Ways to Use Car Keys to Reduce Vehicle Related Crime

Posted on: 29 July 2015

With car thefts on the rise in many parts of Australia, it's unsurprising that vehicle owners are turning their attention to new security solutions and key control measures to prevent and deter access to their car. Stolen cars are often used in a spate of other crimes, making it in the interest of both vehicle owners and the broader community to prevent motor vehicle theft. Much of preventing car related crimes comes down to using key systems with enhanced security features and taking appropriate precautions in how you use your keys. These  'key' tips will help make your vehicle more resistant to thieves and help to reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim of vehicle-related crimes.

Use Transponder Key Systems

Transponder keys include a programmable chip embedded in the key's plastic, which receives a signal from the vehicle (usually from the antenna around the ignition system) when pressed. Each key has a uniquely programmed code to work only with its matching vehicle. This prevents break-ins, as other keys will not be able to disarm the immobiliser system or start the car, even if the key has been copied.

Transponder key systems are a form of security technology included in most vehicles manufactured post 1995, but a locksmith can retrofit an engine immobiliser to earlier models to prevent hotwiring. Vehicle locksmiths will also be able to reprogram new transponder keys should you need a replacement, although these will be more expensive than traditional car keys.

Use Key Fobs

A key fob is a small remote control attached to the key chain that allows keyless entry to a vehicle, which is convenient, reduces scratches around entry doors and provides security benefits.  Many contain a panic button to activate the horn or car alarm to scare away intruders who may be lurking close by. With key fobs, entry to the vehicle is also quicker, reducing the chance of abduction or muggings occurring as people fumble for keys and locks to open their car – especially in the low light settings.

Be Cautious With Your Car Keys

The most common way cars are stolen is by criminals getting their hands on your car keys. That's why it's essential to maintain smart key control measures at all times when it comes to your car keys. Tips include:

  • Never leaving car keys on work desks unattended.
  • Avoiding leaving car keys in an obvious place in the home such as a hook inside the front door
  • Never leave keys in the ignition in your driveway, even if just for a second or when refuelling.
  • Keep keys out of sight when approaching your car in a quiet or deserted car park.
  • Don't keep a spare key inside the vehicle.

Many victims of motor vehicle theft find that they could have done more to prevent the theft or break-in to their vehicle, with most of the preventative measure coming down to the access control and key systems of the vehicle itself. Speak to your locksmith for more advice about how you can fortify the security of your vehicle to deter thieves and prevent car related crime.