Drivers warned of 'sharp rise' in car thefts as keyless vehicle owners risk expensive insurance prices

Drivers warned of 'sharp rise' in car thefts as keyless vehicle owners risk expensive insurance prices

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Hemma Visavadia

By Hemma Visavadia

Published: 27/02/2024

- 10:16

A total of 64,087 vehicles were reported stolen last year

Drivers have been warned to take extra caution when locking their vehicles as the rise in car thefts continues and is particularly prominent in keyless cars.

Keyless cars are more susceptible to being hacked and have contributed to the 64,087 vehicles reported stolen in 2023, an increase of five per cent from 2022.

Gloucestershire Police have been active in preventing attempts from vehicles being stolen in recent months.

Last week, six keyless cars were stolen from driveways with the officers warning that a number of devices are available which interrupt the frequency between the car and the key making it easy for criminals to hack the signal and steal the car.

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Carless key entry

A police force warned drivers to keep keys as far away from the vehicle as possible


The police force warned drivers to keep keys as far away from the vehicle as possible, with experts warning people to leave them at least two metres away as criminals are still able to hack the cars open if the key is close enough.

Michele Bennett, general manager at alarm system ADT, said: “Recent years have seen a sharp rise in car thefts.

“Not only is this a high-cost item, but losing a car can put an owner's life on hold and cause distress if keys are acquired by forced entry into the home.

“The insurance process can be stressful and for many people, losing a car can put a halt to any plans in which driving is needed, including getting to work. With this in mind, we have offered our advice on how to deter potential car thieves.”

Offering advice to drivers, Louise Thomas, motor expert at, explained how using a Faraday pouch to store car fobs in will help to block the signal, with some costing as little as £5.

She said: “Keyless car thefts are becoming more common, with criminals using a variety of sophisticated techniques to gain access to people's vehicles.

“As keyless cars can be a target to criminals, some drivers might see that their insurance prices are more expensive than before. Especially if they live in a high risk area.

“But taking measures to protect your car can help ensure that it doesn't become a target."

In other advice, Thomas suggests keeping fobs away from doors and windows or using a steering wheel lock to stop thieves from being able to drive off if they gain access to the car.

Due to the rise in car thefts, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan warned that despite widespread awareness of the hazards keyless cars pose, the industry has been slow in developing and implementing solutions to address the issue with the security burden remaining on the consumer.

Calling on manufacturers for a solution, Khan said: “The leadership and innovation of your companies is critical to tackling this issue, as you control the security features of new vehicles and can design out current and emerging security vulnerabilities.

“It’s beggars belief that in 2024, cars can be stolen within seconds.


Car being broken into

Motorists are urged to keep fobs away from doors and windows or use a steering wheel lock


“Worryingly, changes in technology mean it’s now arguably easier to steal a car than a few years ago.”

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