In September 2018, car thefts were up 10% for the year, reaching around 110,000. One reason figures have risen so much is the emergence of relay theft. All it takes is two people, the cloak of darkness (or not if they’re feeling especially confident), and an inexpensive device bought off eBay for your vehicle to be gone in 60 seconds.
But that could never happen to you, right? You’re always so careful. Well with relay theft, you might not be being careful enough. Answer these questions to figure out whether you’re at risk of losing your car to relay theft.
What type of key does your car have?
- One of those high-tech keyless fobs. I just have to approach the car with the key in my pocket and the door pops right open.
- I have to insert the key into my car door to get inside. It’s the same when starting the engine.
You probably answered A, because most cars have a key fob these days. Well, relay car theft relies on vehicles that have completely keyless entry. The process works by tricking the car into thinking the key is nearby, therefore allowing thieves access to your car. So if your car is keyless but needs a button to unlock, the relay theft method won’t work.
Where do you keep your keys when at home?
- On a hook or table right by my front door. It’s more convenient.
- I like to keep my keys upstairs and out of sight. The last thing I want is to be an easy target for thieves.
Option A is less practical for a number of reasons. Relay car theft is easier if the thieves can get close to your key fob. By keeping it as far away as possible from any access points, you reduce their chances of intercepting the signal. Keeping it by the front door may be more convenient, but it’ll be inconvenient if you leave your house in the morning to find your car gone. Even in a standard breaking and entering, it’s not a good idea to keep them out in the open.
Where do you park your car?
- Wherever I can. It doesn’t matter if it’s on my road, round the corner, or two roads over, as long as it’s a free space.
- I always park near my house. If it’s not right outside, I at least want to be able to see it from my window.
Out of sight, out of mind – like with option A – isn’t something you want to say about your car. If you know your vehicle is susceptible to relay theft, you want to park with extra caution. If it’s parked far away from your home, you won’t be able to see or hear if something’s wrong. It’s not always possible to have a garage, but if you park outside your house, or at least close to it, you can keep an eye (and ear) out.
Do you have any valuables on display?
- Yes. It’s too much effort to pack away my sat nav after every drive.
- I try not to keep anything valuable in my car. If I have to, I’ll make sure it’s out of sight in the glove compartment or boot.
We hope you didn’t say A. Any keyless vehicle is already a target for relay theft. But why make your chances even higher by leaving valuables on show? A free sat nav with every theft? They’re onto a winner.
How can you reduce your risk?
While being cautious definitely helps, it doesn’t make it impossible for your car to be stolen. Try to follow our advice above to keep your car safe.
However, if you want the ultimate protection, Keyless Protector reduces your risk of relay car theft altogether. It’s cheap, easy to install, and requires no further action or thought after installation. It works by shielding your keyless signal so it can’t be intercepted by an outside device. Sleep easy knowing no would-be thieves can steal your car.
Keyless Protector is simple and easy to use. After some minimal effort, you don’t have to worry about falling victim to relay car theft. If you have any questions, get in touch with us – we’re always happy to help!