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Stop your keyless entry car being stolen

Why are more keyless entry cars being stolen?

Keyless entry cars work using radio signals. When you put your key fob near the door handle, or when you press a button, your car sends out a short radio signal with a range of around five metres. There’s an identity chip in your keyless entry fob that’s constantly listening out for these signals. If it recognises one, it sends a code to your car. When the car recognises this code, it unlocks the doors.

Unfortunately, thieves have found a way to hack keyless entry cars. They use two devices, a relay amplifier and a transmitter, to trick cars into thinking that their fobs are nearby. One thief stands by the car with the transmitter. The second waves the amplifier near the house the car’s parked outside. If your fob’s within range, the amplifier will detect its signal. It will amplify it and send it to the transmitter, which will trick the car into unlocking its doors. This means that thieves can break into cars without even touching them.

There are some simple ways to stop this. A wheel clamp or steering wheel lock will do the trick, as it’ll make it impossible for thieves to drive your car away. You can also block your fob’s signal with a keyless entry fob guard, often called a Faraday bag or pouch, widely available for about £5. Some drivers have started blocking their fobs signals by putting them in a metal biscuit tin or the microwave overnight – but we wouldn’t recommend the microwave!

The bad news is, if you have to claim because your car has been stolen, you could lose your NCD, and you may have to pay an excess. You won’t be eligible for a courtesy car, as these are only available during repairs – which won’t happen if your car cannot be recovered. Also, we may not be able to cover all personal effects that were in your car when it was stolen.

Add to all this the general hassle you’ll face. You’ll have to report the theft to the police. And if your car’s recovered, even if it’s undamaged may have to go through the rigmarole of getting the keys and locks changed or reset.

As usual, prevention is better than a cure. Get yourself a keyless entry fob guard, or a steering wheel lock, to stop criminals in their tracks.

Just don’t put your keys in the microwave…

You can read more tips and advice at Autoexpress.co.uk and Carbuyer.co.uk