Thatcham Approved Trackers. Stolen Vehicle Protection

If you have purchased a new vehicle or renewed you car insurance in the past few weeks, it is likely that you have been asked by your provider to install a Thatcham approved CAT 6 or CAT5 Tracker.

The added security provided by Thatcham approved trackers significantly heightens the chance of a quick and safe recovery of your vehicle, should a theft occur.

But why are Thatcham approved Trackers only now becoming standard requirement? Thatcham approved trackers have been a requirement for certain vehicles for some time now. The installation of a tracking device has often seen a reduction in the cost of the insurance policy, due to the significantly increased security that they bring. However, over the past few years these car insurance tracking devices have become a requirement and now a standard requirement for almost all vehicles. 

Thatcham approved tracking devices are monitored 24/7 by a fully staffed control centre, and in the event of (attempted) theft, the tracker will instantly alert the control centre. They will then be able to take action by confirming a theft, and liaising directly with the police to guide them in for a swift recovery.

One of the major reasons that thatcham approved trackers have become a standard requirement for more insurance policies is because of the evolution of car theft behaviour.

Factory fitted vehicle security has been, in theory, improving as each year goes by. This has been done with emphasis on the advanced on-board computer that vehicles feature. The trouble with technology is that, as quickly as it advances, savvy criminals are always only a few steps behind.

With the increasing use of on-board technology, the more physical theft techniques of smashing a window and hot wiring a vehicle has made way for extremely sophisticated and well organised groups of ‘professional’ car thieves, who can steal vehicles to order without damaging the vehicle or raising any kind of alarm.

You would think hacking in to an expensive vehicle’s onboard computer would need expensive, specialist equipment. This is unfortunately not the case, and all these tech savvy car thieves need are a laptop and some basic equipment that they can order online. Most worrying is the fact that this equipment is perfectly legal and can even be purchased from eBay and Amazon!

HackRF One is an SDF peripheral. SDF stands for Software Defined Radio, which is the use of digital signal processing to implement radio functions. You can create transmitters or receivers for virtually any radio signal in software with this and a general purpose computer.

HackRF One allows you to transmit over a wide range of frequencies- allowing your computer to produce or record radio signals.

There are numerous legitimate uses for the HackRF One, however, car thieves have capitalised on the capabilities of the device in order to override car security systems such as the electric door locking mechanism- a standard feature of all cars on the market.

This is becoming more and more common in the car thief community and it is no longer a technique just used by highly intellectual car thieves. In fact there are now even Youtube video tutorials showing the simple steps to using the HackRF One to unlock cars.

Car thieves will always look for the quickest, most effective way to implement their work. This simple technique allows them access to some of the most expensive and sought after vehicles in the world!

Thieves do not even need to physically tamper with the vehicle in order to open your car door; they just need to be in the general vicinity. What they will tend to do is sit in a vehicle close to their target with a laptop and the HackRF One. They can then override the electronic locking mechanism when you press the lock button on your key fob as you leave your vehicle.

Once you are a safe distance away they will then casually enter your vehicle and plug their laptop in to the vehicle computer, enabling them to create a remote key to start the car. Not only is this technique less conspicuous (and can be done in busy streets totally undetected) but this can actually be quicker than more traditional car theft techniques, with thieves accessing a vehicle and driving it away within 2 minutes.

Needless to say that this is all very worrying for UK drivers, considering any vehicle can be a target at any time. However the good news is that the introduction of car insurance tracking devices means that this method of theft is quickly detected (through the alert systems sent straight to the control centre).

All Thatcham approved tracking devices have a 24/7 monitoring service. Any alerts raised on a vehicle are immediately responded to, with the control centre contacting both the owner and the police in order to identify a theft and then use the advanced real-time tracking to guide the police directly to the location of the vehicle.

The method of theft is growing significantly, which is why the demand for both CAT 6 and CAT5 trackers has very quickly become so common in the last 18 months. Popular and expensive vehicles such as Range Rovers are often stolen to be smuggled abroad. This means insurance companies are paying out substantial amounts and owners are losing their vehicle and personal possessions with no chance of recovery.

If your vehicle does not have a tracker installed then this is an unfortunate reality. However the presence of a car insurance tracker can lead to theft prevention or vehicle recovery within mere minutes!

Learn more about the range of Car Insurance Trackers. If you need further info on how these tracking devices work then visit Car Insurance Trackers Explained