16th January 2019

Are advances in technology making high-value cars more vulnerable to theft?

Keyless technology has meant that gangs are now increasingly targeting high-value cars with gadgets that are easily available to buy through the internet.


Police data statistics have recently revealed that in the past three years there has been a 30% increase in car theft, particularly aimed towards high-value cars with keyless technology. It’s now at the highest rate it has been in a decade.  London appears to be at the greatest risk, with 26,496 vehicle thefts reported in 2016 alone.


Why is car theft on the rise?
Steve Launchbury of Thatcham Research suggests that this dramatic upsurge in vehicle theft is due to vehicles being more digitally connected which is putting them at an increased risk. He believes that this new technology is openi

ng up new types of criminality.

In 2017, detectives began to investigate a spate of thefts in London which saw criminals driving cars away from owner’s homes without needing to break in further to the property.


How thieves infiltrate the vehicles
These criminal gangs appear to be finding new ways to exploit weaknesses in the technology that enables cars to be unlocked by simply touching a button, namely, ‘keyless’ technology.  Thieves use gadgets which strengthen the signal between the car and the key fobs in order to trick the vehicle into thinking the owner is nearby.

Yet, don’t be fooled into thinking this means that only keyless cars are in danger of theft. Police also found that thieves were implementing other strategies such as using key programming technology, blank keys and a tool for picking car locks.

What happens next?
It’s believed that gangs are stealing cars to order and often drive them straight into containers which are then shipped out of the country. For certain models they break the vehicles up into their constituent parts and sell them in worldwide auctions. Police have suggested that just by selling the parts of a car, gangs could earn up to £10,000 per vehicle.

Statistics show that only 1 in 10 car thieves are caught which means that thieves are becoming increasingly confident that they can operate without a high chance of being brought to justice. Nationally, 77% of vehicle thefts are closed by the police without having identified a suspect.

Protecting your vehicle
No matter how technologically advanced your high-value motor is, these features won’t necessarily prevent it from being stolen, and could even act as a hindrance to the security of the vehicle.

RAC’s Pete Williams suggested that drivers revert back to traditional security methods to protect your vehicles suggesting: “Think about where you park your car, try and park in a well-lit area and if it’s an area known for car crime or vandalism, try and avoid it.”

It’s wise to ensure you don’t leave valuables on display in the car and consider physical locking devices such as steering wheel locks or a PedalBox, which works by securing your car pedals in a tough steel box. This type of security not only acts as an increased layer of protection for your car but it can also act as a deterrent for criminals looking for easy access and a fast getaway.

It’s also worth considering tracking technology, which is increasingly becoming a compulsory requirement for insurers to cover high-value vehicles. These come in different categories of protection and enable you to locate your vehicle and potentially disable your engine in the event of theft.

With the risks of high-value vehicle theft increasingly present, it’s wise to ensure that your insurance is up to par. To discuss any queries or concerns you may have contact the Anami Luxus team. Call us on 020 8294 1040 or email info@anamiagencies.co.uk.