A Car Is Stolen In The UK Every Six Seconds

Thu 28th Mar 2019

Car crime in the UK is on the rise, with a prize motor stolen every six seconds according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

The ABI reported that a hefty £376m was paid out in stolen car claims in 2018, an almost 30 per cent rise (29%) on the previous year. And the total of car thefts has risen by 12 per cent with 56,000 more claims than in 2017.

Laurenz Gerger, the ABI’s motor policy adviser, said: “The resurgence in car crime is worrying.

“The record amounts paid to motorists by their insurers in part reflects the vulnerability of some cars to keyless relay theft.

“Action by motor manufacturers to tackle this high-tech vulnerability, allied with owners taking some simple, inexpensive precautions will help reverse this unwelcome trend.”
Relay theft allows thieves to easily steal top of the range cars which employ keyless technology. The process involves a electromagnetic signals emitted by the car and its keyfob. With one thief pointing a scanner at the car, and another point a scanner towards the keys, the relay imitates the action of the owner approaching the car with his keys. The car thief then tries the car door handle which sends a signal to the keys allowing the door to be opened and the engine started.

A investigation in the Sun newspaper found that some models can be stolen within just six seconds.


The AA’s Top Tips For Car Security

  • Double check your car is locked and leave it in a garage or well-lit area.

  • Fit an electronic immobiliser, ideally approved by car researchers Thatcham.

  • At home, keep keys five metres from car. Or put them in a metal-lined pouch which blocks the signal.

  • Fit a tracking system.

  • Keep an eye on local news and Neighbourhood Watch for word on models targeted in your area.

  • Check insurance and ask your provider for advice.