Many new cars now offer the convenience of keyless entry systems. Providing you have the key in your pocket this means that the vehicle will unlock as you approach it, and you can start the engine just by pressing a button.
But the introduction of keyless technology has left many vehicles more vulnerable to being stolen. Thieves can use what is called a ‘relay attack’ using an electronic device to boost the signal from a key inside your house allowing them to steal from or drive the car on your drive away without the key itself.
It undoubtedly makes life easier not to have to fumble around with keys, but it’s rather ironic that a technology which some manufacturers charge you extra for could actually make your car more vulnerable to theft.
Of course, it’s a problem for traders too. If you have motor trade insurance from somewhere like www.quotemetoday.co.uk/motor-trade-insurance/ you’ll be covered against theft provided you have taken reasonable precautions to keep the key safe, but that doesn’t compensate for the inconvenience of having a vehicle stolen. So, what can you do to keep keyless cars safe?
Keyless entry systems can have a range of up to 20 meters. That means if your car is outside and the key is in the house it could still be unlocked. As a first step, therefore, you need to make sure the key is kept far enough away from the vehicle to ensure it’s locked.
Wrapping the key in kitchen foil can block the signal and ensure that it can’t be intercepted. However, it’s easy for the foil to be torn or damaged and allow the signal through. A better solution when you are at home is to place the key in a metal tin or box.
You can also get specially designed Faraday pouches for your keys that are designed to block the signal. Whichever solution you choose, however, it’s important to check that it works with your car, as ranges and signal frequencies do vary.
You could, of course, opt for the old-fashioned approach of fitting a steering wheel lock. This makes the car less attractive to criminals seeking to steal it, although of course it doesn’t guard against the vehicle being unlocked via a relay attack, allowing access to the contents.