THESE are the cars most at-risk of being pinched by car thieves.
The list of the UK’s most steal-able cars from the German Automobile Club (ADAC) reveals Audis, Fords and BMWs are all in danger.
Around 85,000 cars have been reported stolen this year – and 70 per cent of these owners still have their keys on them.
Drivers are being advised to watch out for criminals stealing their pride and joy straight from their driveways.
Gangs are using modern tech to hack into keyless systems and drive off without even having to smash a window.
The “relay” technique sees one thief stand near the car and another standing within range of your keys.
A tool – available for as little as £80 online – then picks up the key’s signal and relays it back to the thief stood near the car.
A car can be stolen like this from your driveway in a matter of seconds – and can even done while you’re parked up outside a coffee shop.
Crooks are also using locking jammers, too.
These systems block your own key signal when you try and lock the car. It means the car remains unlocked after you’ve walked away giving criminals easy access.
How to protect yourself against relay theft
To avoid your car being stolen from your driveway, it’s advised not to keep your keys near the door.
This has long been the advice dating back to the coathanger scams where thieves would fish out your keys through the letterbox.
Keeping them at the back of the house or upstairs may stop the radio signal being as strong for a thief near the door.
But as technology develops, the range of the signal detector is growing, so the only real way to keep cars safe is to store keys in the fridge or microwave.
The metal lining means the radio signal can’t get through.
If you’re in a coffee shop with your keys make sure you can see your car and be aware of anyone lurking near both yourself and your car.
Earlier this year, ADAC tested 24 different cars from 19 manufacturers aged between 2013 and 2015 and found it could break into every single vehicle.
And it’s now produced a list of makes and models most at-risk:
- Audi: A3, A4, A6
- BMW: 730d
- Citroen: DS4 CrossBack
- Ford: Galaxy, EcoSport
- Honda: HR-V
- Hyundai: Santa Fe CRDi
- Kia: Optima
- Lexus: RX 450h
- Mazda: CX-5
- Mini: Clubman
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Owners are being advised to fit steering locks as a visual deterrent – with PetrolPrices.com reporting sales have doubled in the past year.
Trackers are also being recommended by safety experts as these can help cops hunt down your motor if it’s stolen.
You should also keep your keys away from the front door in a metal box or safe.
Fridges or microwaves can be great places as they block the radio signal used by the relay technology.