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Insurance premiums rise due to keyless car design flaw

Patrick Christys
Jun 20, 2019

Keyless cars. They sum up everything that's wrong with this fast-paced world where convenience (and laziness) is everything.

For the sake of not having to put your hand in your pocket and pull out a set of keys, car manufacturers have made car owners less safe.

Criminals have clocked on to the fact that if you have a car parked on your driveway that has a keyless entry system, you'll have a fob somewhere inside your house.

Using new technology, they relay the signal the fob gives off to your car and, bingo, they're driving off down the road with your prized possession. 

So, as a result, insurance premiums are going up! So, in a nutshell, car companies created a vehicle with a gaping design flaw and now they want you to pay higher insurance premiums because of it. Excellent...not.

A grand total of £1.2m worth of vehicles are stolen on a DAILY BASIS in the UK! Staggering.

Here are the best and worst of the keyless cars - WHERE DOES YOURS RANK?

Audi e-tron: Superior

BMW 7 Series: Superior

BMW X7: Superior 

DS 3 Crossback: Poor

Ford Mondeo: Poor

Hyundai Nexo: Poor

Jaguar XE: Superior

Kia ProCeed: Poor

Land Rover Evoque: Superior

Lexus UX: Poor

Mazda 3: Poor

Mercedes B-Class: Superior

Porsche 911: Superior  

Porsche Macan: Superior

Suzuki Jimny: Unacceptable

Toyota Corolla Hybrid: Poor

Toyota RAV-4: Poor

Volvo S60: Poor

Richard Billyeald, chief technical officer at Thatcham Research, said: "Theft claims paid by insurers in the first quarter of this year were at their highest for any quarter since 2012, with a payment made to a car crime victim every eight minutes.

"These figures demonstrate why the automotive industry must move to secure keyless entry and keyless start systems, many of which offer criminals the chance to quickly and silently circumvent otherwise robust physical security."

He added: "Were it not for the keyless entry and start vulnerability, all the cars assessed would have earned a 'good' rating or better."

The BMW 7 Series, BMW X7 and Porsche 911 all scored top marks because they had motion sensor enabled fobs. 

If the sensor detects the fob hasn't moved for a short period, it idles and goes into a sleep mode which prevents criminals using Relay Attack kits from communicating with - and replicating the signal of - the fob to remotely gain access to the car. 

While the fob for the Mazda 3 - rated as 'poor' - could be manually switched off when not in use, Thatcham said only systems that did not require active participation from the driver could earn the highest ratings. 

Laurenz Gerger, motor policy adviser at the Association of British Insurers, said: 'With car crime hitting new highs this year, a vehicle's resistance to innovative thieves should be front of mind for any consumer looking to buy a keyless car. 

'We hope that today's results will encourage manufacturers and consumers alike to take action to thwart the growing issue of keyless car crime. 

'Whilst progress has been positive, Thatcham's ratings show that, for many vehicles, there's still a long way to go to reduce the £1.2 million that is currently paid out every day for all car thefts.'

When did you last switch your car insurance provider?

Last year 65% of customers didn't switch their car insurance to try and get a better deal.