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Drivers with keyless vehicles ‘twice as likely to make a theft claim’

Motorists with keyless vehicles are around twice as likely to make a theft claim as those with vehicles which are not keyless, according to an insurer’s analysis of claims data covering the past two years.

Aviva revealed the findings after looking at its own claims figures, covering the period August 2020 to August 2022.

The insurer also said that vehicle claims have increased by 13%, when comparing the period March 2019 to February 2020 with March 2021 to February 2022.

Alec Reeder, performance lead, Aviva General Insurance, said: “While vehicle security has developed and improved in many ways, unfortunately criminal activity is evolving too.

“Over the past two years, we’ve found claims for stolen keyless vehicles are twice as likely as those for for non-keyless vehicles.

“While theft claims account for only a small proportion of our vehicle claims overall, we understand that a stolen car can be very distressing for owners.

“We’d encourage people to take extra precautions, particularly at this time of year, when thieves have the added advantage of reduced daylight.

“Seemingly old-fashioned mechanical devices – such as a steering wheel or foot pedal lock – can be a useful visible deterrent, encouraging thieves to think twice.

“Other steps include using a signal blocking pouch for keys, or parking in a garage or secure area where possible.

“Cars really can be gone in 60 seconds, so it’s vital that motorists stay one step ahead of the criminals.”

– Here are 10 tips from Aviva to help reduce the risk of vehicle thefts:

1. Lock the door, no matter where you park, even if you need to leave your vehicle unattended for just a minute. Make sure to close the windows and sunroof if you have one.

2. Use a steering wheel lock or foot pedal lock. These two simple, traditional anti-theft devices will not only make it harder for the thieves to steal your vehicle but also work as visible theft deterrents.

3. Get a signal blocking pouch, container or box to keep your car keys in. This is another simple way to reduce the risk of car theft if you have electronic keys. Such devices can prevent signals from keys being intercepted and manipulated by thieves.

4. Fit a vehicle tracking system. Some cars already come fitted with vehicle tracking systems but unfortunately criminals often know which models feature tracking devices. Considering fitting your own vehicle tracking device, even if you have one pre-installed.

5. Park the vehicle in a locked garage or secure area. This will further reduce the risk of your vehicle being stolen by adding an additional obstacle for the thieves to overcome. Aviva’s research found only around a third (34%) of motorists with a garage always store their car in it.

6. Try to park in well-lit and busier areas if you do not have a private garage or driveway and when away from home.

7. Do not leave anything in your vehicle. If you must store something in your vehicle for a short length of time, make sure it is out of sight.

8. Consider the use of immobilisers, which prevent the engine from starting without a correct key or fob. Some cars have immobilisers installed already, but if you have an older car it may be worth considering one.

9. Never leave the keys in the ignition. It can only take a few seconds for your car to be stolen. Also think about where you keep your car keys – try not to store them in the garage or near your front or back door.

10. Consider CCTV, locked gates and increased home security. Steps that help improve your home security can help improve your car security, too.