Just be careful when backing out as you don’t want to cover it up completely with your car door!
If you have no choice but to leave it parked on the street, pay particular attention to making sure that no part of the plate is visible from ground level.
Again, many thieves will work at night so always be vigilant. Also, check for any damage – a brick could easily be thrown through a window and used to cover up a number plate during an hour-long theft spree or two!
8) Park in Well-Lit Areas
If criminals can see their way around your car, they’re less likely to break in. If you can, choose to park near other vehicles or street lights if possible.
How to Prevent Keyless Car Theft
People’s cars are an easy target for thieves as many of us leave them unlocked and with the keys in the ignition. If you want to protect what’s yours, you need to stay one step ahead of the thieves.
That’s why it’s important to follow our top tips, and you’ll be able to sleep soundly knowing your car is safe and secure.
For more articles on how to avoid keyless car theft and anti theft devices for keyless cars, visit our blog for the best way to stop keyless car theft.