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Atthelimit

High-tech car thieves defeated by low-tech solutions.

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Key-less entry on cars was once the preserve of Range Rovers, BMWs and Bentleys etc, but you are now just as likely to find this on a Ford Focus, Toyota Prius or a new Mazda MX5. Whilst this nifty innovation is no doubt convenient, it has also presented car thieves with a golden opportunity to steal cars.

 

About 20 years ago, car theft was a major problem and manufactures improved security with immobilisers etc. Thwarted by not being able to hot wire cars, thieves started to break into houses to steal keys or fished for them through the letter box as many of us leave them just inside the door on a convenient table. (Don’t)

 

However, with keyless entry they now use a signal scanner and with a range of between 5 and 20 metres, they can stand outside your house as the scanner can transmit through doors, windows and brickwork to pick up your keyless entry information and clone it. Your car door is opened and with one press of the starter button they are literally “Gone in 60 Seconds” or less!

Car theft increased significantly in 2017 and again this year and the up turn is attributed to keyless entry.

 

Because of the vulnerability of keyless entry cars, some insurers do not wish to quote for them and some will increase the premium meaning you may pay more than you would for the equivalent car with a normal key.

 

However, you can defeat thieves with some very low-tech solutions, the simplest way is to place your “key” into a metal tin. This acts as a Faraday cage and the scanner can’t pick up the signal, you could even wrap your keys in tin foil and it would have the same effect. Old fashioned crook locks saw an increase in sales as owners realised their vehicle was at risk and this low tech device would deter thieves.

 

You will find bespoke key protectors for sale through the likes of Amazon and E-bay and also wallets and card holders to stop your credit cards being scanned in the same way. These are a cheap, simple and an easy way to protect both your digital information and car and are well worth considering.

 

Kim

RC Insurance

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