Five things to check before buying a car tracker

12 Jan 2023 11:53:30

Five things to check before buying a car tracker

Shopping for a car tracker can be overwhelming. There’s so much industry jargon it can be hard to know what you’re actually buying. We’re here to break the whole process down, so you know exactly what you’re getting.

Do you need a car tracker?

The first question to ask yourself is whether you need a car tracker. To put it simply, a car tracker protects your vehicle against theft by tracking its location. A car tracker will instantly alert to a theft and increase your chances of recovering a stolen vehicle. With rising numbers of car thefts across the UK, many car owners are turning to car trackers to protect their vehicles. 

What is your budget for a car tracker?

What’s your budget for a car tracker?

If you decide that you need a car tracker, you next need to consider budget. Car trackers typically range from £100 to £500+ for the very best security systems. Whilst that may seem like a lot, the cost of buying a car tracker is often offset by savings on your car insurance. And, of course, a stolen car could cost you thousands and thousands of pounds.

Five things to check before buying a car tracker

Once you’ve decided whether you need a car tracker and how much you want to spend, these are the five things you should check before buying a car tracker.

Is it Thatcham approved?

1) Is it Thatcham approved?

The first and most important thing to check is whether a car tracker is Thatcham approved. Thatcham are an insurance industry research body, who set standards and guidelines for vehicle safety and security.

They test and approve new vehicle safety and security products, for quality and effectiveness. That includes car trackers. In fact, many insurers will only insure luxury cars on the condition that a Thatcham approved car tracker is installed.

It is therefore very important to make sure a car tracker is Thatcham approved. Otherwise, they may not provide the level of protection you require. For example, they may only work within a certain distance of the tracker, which isn’t very useful if a thief is 100 miles down the road. A Thatcham approved car tracker, on the other hand, would still be able to find them.

2) What category is it?

There are two categories of Thatcham approved car trackers: Cat 5 and Cat 7. Whilst both categories protect your vehicle against theft, Cat 5 car trackers offer more protection than Cat 7.

Cat 7 car trackers must have a tracking system, whether it’s GPS, GSS or VHF. A Cat 7 car tracker must also be monitored by a 24 hour security centre. That means even if thieves steal your car at 3AM, operatives will still alert to a theft and begin tracking the vehicle. Finally, a Cat 7 car tracker must also have a movement detection, so thieves can’t roll or tow your car.

Cat 5 car trackers will have the same features as listed above, plus a driver identification device. The driver identification device is basically a key fob which must be present when the vehicle is started or the system will automatically alert to a theft. Operatives will contact the police and provide updates on the vehicles location, providing the best chance of recovering your car. This adds an extra layer of protection for car owners. 

What features does it have?

3) What features does it have?

We’ve covered the must-have features for every category of car tracker above. However, you may find yourself needing other specific features depending on what you use the car tracker for.

If you want to use the car tracker for fleet management, you may not need a Thatcham approved car tracker (although we’d still recommend it to protect vehicles against theft). Instead, it would be more important to receive live location updates, so you know exactly where each vehicle is and can allocate resources accordingly. Therefore you may prioritise getting a car tracker with a live tracking app.

Alternatively, people more concerned with theft-prevention may want a car tracker which also includes an immobiliser. An immobiliser can be activated remotely, cutting off the engine and stopping thieves in their tracks.

So before you buy a car tracker, consider what you want to use it for and which feature you require to do this.

4) Is it transferable to other vehicles?

If you’re constantly changing or upgrading vehicles, you should check whether your car trackers can be transferred onto other vehicles. Afterall, you don’t want to spend potentially hundreds of pounds for it to be stuck on the wrong car.

The same applies if you lease or finance your vehicle. Check how long is left on your contract before you purchase a car tracker. If there’s a year or less left, make sure you get a transferable car tracker.

Does it have european coverage?

5) Does it have European coverage?

Does your work often require overseas travel? Or do you just live a jet set lifestyle? If either of these apply to you, you may want to check whether your car tracker works abroad. Many car trackers do offer European coverage as standard, but it’s important to make sure before you buy.

Some car trackers also offer coverage on other continents such as the Americas or Africa, so if you’re a frequent traveller it’s worth looking for these to be included too.

Where to Buy a Car Tracker

Once you’ve established exactly what you need from a car tracker, you’re ready to start shopping around. Here at Trackerfit, we’ve sold thousands of car trackers to happy customers up and down the country.

You can shop online or give us a call on 0800 7565100. Just tell one of our friendly sales advisors what you want and they’ll help you find the perfect car tracker! Whether you want the utmost security or a handy app to track your vehicles, we’ll find the right tracker for you.

And our service doesn’t end there! We’ll install your car tracker for free, wherever you are in the UK! We have a great team of Thatcham approved engineers who will install your car tracker at a time and place that suits you. Whether that’s at home, work or even the golf course! 


Posted in News By TrackerFit