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"Car thieves have been having a field day." ABI responds to new keyless access security rating

Insurance industry research body Thatcham Research has today published new security ratings taking into account the vulnerability of vehicles to keyless relay attack. That’s when thieves target fobs which open cars without the need for a button to be pressed, amplifying the signal to steal the vehicle.

Read the detail here.

In 2018 insurers paid out a record £376m for car theft, up 27% on the year before. Home Office stats show more than 110,000 vehicle thefts in 2017/18 – up 10% on the year before and the highest level for a decade.

Laurenz Gerger, Policy Adviser for Motor Insurance at the Association of British Insurers (ABI), said:

“Car thieves have been having a field day lately. Crime stats show vehicle thefts at their highest level for a decade. Insurers paid out a record £376 million for car theft in 2018, which was partly driven by the vulnerability of some cars to keyless relay theft. Making these assessments public should spur motor manufacturers to take swift action to tackle this high-tech vulnerability. Meantime, consumers deserve to know how secure their cars are so they can take the necessary steps to reduce the likelihood that they become victims of crime.”

Tips on protecting your vehicle from keyless relay attack:

  • Park your vehicle in a well lit and secure area
  • Keep your keys far away from external doors and windows
  • Turn off the signal overnight, or keep keys in a signal-blocking pouch
  • Consider having your vehicle fitted with a tracking device to increase the likelihood it can be recovered

Last updated 21/03/2019