Here’s our top tips to help prevent your keyless-entry vehicle being stolen:
Signal suppression pouches or boxes
Pouches such as Faraday pouches are a practical way of managing the signal(s) sent out by your vehicle’s key fob, but make sure you research the quality of the product you are looking to buy. Consider the materials it is made of and the manufacturing processes gone into making it – are you trusting the security of a high-value vehicle into a product that only costs a few pounds? We recommend investing in a good quality product.
Do you know where your spare key fobs are? How many spare keys do you have for your keyless vehicles? Are they all kept in the same place? When not in use, consider removing the battery from the spare keys so there are fewer examples of the same key frequency available for the keyless car thieves to capture.
Location of keys when not in use
Think where you leave your keys when at home. Whilst not fool-proof, the more central the keys are placed within a home environment, the better. Do not leave keys close to your front door however practical it may be, this is an easy way of thieves being able to copy your key’s signal.
Consult your vehicle’s manufacturer
We encourage you to speak with your vehicle’s manufacturer about preventative advice including changing the vehicle’s security and convenience settings. Sometimes convenience functions can be disabled, although additional fees/costs may be applicable.
Physical equipment locks and aftermarket security devices
Steering wheel locks, gear lever locks or pedal box locks – the first two are more of a traditional means to deter thieves and offer a degree of protection due to the time required by the thief to disable them. When used in conjunction with other methods, they may well be a great and cost-effective investment.
A pedal box lock is a bright yellow metal box that is made to fit your car, wrapping around the foot pedals. It has a lock on the box and prevents the pedals from being accessed. Being yellow it can be easily seen and may ward off any potential thieves early. Heavy, power tools which are noisy would need to be used to remove it without a key, which would discourage most thieves from attempting to steal the vehicle. Again, in conjunction with other methods, these can offer a really good, effective deterrent.
Do you have CCTV covering your property and vehicle? CCTV can be a great deterrent to potential criminals as well as offering you peace of mind. It can also help us with our investigations. From cameras which attach to the house as well as doorbell cameras, both of which relay images and send notifications to your smart phone. If you have CCTV, make sure lenses are clean and free of obstructions such as garden foliage and cobwebs. Also, it may sound obvious but make sure you know how to review footage if it a crime has occurred.
If you have a garage, is there space to store your keyless vehicle inside it? If so, this will not only hide it from view but will also act as a further barrier to thieves.
Bollards and driveway gates
While not possible for everyone to have them, both bollards and gates can be effective in offering a physical barrier to deter potential thieves. If you have them fitted, do you use them and do you lock them? Consider your locking options with the gates you have and make sure they are locked each night.
If you have more than one vehicle and one of them isn’t keyless entry, this could be positioned on the driveway to block in the keyless vehicle to make it more difficult to steal, thus reducing the chances thieves will target your keyless vehicle.
Do you have the appropriate insurance policy to cover losses in the event of your car being stolen? Gap insurance is an additional expense but it covers the difference between what you paid for the car and its current market value in the event that it is stolen. With some vehicles stolen depreciating heavily in just a few years, this may result in you not being able to replace your vehicle with a similarly specified one.
Vehicle tracking devices
Does your vehicle have a tracking device fitted? If stolen, the chances of the vehicle being recovered improve greatly when one is fitted. Many different vehicle tracker companies exist and offer a variety of payment/security plans. Do your research – it may even result in lower insurance premiums.
Valuables inside vehicles
When a vehicle is stolen, whatever is left inside it is also stolen too. Please do not leave valuables in your car overnight unnecessarily, not only will you lose these if your vehicle is stolen, but these could be a big temptation in themselves for thieves.