What is Relay Theft?

In this blog, we’ll look at the growing problem of keyless car theft, some insightful statistics and the best solutions to help motorists.

Hi-tech criminals are utilising a device that transmits signals from the key fob inside a property, which then can unlock the vehicle. Thieves work in pairs to boost the key fob signal, which can be captured from up to 10 metres away. This infamous scam is labelled as a ‘Relay Attack’.

Keyless cars provide huge convenience for drivers, however, they also make stealing cars considerably easier as well.

“A keyless entry car theft crisis in the UK has seen car insurers pay out over £1 million a day in insurance claims.” – Daily Express


Watch thieves steal car in under 1 minute…


Impact on the Insurance Industry

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) shared that a payment was made every 8 minutes to a car crime victim in the first quarter of this year. Demonstrating a significant increase from previous years figures.


This graph produced by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) demonstrates the rising cost of theft claims that car insurers are paying. Car thefts in England and Wales are at an 8-year high, with 106,000 cars stolen last year. Car insurance company, LV, claim that their data suggests a correlation between car theft and the rise in keyless technology.

Halfords’ states that new in-car security systems can be easily bypassed and that the best protective method a car owner can do is to place their key fob in an RFID pouch. 

The rise in pay-out costs for insurers may eventually result in increased insurance costs for customers.


Susceptible Car Models 

German company ADAC, carried out an examination on new car models that are equipped with keyless car fobs. This test mirrored how criminals relay wireless signals emitted from the key fob in order to trick the car into opening. The results demonstrate that the vast majority failed this test. Below is an insight to the car models impacted.

Interested in the full list?

What Car? magazine tested seven different car models that have a keyless fob entry system, see below results.


Police and Relay Theft

Motorists should find car theft data so they can make decisions on which vehicles to buy on the likelihood of them being susceptible to theft.

Relay theft has become a conundrum to UK Police forces and has kept the government seeking a solution for a long period of time.

West Midlands Police have recently released car theft statistics for 2019 so far, describing anti-theft security on some vehicles as a disgrace. Head over to the article to view the statistics.


Effective yet inexpensive method

Despite keyless entry theft being one of the biggest threats to drivers whose cars use this technology, only five per cent of drivers hide their fobs in an RFID wallet. – Daily Express

The all new Defender Signal Blocker Mini is a quality faraday pouch, that blocks a key fobs signals in just 5 seconds. Preventing tech-savvy thieves boosting the proximity signal to gain unauthorised access to a vehicle. The sleek design also features a convenient key ring for securing your fob, plus a handy hook on the rear for hanging the pouch on key racks.

The parent product, the Defender Signal Blocker, was voted ‘Best Buy’ in the Auto Express product test in 2018 and was shortlisted for Best in Car Product at the 2019 First Car Awards. The Defender Signal Blocker Mini also holds the coveted Police Preferred Specification accreditation.

With evidence from ADAC, a considerable amount of car manufacturers fail to obtain adequate security measures.

Do not fail to make this simple security step.

Top tips:

• Keep your driveway well lit
• Install CCTV and signs for deterrent
• Buy a Defender Signal Blocker