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Keyless technology: A double-edged sword for modern cars

By Paul Baxter, 5th July 2024

Category: Car insurance

The advent of keyless technology in vehicles has introduced a new layer of convenience for drivers, but it has also opened the door to a significant rise in car thefts. Our recent research underlines some perceived vulnerabilities associated with keyless entry systems, with 70% of motorists believing that keyless technology makes cars more susceptible to theft, primarily through methods like key cloning.

Keyless technology allows drivers to start their cars without a physical key, which is convenient but has been exploited by criminals. The study found that over a third of respondents (34%) felt that cars with keyless systems are “much more vulnerable” to theft, and another 35% believed they are “slightly more vulnerable.” In stark contrast, only 10% of those surveyed felt that keyless cars were less vulnerable to theft.

A striking 80% of motorists think that car manufacturers need to do more to secure their vehicles against theft. The sentiment is particularly strong among those over 55, with 85% of this age group holding manufacturers accountable for vehicle security, compared to 66% of those under 25.

This perceived risk of theft is influencing car purchasing decisions. The study reveals that 13% of people have previously avoided buying certain car models due to their attractiveness to thieves. Looking ahead, 33% of respondents stated they would avoid purchasing high-risk models in the future. However, 54% of people said they do not consider the theft vulnerability of a car brand or model when making a purchase.

Manufacturers clearly have a role to play in combating car theft and advanced security measures, such as sophisticated encryption and improved vehicle tracking systems, are essential. Nearly half of potential buyers in our survey said they might be deterred from purchasing a model if it is seen as a high theft risk.

As keyless technology continues to evolve, it's crucial for manufacturers to stay ahead of potential security threats, and reassure their customers that the convenience offered by these systems does not come at the cost of increased vulnerability to theft.