Is keyless theft a genuine problem on new cars?

Keyless hacking is in the news a lot. How real is it? I understand there are three types of keyless systems - ones that unlock the doors but still have a key to start the car, ones that unlock the car by a button press and then support a button start, ones that detect proximity to open the car and use a button to start the engine. Are all of these vulnerable? How much is myth and what are manufacturers doing to counter the real stuff? I bought Faraday bags for my keys and spares for a Jaguar E-Pace and Audi A3. Was this the right response?
Unfortunately, keyless entry car theft is very real and expensive models in built-up areas are particularly at risk. The number one way to prevent keyless entry theft is to stop the key from being vulnerable by blocking the signal. Thieves use relay devices (which you can easily buy online) to amplify the signal from the keyfob in your home to a transmitter near your car, which essentially tricks your car into thinking the key is present. This allows the thieves to enter the car and drive away. They can use the start-stop button to start the car without the key, and then the key doesn't need to be present within the car for it to continue running. As long as the thieves don't stop the car, they can keep driving. This is why many of the stolen vehicles are taken to ports and shipped straight out of the country to Europe where they're sold on. Faraday bags are a good preventative measure, they work by blocking electromagnetic fields. This stops radio frequencies from being amplified.

We haven't heard much about anything being done to stop this type of theft, but that isn't to say there isn't work being done behind the scenes to counter the issue. If you want a more physical solution to put your mind at ease, I'd take a read of our steering lock reviews. We've tested both the Stoplock Pro ( and Disklok (
Answered by Georgia Petrie on

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