Although eight in ten drivers fear car-jacking, four in ten are not locking their doors and windows. One in four women, considered more vulnerable, are not taking the precaution.
Home Secretary David Blunkett has called car-jacking a cause for concern and warned of copycat attacks. Some police forces have already set up joint monthly meetings to gain intelligence on the gangs involved.
Drivers in areas where there have been high profile attacks, such as London, Yorkshire and the North West, have acted - though still three in ten in these areas are not locking themselves into their cars. In other areas fewer than half of drivers have heeded the warnings.
"The danger is that people get despondent about car crime and don't bother to look after themselves. Clearly the message that drivers must take care of themselves needs to get home harder," says an RAC spokesman.