Key Control to Stop Test Drive Thefts and Fake Key Swaps

Car dealerships are increasingly vulnerable to theft during customer test drives. Poor key management often gives thieves an opportunity. Even, the thief gave the salesperson a fake key fob after a test drive and was able to return and take the vehicle without anyone knowing. Dealers can be an effective measure against fake key exchanges […]

Car dealerships are increasingly vulnerable to theft during customer test drives. Poor key management often gives thieves an opportunity. Even, the thief gave the salesperson a fake key fob after a test drive and was able to return and take the vehicle without anyone knowing.

Dealers can be an effective measure against fake key exchanges and test drive theft by implementing an electronic key control system — and training employees on its importance and implementation.

1. Add a dedicated ID key fob to all car keys

When a salesperson returns to the dealership with a potential customer after a test drive, have the salesperson present the key fob in the key cabinet reading area to test the authenticity of the key fob they are holding.

2. Authenticate users and restrict key permissions

The key-control system requires potential customers who book a test drive to reveal their real identity and get permission from a salesperson to log into the system and access a specific vehicle key.

3. Key check in and check out

The system automatically records when the key was taken out, by whom and when it was returned. Consider a “time cap” on these keys, employees can only have the keys for a certain amount of time before they have to return to the office and check out the keys again.

4. Stored in a secure key cabinet

Employees are not allowed to store keys in desks, file drawers, or in any other location. Keys are either with them or returned to the office key locker

5. Limit the number of keys held

Employees can only have a limited number of car keys at any given time. If they need to access other vehicles, they must return the keys that have been “deregistered” before they can get new keys.

With a small investment of time and training to implement these advanced key management policies and techniques, you can prevent thousands of dollars in vehicle theft during test drives and through key fob swaps.

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