Dramatic rise in cars stolen using keys

* More cars being stolen using 'own keys' * Pushing up costs of insurance policies * Be careful in cold weather...

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What Car? Staff
19 October 2009

Dramatic rise in cars stolen using keys

Drivers are being warned to be more careful with their car keys, after a dramatic rise in the number of vehicles stolen using their own keys.

The soaring number of vehicles that are stolen in this way has already pushed up car insurance premiums by 5% during the past three months, according to AA Insurance.

Keys are the weak link in security
Better car security means that many modern cars are effectively impossible to steal without their keys, which has forced thieves to adapt their techniques accordingly.

AA Insurance has recorded a 15% rise in claims from people who've had their car keys stolen from inside their house, with thieves often 'fishing' for them through letterboxes.

In several recent incidents, Premiership footballers have had high-value supercars stolen following break-ins at their houses while they are away playing matches.

Other common tactics used by car thieves include breaking into houses to specifically look for car keys or targeting places where drivers frequently leave keys - including changing-room lockers, handbags, the pockets of hanging jackets or even drawers in offices.

Cold comfort
AA Insurance is also warning drivers not to leave keys in their cars for any reason, with the colder weather giving opportunistic thieves a chance to target cars that have been left running on driveways to warm up.