These days our cars are as much lifestyle accessories as they are transport. It’s a cliché for sure, but true nonetheless, that a car is likely to be one of the most expensive items we can buy, second only to a house; or a yacht if you can afford it. As you would with a house, such a financial investment requires careful looking after. Servicing and general maintenance are a must but there are other aspects to be taken into account as well, namely securing your car with a tracker.
Car Security & GPS Trackers
Although we don’t hear much about it these days, car theft is still rampant. The only difference being that these days the thieves have all gone high-tech. A laptop, a little computer wizardry known as a ‘relay attack’ and that’s your car gone off the driveway or the parking lot. It’s a shock to come back to your vehicle only to find a space where it had once been. It pays to remember that although risks from opportunistic theft have been reduced by technological advances that have moved way beyond an extendable lock that attaches the steering wheel to the brake pedal, cars can still go missing.
Obviously the theft is reported but chances are you’ll never see that pride and joy again, unless that is you can tell the police exactly where the car or van is. That’s why one of the best and most worthwhile security investments that can be made is a car tracking device. All vehicle tracking devices are small electronic gadgets that are GPS or Bluetooth enabled, using a system that determines a vehicle’s physical location. Installing a GPS tracker to protect your car brings peace of mind and will make your insurance company happy and that’s always a good thing. So what are the best car trackers?
Car Tracker Choice: The Best Car Trackers
The choice on offer can be a bit bewildering and the best advice is to do some research and check in with a professional supplier of GPS trackers who can advise you. Factors to consider are the value of the car, your budget (as always) and possible difficulties of replacing a vehicle like for like. The best advice is to buy the best car tracker that can be afforded.
Some GPS trackers are simple devices that can be hidden in the vehicle by the owner and tracked using a phone app. The range of units available is pretty extensive, from budget items to units that are car industry approved. Budget items, app connected, are very affordable but unlikely to have a long range. They also don’t come with high-security features but at least it is a level of protection. At the top of the list are GPS tracking devices that can be tracked at long range, since it is unlikely the thief will hang about locally, and will be activated if a strict start-up protocol is not followed. Usually it is this type of tracker, the best of the best car trackers, that are fitted to high-end and prestige vehicles and may indeed be a required fitment by insurance companies.
Units can be purchased outright or supplied on monthly or annual contracts and fitted in a secret location somewhere on the vehicle by a professional car tracker technician. Top level vehicle tracking devices come with a Thatcham Security certificate that are insurance approved. Thatcham Research have been at the forefront of car security for decades, advising the motor industry on the best ways to thwart theft. For example, a car protected by a Thatcham Category S7 tracker has a range of features that includes GPS tracking and twenty-four hour monitoring, as well as motion alerts and tamper alerts. That’s comprehensive protection that’s worth paying for.
Some GPS trackers offer personalised driver ID tagging and even vehicle immobilisers. This type comes highly recommended especially for luxury vehicles which are often targeted by criminals for illegal export. It’s worth remembering too that trackers can be fitted to all manner of vehicles; motor cycles, caravans, campers, commercial vehicles and even agricultural machinery as rural thefts have been on the increase.
The Value Of A Car Tracker
The benefits of preventing vehicle theft cannot be understated. Yes, it’s another motoring expense but this is far outweighed by the prevention of loss, not to mention the inconvenience and the effect on subsequent insurance quotes. Even an official brand window sticker may be a deterrent.
As well as being a personal GPS tracker, these devices have other uses too. Parents worried about their newly driver-qualified children could install a unit to keep tabs. This is unlikely to win any parent of the year awards from your offspring who will likely regard it as snooping but it’s relatively easy for a first car to be stolen from a newbie. Some simple units plug into a car’s OBD diagnostic port for easy home fitting. At the other end of the age range, elderly drivers who choose to maintain their automotive independence may also benefit from the installation of a car tracker for similar reasons.
Is It Really Worth The Expense?
Absolutely. Prestige cars in particular are vulnerable simply because of their value. That’s why having a hidden GPS tracker installed in a car is one of the most reliable and efficient ways of protecting it from the criminal element in society. Certainly, they can be quite expensive, but a car tracking system will help to lower insurance premiums and of course save a lot of aggravation.
Car makers spend a lot of money on sophisticated safety features and software and vehicles today have never been safer. They are also more complex and that complexity comes at a price. Consider, for now at least, how much more an electric car costs over the price of a like-for-like fossil-fuel vehicle. The costs incurred by running a vehicle are often considerable and properly looked after that car has a used value. It just makes sense to look after the second most expensive item you may ever buy by providing an extra level of protection by checking out the best car trackers from a reputable supplier.