Vehicle theft has increased by 50% in the last five years and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) show that the number of claims for vehicle theft is the highest since 2012, with a payment being made in respect of vehicle crime every 8 minutes.

In the last four years the overall cost of motor theft claims has doubled and works out at over £1.2m paid to policyholders every day.

This is surprising considering the improvements made to vehicle security over the last 30 years and whilst the traditional method of breaking windows and forcing door locks is still prevalent, more sophisticated means are being utilised. As vehicles become smarter and with the move towards autonomy, cyber security is an emerging risk for motor manufactures, insurers and drivers due to the threat of hacking and data theft.

Passive keyless entry systems that allow vehicles to be opened and driven if the key fob is in the immediate vicinity can be exploited using a technique called ‘relay attack’. Thieves using a signal boosting device can capture the signal from the key fob, allowing the vehicle to be unlocked and stolen within minutes.


What can you do the reduce the risk of your vehicle being stolen?

  • Keys should be kept in a secure location at all times and not withing easy reach
  • If you have a keyless entry vehicle –
    • Make sure your fob is kept well away from doors and windows
    • Consider using a signal blocking pouch, to store the fob when not in use
    • Check the manufactures handbook to see if it is possible to turn off the wireless signal
  • If you are unsure of the vehicle’s history of do not have both sets of keys considering getting keys reprogrammed
  • Consider fitting additional security devices – steering wheel locks, alarms and tracking systems
  • Park the vehicle securely – in a garage, or well-lit area
  • Avoid leaving theft attractive items on display in the vehicle when it is unattended
  • Ensure any vehicle functionality that is controlled by a mobile phone app is regularly updated in line with the manufacture’s guidelines