Some of Britain’s newest and most popular cars are at risk of being stolen because of weaknesses in keyless entry technology.

Research conducted by What Car? - a car buying website - shows many new cars are being left vulnerable by this increasingly popular feature.

According to What Car? cars such as the Land Rover Discovery Sport can be broken into by thieves using specialist technology and driven away in just 30 seconds, and the new Citroen DS3 Crossback in as little as 10 seconds.

Criminals using specialist tools can capture a key’s signal and relay it to another device next to the car, allowing them to enter and start the vehicle quickly.

Editor of What Car? 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.

“It is great news that a small number of brands are taking the problem of car theft seriously, but more needs to be done to improve security, particularly of desirable used models.”

Car theft rates in England and Wales have reached an eight-year high, with more than 106,000 stolen last year alone. This technology has been blamed for the insurance industry paying a record number of claims, with insurers handing out a staggering £23 million per day in 2018, according to This is Money.

If you’re concerned about your vehicle, experts at LeasePlan UK have offered their tips that could keep your keyless car safe from theft.

1. Try to block the signal

There are several items on the market designed to block the signal from your key to your car, but metal-lined Faraday pouches or boxes are by far the most effective. It’s a simple, low-tech solution, but with so many different types, it might take a few purchases to find the one that works best for your vehicle. Instead of hanging your keys on a key hook or leaving them on the coffee table after you’ve parked your car, just simply place your key fob in the Faraday pouch or box.

2. Make it harder to enhance the signal

Keyless fobs don’t have a great range, so anything you can do to move them away from the car will make it harder for thieves to pick the signal up. When you’ve parked, try to keep the fob away from the doors and windows of your home or office. Experts have suggested keeping your key fob at least five metres away from the vehicle, but try leaving it further away if possible, just to be on the safe side.

3. Try to switch off your key fob

Although this varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, it’s possible to turn off the signal from some key fobs to prevent it from transmitting any signal entirely. This feature isn’t always obvious or straightforward, but if you’re looking to take extra precautions, it could be worth checking the vehicle handbook or speak to a dealer for guidance on how to switch this functionality off.

This is worth considering if you’re heading off on holiday and plan on leaving the key fob at home.

4. Demobilise your vehicle

Even if you’re usually careful and try to follow these tips, there are times you could make a mistake or simply be out-smarted. But that doesn’t mean criminals can leave with your car. If you lock the steering wheel or block your drive, they may be able to get in, but you’ve made the vehicle harder to move.

5. Increase your chances of recovering your car

You could consider adding a tracking device to your vehicle. If thieves do get away with it, the chances of you getting it back will significantly increase. Widely available and reasonably priced, these types of devices could help to quickly locate your stolen car.

6. Check your insurance

Although ensuring that you have the correct insurance won’t stop thieves, it’s important to check the wording of your insurance policy. Whilst it’s true that the record number of claims being paid out has been attributed to keyless entry cars, some insurers are still yet to catch up and change their policy wording to reflect this new technology. For example, some insurers say that there must be signs of ‘forcible or violent entry’, or else they won’t pay out.

7. Remember the basics

Finally, it’s also important to follow basic car security measures too. Make sure you park your vehicle in a well-lit and secure location and remove or hide any valuables from inside your car. It’s simple, but always double check that your doors are firmly shut, and the car is locked before walking away too.