Safeguard Your Vehicle: The 7 Best Car Security Devices

17 Aug 2023 15:07:35

According to the Office of National Statistics, car theft increased by 24.9% between September 2021-2022. Through hi-tech methods such as relay theft, key cloning and signal blocking, it is becoming easier for thieves to target vehicles. By applying force to windows and doors, criminals can gain access to possessions inside a vehicle, with the number of items stolen from vehicles also rising (by 9.9%). Aside from the tried and true advice to keep your belongings out of sight, park in a well-lit spot and remember to lock your vehicle, this article will outline proactive methods to help keep your vehicle as safe as possible.

What will help you keep your car secure?

With the rise in car theft, it’s no surprise that people want the best car security possible. With the amount of car security devices, it is easy to become overwhelmed. Car security devices can vary from a car security camera and car security lock (including a steering lock and wheel clamps) to advanced GPS trackers. When choosing any car security, your purpose will determine the type required.

Below are some examples of the different car security devices and their pros and cons:

Steering wheel lock

What is a steering wheel lock?

A car security lock (also known as a steering lock) is a physical lock that is placed over your wheel. As a result of its position, the wheel has restricted movement that is only restored once it is removed.

Pros of a steering wheel lock:

  • Due to its visibility, it is an active deterrent for thieves.
  • Without being physically removed, steering is limited.

Cons of a steering wheel lock:

  • Thieves can cut through the steering wheel’s outer rim, allowing the device to be removed.
  • If the lock isn’t properly sized for your type of vehicle, it will not fit correctly.
  • Marks will be left on the wheel if the steering lock is not intended for your car model.

Tracking systems

What is a car tracking system?

Tracking systems are undoubtedly a smart car security system. They provide essential tracking for vehicles. In-built GPS technology can be accessed in real-time to grant authorised individuals access to track their vehicle, no matter the owner’s location. By utilising satellite networks, trackers can support the recovery of a stolen vehicle. Trackers can gain pinpoint location accuracy, each tracker from TrackerFit has European coverage and global coverage is available in set models.

Pros of car tracking systems:

  • GPS Tracking: This approved tracking system allows you to track your vehicle in real-time. If unauthorised access is gained, an alert is sent to a control room and the police are then notified and supported in the recovery of your vehicle. Included with certain models, a recovery team is also sent to retrieve your vehicle.
  • No Internet required: As a stand-alone device, GPS tracking does not require the Internet to receive satellite signals, enabling you to monitor your vehicle wherever and whenever.
  • Battery Disconnect Alerts: Thatcham trackers can detect if the vehicle’s battery is disconnected, indicating potential theft or tampering. If the battery drops to a low level or is disconnected, your vehicle tracking system will send an instant alert.
  • Tamper Alerts: By use of either a driver ID tag or a driver identification system through your smartphone, unauthorised attempts to control the vehicle made by an individual without the ID or identification system can be detected, motioning an alarm. The tracker can create a link between the tracking device and the tracking system’s server, ensuring that only authorised individuals can access the device and its functions.
  • Remote Immobilisation: Trackers are built to work alongside a vehicle’s systems, such as the engine control unit (ECU) or immobiliser. Such integration enables the tracker to send signals to these systems, allowing for remote control over the vehicle’s operation.
  • Geo-fencing: This function enables you to set virtual boundaries for your vehicle- enabling you to monitor and receive alerts if your vehicle enters or exits specified areas.
  • Approved by the majority of insurance providers, Thatcham-approved trackers can allow owners to meet insurance requirements and potentially reduce premiums or maintain coverage.
  • Remote monitoring: For easy access, the smartphone app can be stored on your home screen. It is user-friendly allowing you to quickly learn and navigate its features. With push notifications to your smartphone, you stay up-to-date. Apps are regularly updated to improve performance, add new features and address any issues.

Cons of car tracking systems:

  • Drain on the car battery: The battery life of a tracker can often be depleted due to the functions it provides. However, if you are knowledgeable of the battery life of your tracker this can easily be planned for.
  • Infringement on privacy and autonomy: GPS devices can be used to monitor people’s whereabouts and can be used to assist in criminal activities.
  • Sensitivity to sunlight: To get the best out of your GPS tracker, keep it away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures. Engineers at TrackerFit can advise on the best position for your Tracker.
  • Handle with care: Trackers are extremely sensitive and should be handled with caution- ensure not to shake your device.
  • Keep clean: For optimal performance, ensure that your tracker is free of dust and is kept away from liquids.
  • If travelling, awareness of your surroundings and nearby hazards is imperative. By relying entirely on GPS technology you could potentially overlook information key to your journey and safety.
  • Poor Installation: For optimum performance, it is key to use professionals who specialise in tracking systems, such as TrackerFit.

