The rise in keyless car technology is driving a significant increase in vehicle theft, according to research by Number1Plates.
The UK’s leading seller of number plates reports a 93 per cent increase in annual keyless car thefts – an all-time high.
Aldan Ibbetson, motoring expert at Number1Plates said: “Although having comprehensive insurance will minimise the cost of theft or damage, doing your best to prevent this in the first place is the most sensible way forward.
“There are a few ways to do this, including a simple way to block key fob signals. Alongside this, we would always recommend people use secure, theft-resistant number plates, and remove Sat Navs from the car when you park up.”
To help motorists, Number1Plates have shared eight top tips motorists can follow to keep their car safe as lockdown restrictions begin to ease across Scotland.
Eight tips to keep your car safe from theft
Number1Plates shares eight top tips on how to prevent car crime.
Block key fob signals
Smart car keys use a unique frequency to communicate with your vehicle. Some experienced thieves can use a device to replicate these signals, and emulate the presence of the key. However, protect yourself from theft, by putting your keys in a signal blocking pouch, such as a Faraday bag.
Lock your vehicle
It may sound obvious, but thieves can be opportunistic, checking rows of car door handles until they find one unlocked.
Always double check your car is locked before you walk away rather than just relying on your fob – some criminals use ‘jammers’ to intercept the signal between the fob and the car, leaving the vehicle unlocked.
Also, never leave the engine running while the car is unattended
Be wary of where you park
It’s harder for criminals to steal your car from off-road parking spots or a garage. Where that’s not possible, park in a well-lit area, that’s relatively populated. If you’re on an incline, park with your wheels turned towards the curb to make it harder for criminals to tow it.
Make sure your keys are safe and hidden
Another easy way to steal a car is for criminals to get their hands on your car keys. Keep them safely stowed away – don’t leave them anywhere accessible, such as by the door, or visible through a window.
Add additional security measures
There is an ever-evolving range of technology out there to help combat car theft. Enhanced protective glass is designed to prevent ‘smash and grab’ attacks, and tracking devices increase the chances of recovery. You could also invest in steering wheel, pedal or gear locks.
Don’t leave any possessions on display
Make sure there is nothing on view in your car. Coats, bags, parcels, Sat Navs, earphones, and even loose change can be enough to tempt a thief to break in.
Don’t leave your documents in the car
If you do end up having your car stolen, the log book and vehicle documents will make it easier for the thief to sell it on – or you could also become a victim of identity fraud.
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Protect your wheels
Alloy wheels are often a target for car thieves. Protect your wheels with locking wheel nuts. They’re difficult to remove without the right key, so this can help to prevent opportunistic attacks.
Following these top tips from Number1Plates could mean you, or someone you know, might save a fortune, and the heartache, of falling victim to car crime.