A Number Of New Cars Can Be Stolen In Less Than A Minute

Keyless entry systems have become increasingly common and they’re an apparent boon for owners and car thieves.

According to What Car?, the proliferation of keyless entry systems and push button ignitions mean that many new vehicles can be stolen in a matter of seconds.

To demonstrate how fast this can happen, the group gathered seven different models which were all equipped with keyless entry and start systems. Security experts then attempted to ‘steal’ them using specialized equipment.

Also Read: Auto Thefts Climb For The Fourth Consecutive Year

According to the results of the test, the DS3 Crossback Ultra Prestige was easiest to steal as the team managed to get into the car in five seconds and drive away it in five seconds later. The 2018 Land Rover Discovery Sport was also found to be easy to steal as it took experts 10 seconds to get into the crossover and 20 seconds to drive it away.

That’s pretty quick, but What Car? noted some models come with key fobs that feature motion detection technology. This means the key fobs will stop emitting a signal when they’re stationary.

The technology is featured on key fobs from Audi, BMW, Ford and Mercedes. This meant the team wasn’t able to get inside or steal the Audi TT RS Roadster, BMW X3, Ford Fiesta or Mercedes A-Class when the key fob was deactivated.

That’s good news, but they keys aren’t perfect as they’ll emit a signal when you move and have them in your pocket or purse. If thieves get that signal, the vehicles are relatively easy to steal.

The TT RS Roadster was broken into in five seconds and driven another five seconds later. Both the BMW X3 and Ford Fiesta took 40 seconds to get into and another 20 seconds to drive away. Lastly, the A-Class required 30 seconds to get into and 20 seconds to drive away.

Interestingly, the only car that couldn’t be stolen was the Land Rover Discovery. What Car? says Jaguar Land Rover uses “ultra-wide-band radio technology on some of its latest models, which transmits a wide range of signals from the key, meaning thieves can’t lock onto the signal and fool the vehicle.” Experts were able to get into the vehicle after 20 seconds, but they couldn’t drive away in it.

Despite that bit of good news, What Car?’s Steve Huntingford said “It is outrageous that some car makers have introduced keyless entry and start systems without making them anywhere near as secure as the traditional alternatives they’ve replaced.” He went on to praise a “small number of brands” for taking security seriously, but noted more needs to be done.


  • KAG25

    Imagine if they had a system like a home with a key device that you would have to use on the door and to start it. They should make something like that.

    • salamOOn

      nice sarcasm 🙂

      what i hate is that nowdays you are forced into keyless when you are buying a new car simply because its made standard… i dont want keyless in standard, or leather, or sunroof….

      • KAG25

        I got a car in 2015, didn’t get leather. It gets out and the skin just sticks to it.

    • Stephen G

      It’s all about profits. Force the customer to buy junk they don’t want inside something they do want. It’s also the idea behind “packaging”. Never going to change.

      • KAG25

        Yeah, the current car when I got it new the model with a sunroof was a extra $5k because you had to add all the packages to it. The package thing sucks and has gotten big in the luxury car market, so you get a car way over 10k in options for simple things.

  • Kwikcilva

    the UK government is very quick to pass laws to take more money from drivers but this is the time where they can protect the same motorists. A law which mandates car manufacturers must do one of the following, such as…
    1. have a deactivate button on every of these keyless devices or provide
    2. provide a keyless deactivate function in the car software which can be set by the car owner or
    3. provide a pouch which blocks the key’s signal
    will go a very long way.

    • Felix Le Forestier

      From what I understand the main victims are insurances which is just another word for thief

      • Kwikcilva

        haha I like that, another word for insurance.
        Unfortunately the insurance companies are just going to increase premiums to offset “payouts”. The government will then gain because they will get more money via insurance tax, so in the end motorists are going to lose out 🙁

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