Is it Hard to Steal a BMW? Which One is the Easiest?

When you’ve worked in the corporate system for a while, or you’ve gotten some major success, you would want to reward yourself.

A brand-new BMW would be one of the best cars to buy. BMW is seen as a respectable brand and owning one would mean you’re successful.

The last thing you would want is your new baby getting stolen. High-end cars like this are a target for thieves. Let’s find out how easy or hard it is for thieves to steal your BMW.  

Is it Hard to Steal a BMW?

Yes, it is fairly hard to steal a BMW. The average car thief will have no chance of stealing your BMW. But a thief with prior experience and the right tools will take your ride in a matter of minutes. Across their lineup, BMW performs 16% better than the national vehicle theft average.

Stealing cars like BMW’s aren’t an easy feat. Security measures installed in these vehicles make sure you can’t just get into them easily. Even when you break the windows, you still may not be able to take the car away.

But thieves with prior experience with these cars can steal your vehicle in minutes. These guys understand how these cars work and can use that to their advantage. With the right tools like relays and signal jammers, they can use the signal from your key fob to gain access to your car.

But since this started happening almost 9 years ago, BMW has beefed up the security of their vehicles. Currently, stealing a BMW with those cheap hacking methods won’t work so easily anymore.  

The 2021 BMW 3 Series has been ranked as the least likely car to get stolen in the US, even though this model is a popular choice for thieves. This applies closely to the rest of the lineup. Be careful on your end, though, losing your key or locking yourself out will mean you won’t have access to your car. Getting it unlocked would require assistance from BMW and a new key fob, which may be pricey.

Also read: 3 Things Thieves Do with Stolen Cars

What Makes BMW so Hard to Steal?

BMWs are known for having a double locking feature, which is an added layer of security. It locks the car in a 2-step locking process, opening the car when locked like this is almost impossible.

This process of double locking has proven to be effective. Breaking the windows won’t allow the doors of the vehicle to be opened. If you lock someone inside by accident, that person can’t get out. The car won’t open no matter what. This has been a standard feature on BMWs for a long time.   

Combined with the car alarm, it makes the BMWs a bit harder to get stolen. 

What are the Methods Thieves Use to Steal BMWs Even Though it’s Hard?

Hacking safety security systems is the latest way thieves use to steal cars like BMW. Since the locking mechanisms are now controlled by the car’s computers, it makes the job of stealing such vehicles much harder. But there are a few ways thieves get around this.

These methods have been discussed in a previous article, but we’ll highlight the ones relevant to this post.

  • Signal relaying: Thieves use high-frequency wireless transmitters which when held close to your house can transmit your key’s signal. This fool’s the car into thinking you are close by and allows the car to be unlocked.
  • Signal jamming: Similar to relaying, but this instead blocks your key’s signal from reaching your car. When the owner locks the car remotely, the signal is prevented, leaving your car still unlocked for the taking.
  • Reprogramming: Once inside your car, these guys can reprogram your car to use another key. This is done via your On-Board Diagnostics (OBD/OBD II) port.
  • Steal your key: Once thieves get their hands on your car keys, then it’s a walk in the past. They now have full access to your vehicle.

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These are the most popular ways thieves may use to steal your pride and joy. Ordinary methods no longer work as these cars have gotten better. Even older cars can receive updates making them safer.

How Can You Protect Your BMW from Theft?

The best way to protect your car is to keep it updated. This will add all the latest security updates available for your car. Stealing your car will be a bit harder, and you can sleep better at night.

There are numerous ways to protect your vehicle, but over the years numerous complaints have been made by customers. This also includes theft, and BMW has made updates to the car’s security systems, which can be installed by taking the car to the dealer or over the air.

These reports help, BMW, ensure that its vehicles are updated with the latest security features. Newer vehicles are also built with most of this information to ensure they don’t have the same loopholes as older cars.

On the other hand, customers can take extra steps to make sure their cars are safe. Here are a few:

  • Lock your car: Locking your car will activate your inbuilt security systems and help protect your vehicle.
  • Switch off-key fob: New key fobs do have the ability to disable some of its functions like keyless entry. It may not be straightforward, but doing this will make sure the car will not transmit signals that may help unlock the car.

This can be great at night when not in use, but only if you don’t find this to be an inconvenience.

  • Park your car safely: Parking in a garage or storage will ensure that your beautiful ride isn’t seen by these thieves and doesn’t become a target.
  • Signal blocking pouch: Placing your key fob in these pouches stop them from transmitting signals that can be used to open your car.

Also read: 3 Cheapest to Maintain BMW Models (& Costs)

What are the Hardest and Easiest BMWs to Steal?

The BMW 1 Series, 7 series, and 8 series are among the hardest BMWs to steal. This is because their security procedures perform better than other models. The X5 and X6 seem to be the most likely to get stolen.  

The BMW 1, 7, and 8 series have been deemed the least likely to get stolen. They all have a superior security rating according to Thatcham’s security testing.

The X5 on the other hand has been among the most stolen cars for the past 6 years. As a luxury vehicle, it will be a target for criminals. The added benefits of being an SUV with 4-wheel drive means the car is worth a lot more than the sedans.

The same rules that apply to the car market are universal whether they are brand new or used. The thieves make use of this trend and decide on which cars to steal. And since SUVs are hot and BMW has a variety of them, the midsize X5 and X6 models seem to be the targets.      

Are Older BMWs Easier to Steal?

Yes, they are. A lot of owners in the past have complained about how easy it was for their cars to get stolen. In under a minute, thieves could steal your vehicle if not well protected.

Thieves are smart about this dishonest trade. Once done, they can do it over and over again unless something is done to impede access. Buying an older BMW does need some extra measures taken by the owners to make sure they don’t become victims of car theft.

Cars between 2007 and 2011 had issues with their security system, making them unusually easy to steal to the right guys. During this period, BMW issued a statement stating they had no way of stopping thieves from stealing their vehicles. But a security update was later made to remedy this issue.

The BMW X6 was the most affected during this vulnerable period. Crossovers were getting hotter and these cars were in high demand. So it was the vehicle of choice closely followed by the X5.