Tips to safeguard your keyless car against theft in SA

There are many reasons to love living in sunny South Africa, but as consumers we also face plenty of challenges on a daily basis, including the high rate of theft and hijackings that have vehicle owners on high alert at all times. According to recent statistics, these rates went down by almost 3% in 2018, but there were still 41 049 motor vehicles stolen and 13 149 hijacked, adding up to an overall loss of R8-billion for the year. In short, it remains a major issue.

The latest auto theft ruse to make headlines around the globe is the hijacking of keyless cars by means of ‘stealing’ the fob signal of cars that parked outside owners’ homes. Thieves work in pairs to capture the fob signal and use it to trick the car into thinking the real key is in use. Although this mode of theft only allows the thieves one drive cycle to get away, it has proven very effective and lead to a global inquest into which vehicles are vulnerable. To date, 110 different cars from 27 different auto manufacturers have been identified as soft targets in this regard.

So, what can you do to safeguard your keyless car against theft in SA in 2019? Here are a few top tips to get you started:

  • Start with the basics. Invest on old-school theft deterrent like a steering wheel lock or gear lock.
  • Stash it, don't flash it. Remove your valuables from your car when you park it for the evening.
  • Switch off the key if you can. Not all key have this functionality - check your owner's manual and put if off when not in use if possible.
  • Check your locks before you walk off. We are so used to assuming that our cars are locked once we click the lock button on our remotes, but signal jammers are a real problem. Manually check your doors, boot and sunroof before you walk off.
  • Store your key fob away from your front door. Preferably in a metal tin or a fob guard that blocks the signal.

With these safety measures in place, your keyless car ownership journey is far more likely to go smoothly in SA. Keep an eye on the blog in coming weeks and months for more news from inside the ITC camp, as well as insider tips on enjoying, caring for and driving your Isuzu trucks and bakkies. In the meantime, feel free to reach out to an ITC representative if you would like to schedule a service, book a test drive or learn more about the new and pre-owned models we currently have on our showroom floors.