Drivers have been warned which cars are the biggest targets for thieves who are using modern technology such as relay boxes.
The list of cars comes as sales of old-fashioned steering locks, which act as a visible deterrent to thieves, are increasing.
Research by the German Automotive Club revealed the most likely models of major manufacturers to be stolen in the UK.
If your car appears on the list below, experts have advised taking extra care.
The list of most at risk cars:
Audi : A3, A4, A6
BMW : 730d
Citroen : DS4 CrossBack
Ford : Galaxy, Eco-Sport
Honda : HR-V
Hyundai : Santa Fe CRDi
Kia : Optima
Lexus : RX 450h
Mazda : CX-5
Mini : Clubman
The website PetrolPrices.com, analysing the data, says thieves are using high-tech gadgets, reports the Evening Chronicle.
The site says: “A shocking 85,688 cars have been reported as stolen this year.
“That’s 30% more than the 65,783 reported in 2013, according to data collected by the RAC.
“Many of the more recent thefts are due to gangs using gadgets to gain access to vehicles, often on demand so they can be sold on.”
PetrolPrices.com says thieves have been using locking jammers and relay boxes.
“If your car is on this list, don’t panic,” the site adds.
“Keep your car key away from your front door in a metal box, metal safe, metallised signal blocking pouch, microwave, or fridge.
“Fit a tracking device to your car
“Invest in a steering wheel lock, which acts as a visible deterrent.”
Locking jammers block the signal coming from the key when the driver locks the door.
This means that the car remains unlocked, making it easy for the thieves to enter the vehicle.
Meanwhile, relay boxes scan houses for key signals. They then transmit these to another box close to the car. The result is that the car responds as though the key is unlocking it.
Putting the keys in a metal box, or in the microwave or fridge, stops the signal from the thieves’ device from getting through.
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