the methods thieves use to steal your car

For all the advances in car security we enjoy today, for all the cutting-edge technology that goes into keeping our vehicles safe and secure, there will be thieves who are always only one step behind.

Whilst London and the West Midlands might lead the way in terms of car theft hot spots, making up for 68% of all thefts, nowhere is immune from this disease. Everyone, every car and every location are at risk.

In years gone by, car theft was a fairly primitive exercise. Thieves would either use a thin piece of metal behind the window to unlock your car or they’d just smash the window completely to gain access. Once inside, they’d smash your steering column, pull the wires, hot-wire the ignition to get it started and be gone.

With both cars and the technology behind them becoming much more advanced, the thieves have had to adapt too, but what methods does the modern car thief use to steal your car these days? Let’s take a look.


The modern car thief is often not one person at all. Given how basic car security used to be, thieves of the past were more opportunistic, but that’s not the case now.

Many of the cars stolen in the modern day are done by gangs of car thieves, often stealing cars, bikes, motorhomes or trucks to order based on their specifications. Having a team behind them is useful when carrying out one of the most common methods of stealing a car, and that’s through a relay attack.

With many modern cars coming with keyless entry or remote locking as standard, thieves are exploiting this technology that we often take for granted.

Relay attacks involve a group of thieves working in unison to clone the signal your keys emit to unlock your car.

As most people drop their key just inside the front door when they go in, one person will stand just outside your home with a transmitter and send the signal to another standing next to the car with a receiver.

This signal then relays from the key fob to the transmitter, to the receiver and to the car unlocking it without you even realising it. Once inside, they can just drive away thanks to the keyless start. This method is so prolific that 99.2% of all car thefts reported were stolen by leveraging their own keyless entry system.

You can protect yourself from this by keeping your keys away from the door or kept in a Faraday box, or bag, which blocks the signal from escaping. If that’s not possible, just keep your keys as far away as possible from the point of entry.


Whilst car thieves are bad enough, they sometimes have help from those you might least expect. Transponder key cloning can happen when you take your car into a dodgy garage, car valet or parking service, or in fact anywhere where you need to leave your car keys with them.

If that business has some unscrupulous types within it, they can take your key, often left with them while they do the work on your vehicle, then thanks to the unique code within it that your car recognises, they will copy that same code onto a blank key, which can easily be bought online. You get your key back, none the wiser of what’s happened.

Unbeknownst to you, now they have a perfect duplicate of your car’s key, so will come and steal your car maybe a day, week or month later.

If you are leaving your car with a service like this, always try and use a business where you can check their credentials or use one that’s been recommended. Check how long they’ve been in business and always be comfortable before handing it over.

It can be impossible to know if this type of key cloning has happened, so always add extra layers of security to your vehicle when it’s at home or not in use. These can be additional physical deterrents like steering wheel locks, wheel clamps or gear-stick locks. Anything that will deter and slow down a car thief will help.


There’s no denying that, if a thief is determined enough and has the necessary resources, if they want to steal a car, they will. Whether it’s through cutting-edge technology or just sheer brute force, so while stealing it is their thing, getting it back is ours, and that’s where a tracker comes into play.

Take a look at our store and you’ll be sure to find a tracker that suits you. Should the worst happen and your pride and joy is stolen, you’ll be assured knowing that whether you drive a luxury car, a practical van, an adrenaline-fueled motorbike or a mobile motorhome there will be a tracking device to suit it.

With trackers offering 24/7 control centre monitoring, location tracking via a smartphone app and a host of alerts and notifications, you can keep on top of your vehicle’s position and, should it be stolen, you can track it and recover it in no time at all.

 Don’t become a victim of these and other types of car thefts.

 Make your vehicle as secure as possible with a tracker from Infiniti Tracking.

We can come and install your tracker anywhere in the mainland UK at a time and place that suits you.

If you’re unsure about the best tracker for you, call and speak to our team, who are available from 9 am – 6 pm, Monday to Friday, on 0330 043 3993 and we help. We have the knowledge and experience to find you the perfect tracker.

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