Follow the below links for further information:
S7 Tracker: High-Quality Thatcham S7 Trackers for Enhanced Security
S5 Tracker: Reliable Thatcham S5 Trackers for Advanced Vehicle Security

remote immobilisation

Remote Immobilisation

What is remote immobilisation?

An immobiliser is a device preventing a vehicle from starting unless the correct key or key fob is used. There are many different types of immobilisers, some requiring a manual pin code, others using a touch key to disable a car from starting. Using this function can help increase the chance of recovery and minimise damage. Immobilisers are often integrated into tracking systems. It is critical that all laws and regulations are followed and that fitting is completed by a reputable tracking company such as TrackerFit, to guarantee that the remote immobilisation feature can only be used after authorised access has been granted.

Pros of immobilisers:

  • Potential lower insurance premiums, due to the immobiliser being an active deterrent for thieves.
  • Makes it difficult for a thief to hotwire a car.
  • Automatic operation, meaning that it doesn’t need to be turned on and off after each use.
  • Many cars already have an immobiliser fitted- to find out, look at your vehicle’s specifications.
  • User-friendly - making it easy to arm and disarm your vehicle.

Cons of immobilisers:

  • With the help of technology, it can take a criminal around 30 minutes to disarm an immobiliser.
  • If your key fob battery has run out, the immobiliser may be unable to recognise your key.
  • Car battery may impact the immobiliser’s performance.
alarm systems image

Alarm Systems

A car alarm system is comprised of a computer, sensors and a receiver, working by responding to your keycode. When the alarm is turned on and a sensor gains a response, the alarm is triggered.

Pros of alarm systems:

  • Acts as a strong deterrent to thieves, protecting your possessions
  • Cost effective- car alarms range in value, meaning you can choose the type accessible to you.
  • Gives a warning of unauthorised access to your vehicle

Cons of alarm systems:

  • Even the loud sound emitted may not be enough to deter a criminal.
  • Criminals are still able to drive your car away, the alarm only attracts attention to the fact that someone is accessing your car.
  • If an alarm hasn’t been correctly installed, it can draw excess power from your car battery.
keyless images

Keyless Entry Security

Keyless entry allows you to access your vehicle without the use of a key. Access to a car is gained through encrypted radio signals from a transmitter reaching the car. Their ease of use is often outweighed by their susceptibility to hacking. However, keyless entry security aims to protect you against the vulnerabilities of a keyless entry system. By using methods such as blocking pouches (Faraday Bag), and turning off keyless fob’s wireless signal which can be infiltrated, alongside other protective measures such as a car steering wheel lock and car alarm.

Pros of keyless entry security:

  • Blocking pouches have accessible price points.
  • With a range of sizes, blocking pouches can be easily transported.

Cons of keyless entry security:

  • A pouches’ ability to work effectively will be compromised if damaged or worn.
  • Certain pouches are more effective than others- research into your Faraday bag is essential (make use of reviews).
biometric image

Biometric Systems

Biometric systems collect unique personal characteristics (fingerprints, facial recognition, or voice recognition) from every person to confirm identification for vehicle access.

Pros of biometric systems:

  • Connected to a specific individual, unlike a password.
  • No need to store or log a password, which could be forgotten.
  • Data discretion offers a higher level of protection.

Cons of biometric systems:

  • Biometric systems can still be hacked.
  • Biometric data can be shared or sold without consent.
dashcam image

Dash cameras with security features

Modern dash cameras enable you to monitor the road and even the inside of your car as you drive. Whilst parked, you can even record the surroundings of your vehicle.

Pros of dash cameras:

  • For certain models, ‘parking mode’ allows you to record the surroundings and inside your vehicle while parked.
  • G-Sensors within dash cameras can recognise movement or impact and alert the dash camera to start the recording. This can be given to insurance companies and used if an accident occurs as evidence.
  • Can be used to document road trips, whether for social media or own use.
  • Dash cameras are compatible with smartphones, with many offering a free app for you to track your vehicle.

Cons of dash cameras:

  • Dash cameras can be a potential distraction to drivers, with their displays showing the footage recorded.
  • Higher specification dash cameras are in demand, making them attractive for thieves to take.

When choosing a security system for your vehicle, professional installation is key and can impact the overall performance of your device. For over 25 years, TrackerFit has ensured clean installations on all our trackers. We offer a variety of specifications and models to suit your desired needs. For help, technical assistance and sales, contact us on 0800 7565100.

Posted in News By TrackerFit