Four new cars have been rated “poor” in security tests due to their vulnerability to keyless thefts.

Thatcham Research, the independent automotive research centre, tested seven new cars to help drivers understand the theft risk of a car.

The DS3 Crossback, Mazda 3, Toyota RAV-4 and Volvo S60 were found to have keyless entry/start systems susceptible to the Relay Attack and rated “poor” – whether optional or standard.

BMW 7 Series, BMW X7 and Porsche 911 were awarded “superior” ratings with keyless entry/start.

“Theft claims paid by insurers in the first quarter of this year were at their highest for any quarter since 2012, with a payment made to a car crime victim every eight minutes,” said Richard Billyeald, Chief Technical Officer, Thatcham Research.

“These figures demonstrate why the automotive industry must move to secure keyless entry/start systems, many of which offer criminals the chance to quickly and silently circumvent otherwise robust physical security.”

Mr Billyeald added that without the keyless entry/start vulnerability, all the cars assessed would have earned a “good” rating or better.

The ratings are based on a series of security tests encompassing physical and digital security.