If you’re a car owner and regular road user in South Africa, chances are you keep a close eye on theft and hijacking statistics. After all, even though we are all very fortunate to live in such a beautiful, diverse country, we have to be realistic about the challenges we face at a time when SA reports an annual loss of up to R8-billion due to car thefts and hijackings.

In 2018, the authorities reported a decrease of approximately 3% when it came to these incidents, but there were still 41 049 thefts and 13 149 hijackings in total. The decrease was also not the result of a lack of trying on the part of South African criminals, but rather of increased vigilance on the part of vehicle owners, as well as improved efforts by law enforcement, security service providers and community groups who work in tandem to address this distressing issue.

One of the most pressing issues to arise both locally and globally of late is the theft of keyless cars by means of signal interception. Thieves wait until the owner parks their car outside their home and then use a relay amplifier and transmitter to capture the signal and trick the vehicle into thinking that the real key is in use. In this way they are able to make off with the car without needing the key at all.

To date it has been found that more than 100 different vehicles from 25+ automakers can be stolen in this way. While car manufacturers work tirelessly to close the loopholes in their systems, it’s up to vehicle owners to safeguard themselves from theft. Fortunately, there are a few ways of doing so. Here are a few ways to keep your keyless car safe in South Africa in 2019:

  • Stow your key as far away from your front door as possible, ideally in a metal tin or a ‘fob guard' that blocks its signal.
  • Check your owner’s manual to see if you can switch off your key when it’s not in use.
  • Install a tracker that complies with the requirements of your insurance provider.
  • Don’t make yourself a target by keeping valuables in your car when you park it for the night and use old-school security measures like a steering wheel lock to deter would-be thieves.

If you bear these guidelines in mind when you drive your keyless car in South Africa, you are far more likely to enjoy a safe experience. Keep an eye on the blog in coming weeks and months for more news from inside the Haval camp, as well as insider tips on enjoying, caring for and driving your GWM bakkie or SUV. In the meantime, feel free to reach out to a GWM representative if you would like to schedule a service, book a test drive or learn more about the new and used models we currently have on offer.