- The number of motor theft claims paid by insurers in the first quarter of this year were at their highest for any quarter since 2012. A payment is made to a car crime victim every 8 minutes.
Figures recorded by the Home Office show a 50 % rise in vehicle thefts over the last five years. This increase is in part being driven by keyless car crime. Hi-tech criminals are able to by-pass keyless technology in as little as 20 seconds!
- In 2018, £23 million was paid out every day by motor insurers, the highest on record. In the last four years the overall cost of motor theft claims has doubled
Higher repair bills reflect even more sophisticated vehicle design and technology
- The cost of a headlamp for one popular model has risen by over 400%, from £163 for the 2012-17 model range, to £840 for the most recent model. Average replacement windscreen costs for another popular model have risen from £147, between 2008-9, to £163 for models registered after 2015
Despite this, the average cost of motor insurance has fallen to its lowest level for two years – £466 – according to ABI’s latest Motor Insurance Premium Tracker. The Tracker is the only survey that looks at the price consumers pay for their cover, rather than quoted prices
ABI’s Motor Insurance Policy Advisor has said the continued growth in car crime must be reversed.
Although car security has come on in leaps and bounds, it must keep up with the ingenuity of car criminals.
- The increase in theft claims, reflects the vulnerability of some cars to keyless relay theft. Action by manufacturers together with owners taking simple and inexpensive precautions will help slow down this unwelcome trend.
Recent testing by a motor research laboratory gave 6 of 11 vehicles launched this year a “Poor” rating due to the keyless entry/start system having no security measures to prevent criminals using the so-called ‘Relay Attack’ technique
KEYLESS CAR THEFT EXPLAINED:
Passive keyless entry systems, which allow drivers to open and start their cars without removing the key fob from their pocket, can be exploited using a technique called the “Relay Attack” . The criminals usually work in pairs; one will hold a device against the car, to ‘capture’ the signal it sends to the key. It then boosts this signal to another device by the front wall of the house, which relays the signal to the key inside. This fools the car into thinking they are within the 2 metre range of operation, allowing the car to be unlocked and started. Once started, the engine will not restart without the key present.
Three simple steps to reduce the risk:
- Park your car in a well-lit area
- Keep car keys well away from external windows and doors
- Turn off the signal overnight, or keep keys in a signal-block pouch