Protecting your car from relay theft

Protecting your car from relay theft

Protecting your car from relay theft
The advent of keyless entry cars has led to criminals becoming more and more inventive in order to illegally gain access to vehicles. One method less-than-scrupulous types are using to break into cars with keyless entry is relay theft. In relay theft, two thieves collaborate with one another by using equipment that enables them to capture signals emitted by keys used to start new cars. One of the thieves will place themselves and a transmitter next to the car, with the other waiting by the house with their own transmitter to pick up signals from keys, which are often kept close to the front doors of homes.
The transmitter closest to the house sends the signal to the other transmitter so the car thinks the key is close by and opens the door. Criminals are then able to remove the vehicle from the premises quickly before changing the locks and the devices used to gain entry. Any keyless entry car could be successfully targeted by relay thieves. These include cars manufactured by top brands including Mercedes, BMW and Ford.

50% of motorists worried about remote theft
A study carried out by the Institute of the Motor Industry said more than half of all motorists were worried about remote theft. Half of those surveyed said they didn’t know their car could be taken away from them via cyber theft. However, there is something you can do to reduce your chances of being affected by this worrying new trend. Try to store your keys safely away from the door so the signal from the key cannot be picked up. There is a chance that transmitters may be able to pick up your key signal from further away in future, so try and keep it as far away from your car as you realistically can. It’s also wise to use an extra high-quality Thatcham-approved steering lock to make the whole steering wheel immobile.

Awareness is growing
A relay theft incident was caught on camera recently, when two hooded men used transmitters to open the doors of a car in Solihull, West Midlands. The Mercedes has yet to be recovered at the time of writing.
Awareness of relay theft is growing, but there is still a great deal of work to do to ensure all owners of keyless entry vehicles are aware they could be targeted in this manner. Vehicle owners are advised to ensure their cars have received all the latest software updates and to consult their main dealers to gain advise on making their car as secure as possible. The transmitters or relay boxes can receive signals through doors, windows and walls, but are unable to capture them through metal.

What we do
At One Call we deal with our fair share of car accidents caused in the aftermath of a theft. We specialise in providing 24/7 assistance after a road accident, so you can gain access to a replacement vehicle quickly whilst your existing car is repaired. You can get in touch with us today by calling 0800 999 4042, using the contact form on our website or sending a message to