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19.01.2016 Car security guide

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As even the most basic of city cars comes with remote central locking nowadays, it’s easy to assume that when you press that button your car is safe.

However, this may not be the case; there’s a new scam in town, with thieves using remote controls for garage doors or gates to block the signal from your remote key. All they do is hold their button down while you press yours, and your signal is blocked.

To prevent this, the next time you press the button and walk away, it might just be worth trying the door handle to see if it really has locked.

Also, because of standard-fit immobilisers, stealing a modern car often involves the use of the original keys, and the majority of these thefts involves the keys being stolen directly from the owner or their home.

The remaining thefts involve keys being nicked having been left in the ignition, stored in lockers or ‘borrowed’ by family members. So if you want to make sure your car doesn’t become another statistic:

  • Never leave your car keys visible in your hallway, where they can be seen through the letterbox.
  • Don’t leave your keys in the ignition when buying petrol, opening the boot or popping into a shop.
  • Never hang up your jacket in a public place with your keys in it.
  • Be wary of using a locker at the gym; they’re a prime target for car key thieves.
  • In the winter, don’t leave an engine running to clear the windscreen; cars are often nicked as a result.
  • Drive with your doors locked, to reduce the risk of being car-jacked – especially in slow moving traffic or urban driving.
  • Carry your keys securely; don’t allow them to be dropped or to fall through a trouser pocket.
  • Don’t reveal on social media that you’re away from home – if your car is still there.
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