Electric vehicle drivers have been urgently warned of a serious problem that could endanger their vehicles.
Data compiled by engine experts at Vantage Leasing has revealed that car-related crime is on the rise, with electric models now a target.
The research found that Google searches related to car theft have increased more than 40-fold, while figures from the Office for National Statistics show that vehicle-related crimes increased by 13% last year.
A whopping 405,872 crimes were reported between March 2022 and March 2023, compared to 360,712 in the previous year.
The experts said: “Electric cars are valuable and can be easier to steal than conventional cars because they do not require a key to start.”
“Keyless entry systems are becoming increasingly common, but they can also make cars more vulnerable to theft.”
“Criminals are also targeting electric cars for their batteries, which can be worth a lot of money, and home charging cables, which can be sold at second-hand markets or for the metal they contain.”
Luckily, they’ve shared six tips to help protect your car from scammers.
First, they advised drivers to keep their key fob away from the front door or keep it in a signal-blocking bag to protect against relay attacks.
These dastardly crimes are carried out using a signal relay that can amplify or mimic the signal transmitted by your key fob.
This means that shady characters can not only unlock your car, but with the spread of keyless ignition they can even simply drive away.
Some EVs use an app as a key rather than a physical fob, making relay attacks impossible.
However, these can be victims of phone hacking and data breaches. Therefore, make sure you set up two-factor authentication.
This means that each time you log into the app, you will choose to receive a text message to a preset number or, in some cases, a phone call to verify your identity, providing an additional layer of security.
Next, the experts recommended installing some simple security features to make the car not worth stealing.
For example, you can buy a steering wheel lock online for just 5 euros, while installing a visible alarm system is a big deterrent.
Many modern cars are also equipped with surveillance cameras or tracking systems, but these can also be purchased to ensure the safety of your engine.
If you have a driveway, installing a few bollards can also provide protection against opportunist theft.
Speaking of which: The experts warned that automatic side mirrors can alert thieves if a car has been left unlocked. So always make sure to secure your doors, even if you’re just stopping by for a few minutes.
Finally, it was recommended to vary the parking space and parking time where possible, as thieves often target cars that they know will be parked in the same spot every day.
This means that criminals cannot know when and how long the car will be left unattended, and therefore cannot be sure if an opportunity to do so will present itself.
It comes after a car dealer revealed the three illegal tricks sellers use to make customers pay more.
Meanwhile, a car cleaning expert told us four things you should never do when washing your engine.