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6 ways to prevent keyless car theft 2024

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Keyless entry comes as standard in many new PCO cars today, including the popular Kia Niro EV and the Hyundai Ioniq 5. This handy system is convenient for private hire drivers, but it can also cause some problems.

Keyless car thefts are becoming more common in the UK. Figures from insurance company LV General shows UK car thefts hit an all-time high.

According to the car theft statistics from the UK government, we had 6,620 recovered stolen cars across the Metropolitan Police Service during January and May 2023, and had the highest proportion of unsolved car thefts in England and Wales.

Keyless car theft

Recovered stolen motor vehicles across the MPS between January and May 2023:

  1. Enfield: 368
  2. Newham: 323
  3. Lewisham: 289
  4. Croydon: 287
  5. Hounslow: 280
  6. Greenwich: 263
  7. Barnet: 261
  8. Ealing: 261
  9. Tower Hamlets: 246
  10. Wandsworth: 240

From our own data at Otto Car, North and East London appear to have higher number of car thefts, while Hyundai and Kia cars, such as the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and the Kia Niro, are most at risk of theft.

A recent AA study revealed half of the car owners don’t take measures to protect their keyless car keys.

Don’t worry, Otto Car is here to help. In this article, we’ll look at how keyless entry works, how car thieves steal cars without the keys, and what you can do to protect your PCO cars from keyless theft. Make sure you read till the end!

A PCO driver collecting a car key from a hub

How do thieves steal keyless cars?

Keyless car theft, also known as ‘relay theft’ or ‘relay attack’, is actually simpler and quicker than you thought.

Keyless car thieves usually work in pairs – one using a relay device to capture the car key signal and transmit it to the target car, while the other stands near the car to receive the signal and unlock the car. That sounds scary, right? Don’t panic, read on to find out what you can do to secure your PCO car.

How to protect your PCO car from theft?

Now you know how car thieves steal keyless cars. Luckily there are many ways that you can do to protect your keyless entry car.

  • Don’t leave your car charging unattended — Stay onsite and keep an eye on your car while charging.
  • Put your car key in a signal-blocking key wallet — An RFID blocking wallet, also known as a faraday key fob pouch, provides a signal blocker for your car key, preventing thieves from picking up and relaying signals from your key, to shield against break-ins and keyless theft. Try putting your car key in a metal container e.g. a biscuit tin, if you need a quick and easy solution. Keep your car key away from the car.
  • Get a steering wheel lock — The Otto Team highly recommend to invest in car anti theft devices like a traditional steering wheel lock help secure your car which will act as a visual deterrent for thieves. There are many great options out there the market, with household names such as B&Q & Halfords providing a range of steering wheel locks to PCO drivers. Prices can start from as little as £27.99.
  • Park defensively — Park behind locked gates. If you park on the street, please make sure it’s in a well-lit area and if possible, in the view of your home.
  • Always lock your car — Close all doors and windows, and make sure the car is fully locked by visual light signals and audible cues.
  • Keep your valuables out of sight — Don’t leave your phone or other high-value items in a highly visible area of your car

Get your signal-blocking wallet for free from Otto Car

Otto Car drivers can now get their free signal-blocking key wallet* at one of our 5 London hubs. Constructed with premium carbon fibre textured material, our car key wallet is not only a signal-blocker but also a premium and trendy accessory.

Tips: Please ensure the key is put inside the correct section located within the pouch (see photo below) for it to work effectively.

Visit the team and get your PCO car protected!

Shepherd’s Bush: 192 Goldhawk Rd, London W12 9NS
Hendon: Unit 3 Hyde Estate Rd, London NW9 6JX
Dulwich: F05, Parkhall Business Centre, 40 Martell Rd, London SE21 8EN
Ilford: The Vintry, 53 Redbridge Ln E, London IG4 5EY
Hackney: Excel Building, 16 Arbutus St, London E8 4DT

*Not applicable for the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y. For Otto Car drivers only and limited to one wallet per driver. Limited stock is available and offered on a first come first served basis. No need to make an appointment and we will need to confirm your identity on our database for approval.

Want to learn more?

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