Why Thatcham Approved Trackers Are Important?

Why Thatcham Approved Trackers Are Important?

Thinking about installing a vehicle tracker into your car? Vehicle trackers are becoming more and more important, not just for everyday motorists but also for fleet managers who run fleets of vehicles.

GPS vehicle trackers, especially insurance approved ones, have become an essential technology for protecting and reducing insurance costs over recent years.

Read more: What is ‘car relay theft’ and how do i protect against it?

Our Rivervale guide helps you understand what insurance approved trackers are used for and why you will need one, including an explanation of the Thatcham approved tracking device categories.

Insurance Approved Trackers

Having a GPS tracking device fitted shows insurers that you’re responsible and safe on the road, as well as taking extra precautions against the possibility of your vehicle being stolen. This ultimately means that you’ll benefit from a lower premium for your insurance.

All tracking systems need to be ‘insurance approved’ - in other words reliable, good quality and a barrier for thieves. Many insurance providers nowadays won’t insure your vehicle for theft without a Thatcham approved system being fitted. In fact you could be in breach of policy if you don’t comply.

Thatcham Approved Tracking Devices

Thatcham is the UK’s only ‘not for profit’ insurer funded research centre. Established by the motor insurance industry in 1969, the organisations primary aim is to contain or reduce the cost of motor insurance claims and maintain car safety standards. They work directly with law enforcement agencies, car manufacturers and insurance companies.


The functions and features are designed to raise an instant response to theft activity and a quick recovery through GPS tracking. New Home Office show that the number of vehicles stolen in the UK has almost doubled in the last five years. Official stats show that 111,999 cars were stolen in 2017-18, up from 75,308 in 2013-14. This means that a vehicle is stolen every 5 minutes in the UK, which equals to approximately 300 vehicles being taken each year.

With vehicle theft clearly on the rise, Thatcham approved trackers are considered the highest level of vehicle security. The trackers are monitored daily by fully staffed control centres, ensuring swift recovery of stolen vehicles.

Thatcham device categories

With Thatcham approved devices, there are multiple categories available. These can be seen as per the table below;

CAT 1 Electronic Alarm and immobiliser Alarms need to have a perimeter, ignition and passenger movement detection. They must also have an audible warning and a backup battery. Immobilisers must isolate a minimum of two operating systems or circuits and be passively set.
CAT 2 Electronic Immobiliser Immobiliser requirements are the same as CAT 1.
CAT 2-1 Electronic Alarm Upgrade Alarm requirements are the same as CAT 1.
CAT 3 Mechanical Immobiliser Immobiliser should be easy to set and unset, it should isolate at least one operating system and should be either temporarily or permanently installed.
CAT 4 Wheel locking Devices Needs to be reliable and durable to counteract car theft. These devices should have a secure key replacement procedure.
CAT 5 Stolen Vehicle Tracking and Recovery Should Include a back-up battery, location data storage, motion alerts, driver ID, engine crank inhibition, steer mapping, Bi-directional communication and provide level 1 police response via a 24/7 monitoring centre.
 CAT 6  Stolen Vehicle Tracking  Should include everything from CAT 5 apart for engine crank inhibition and driver ID.
 CAT 7  Stolen Vehicle Location  Should include everything from CAT 6 apart for street mapping and motion alerts. These devices use radio frequency locating technology.

In addition, there are also Q-class systems. These are non-categorised aftermarket systems that come with the most basic security features such as locked doors and alarm systems. They are deemed not fully protected and as such are vulnerable to car theft and higher insurance premiums. These can include aftermarket alarms and immobilisers, vehicle marking features, data recorders, vehicle ID and signalling systems and improved door locks that have not been approved by Thatcham. The higher Thatcham rating the security systems on your vehicle has, the more likely your premium will decrease, so bear that in mind when getting your vehicle fitted with one of these systems.

Why does your business need a Thatcham approved vehicle tracking system?

Vehicle tracking systems allow companies to check up on the location and progress of their employees while on the road, ensuring a more efficient fleet management process.

Benefits of Thatcham approved vehicle tracking systems

There are a range of benefits the data from GPS trackers can provide to fleet managers. These include;

  • Real time tracking allows fleet managers to see if employees are in need of emergency assistance
  • They can help you accurately track the location of your vehicle at all times. This often leads to a lower premium in theft insurance of up to 30%
  • GPS trackers help employees significantly improve their driving, which can reduce accounts of speeding of 60%
  • Overall employee efficiency can improve by 10% to 20%

Where can i find the right Thatcham Approved Tracker for my vehicle(s)?

We advise to get your Thatcham approved tracking device installed by a Thatcham certified engineer. The main reason for this is because if the device isn’t correctly installed, then it won’t meet the vehicle safety standards when it comes to protection. Incorrect installation can also create damage to the internal wiring of your vehicle and cause malfunctioning.

Some of the Thatcham approved tracking devices which are accepted by insurers include Enigma, Tracker, CobraTrak and ScorpionTrak.

Looking for a Thatcham approved vehicle tracker? Click here to compare Thatcham vehicle tracking quotes and get the best services for your buck.

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