Guide to Car Trackers

Updated Guide to Car Trackers

From steering wheel locks, RFID key fob pouches, or a locked garage, there are many tools that can act as a deterrent or defense against car thieves. However, for those unfortunate times when thieves succeed in making off with your car, what should you do? For many drivers, a car tracker is a godsend in recovering your stolen car.

Here is our guide to car trackers and what to do in the event you may need one.

Why is car theft so common?

The conviction rate for car theft is unfortunately very low by comparison. Arguably, this could be due to police not prioritizing these cases. Although it may also be that they are hard to track. Retrieving stolen cars and evidence can be a major challenge for police, and thieves know this.

The main reason car theft is so common is due to the return costs for the thief. Unfortunately for car owners, exporting stolen vehicles and selling parts is a good earner. The huge profiteering is indicative of large-scale organized crime. And it doesn’t help that the devices thieves use to undertake keyless thefts are so readily available to buy online.

Will a car tracker help?

Car trackers can certainly help in retrieving your stolen car and may even help to prosecute those involved with the crime. The sooner your car can be traced, the higher the likelihood of you getting it back and the police potentially finding the culprit. As time passes, you’re less likely to get your car back.

Car trackers explained

There are two types of vehicle trackers that tend to fall into two price brackets –

GPS trackers

You’ll likely be familiar with this technology: a device that is tracked using GPS signals – it’s what your phone uses. GPS has global coverage but the signal can be jammed deliberately or lost if the device is hidden underground, for example.

There are basic units from reputable companies, such as the DB2 from UK company, Rewire Security. It’s a hardwired unit you can install yourself and pay a £5 monthly subscription for. In return, the DB2 will report on real-time location, speed, and route history, among other things via the GPSLive app. The DB2 also comes with a SIM that will automatically connect to the strongest available signal in 120 countries and is accurate to roughly two metres. Such are the perks of international GPS coverage.

VHF trackers

Very High Frequency (VHF) is a better tracking technology than GPS. It will still provide a signal underground or in a metal container and is indifferent to GPS signal jammers. VHF technology is also operated by all UK police forces.

Using VHF, you get coverage all over the UK as well as in France, Spain, Poland, Italy, Hungary, and Luxembourg. Monitored 24/7 by Tracker’s Operating Centre, it has a movement alert that will trigger if the car is moved without the ignition on. Professionally fitted.

The best car tracker devices

The most sophisticated GPS units (and VHF units) on the market are approved and categorised by Thatcham, the insurance group research centre.

All Thatcham Rewire ‘S’ Series GPS tracking devices are monitored 24/7 by a fully qualified and dedicated response team. They will monitor your tracker for signs of tamper or unauthorised use and will contact you directly in the event of theft. This means, once your car is reported stolen, the staff can be in contact with the police directly and can guide them to your car. Thatcham-approved devices have also been known to help to reduce the cost of your insurance premiums and could save you up to 20%. For more information on this, you can get in touch with us directly.

Rewire Security DB2^

This GPS tracker can be self-installed directly to your vehicle’s battery so you do not need to be an IT wizard to use the DB2 as it is supplied ready to use out of the box. And once installed and activated, it will automatically start reporting to our cloud base software GPSLive. All you have to do is to connect two wires to your vehicle’s battery and your tracker is ready to be used. The DB2 is supplied pre-installed with a multi-network sim with coverage in more than 120 countries without any extra roaming costs.

Rewire Security Thatcham S7^

The Thatcham S7 rewire Security offers an S7 GPS unit that is professionally installed and, in addition to the 24/7 monitoring and GPSLive app, also includes a tow alert that is sent out if a vehicle is being moved while the ignition is off. Price includes one year’s subscription.

Rewire Security Thatcham S5^

Requires professional installation. Price includes one year’s subscription.

In addition to the feature of the S7, the S5 category includes an unauthorised driver alert. Anyone who attempts to drive the car without one of the Driver ID Tags supplied will trigger an alert.

Rewire Security Thatcham S5+^

Thatcham S5+ is a top-level option that adds a remote immobilisation feature, where the vehicle can be prevented from starting. This needs to be professionally installed. Price includes one year’s subscription.

Using the above may not prevent your car from being stolen but they could help you retrieve your car, should the worst happen, and could save you money on your car insurance premiums.

You can see how could help you with your car insurance with an online insurance quote.

^We may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this page but we never allow this to influence product selections.