Avoiding a keyless entry theft

Posted on January 3rd, 2018 by Rob Marshall


According to Thatcham Research, a flood of thefts has come from criminals that exploit modern keyless entry systems. These are keyfobs that permit car owners to enter and start their cars without having to push a button, or even remove the plastic moulding from their pockets.

While these systems offer a convenience to drivers (although I find them rather irritating), they are being exploited and this CCTV footage highlights just how quickly a thief can operate:

Thatcham advises that concerned owners:

  • Contact their dealer and enquire if the car’s security system has the latest software updates installed.
  • Ask the dealer if the keyless entry fob can be switched off overnight.
  • Store keys out of sight and away from household entry points. Remember that thieves need to gain proximity only to the key to capture and amplify its signal.
  • Be vigilant. Keep an eye out for suspicious activity and report anything unusual to the Police.
  • Consider aftermarket security devices such as Thatcham-approved mechanical locks and trackers, which are proven to deter thieves. A list can be found on the Thatcham Research website, here


Rob Marshall has served as GEM Motoring Assists’ technical advisor, since 2009, and has provided many hundreds of members with impartial and free one-to-one advice, in their hours of need. He started working on cars from the age of ten years-old and has bought, repaired, traded and sold them ever since. While he holds a variety of mechanical and bodywork repair skills and experience, having worked within the motor sales and repair businesses, he is also involved actively within the motoring media, since supplying BBC Top Gear with a car in 1997. Today, Rob contributes to a wide range of motoring publications, from Car Mechanics to Classic and Sports Car magazine.