Viewing 35 posts - 1 through 35 (of 35 total)
  • Car trackers as security – any point?
  • Premier Icon TheFlyingOx
    Full Member

    Having rather unexpectedly come into possession of a car that might attract the attention of thieves I’m just looking at trackers. Seems there are 2 types – DIY job that runs off a SIM card or professional install with live tracking and subscription service. Anybody have a car with either type on? Are they worth it? Any recommendations?

    Premier Icon julians
    Full Member

    I dont think they’re worth it, IMO there are two scenarios where it could be considered worth it.

    1. if it lowers the cost of insurance in your particular instance then it may be financially worthwhile to have one.
    2. If the car is irreplaceable to you and you really want to get it back if it gets nicked.

    They advise that you dont advertise that the car has a tracker, in which case its not going to prevent the car being nicked in the first place, so all you are really doing is increasing the likelihood of getting the car back if its stolen, and hence reducig what the ins co may end up paying out, but would you really want it back?

    Premier Icon TheFlyingOx
    Full Member

    That’s what I’m wondering. It would be nice to find it I guess, but it will be fully insured and I guess that’s what insurance is for. Insurance premium is actually very cheap indeed so I can’t imagine there being much financial gain in getting one installed.

    Premier Icon Tracey
    Full Member

    Our camper has them on, to get it insured when we bought it we needed to have one fitted, we opted for the one where we could track it and also immobilize it remotely. It pings us a text if the alarm goes off or is moved along with a live location. However a couple of years later the insurance required an upgrade to live tracking by a third party. We opted for a one off subscription over the annual one. Not sure how it works and don’t really trust it. They don’t inform us if the alarm has gone off.
    If I had a choice it would be the first as I’m in control of it but the insurance say its not enough as I may not have a phone signal all the time

    Premier Icon a11y
    Full Member

    I’d rather put any £££ towards making the vehicle more difficult to being taken in the first place. Disclok, Stoplock, proximity alarm, etc. All deterrents and should (hopefully) make someone move along to the next less secure vehicle – might differ slightly if yours is a thief/fanny (but not in that way) magnet.

    Edit – what car? (being nosy)

    Premier Icon snotrag
    Full Member

    Ghost Immobiliser, and/or physical barriers such as a full close wheel stoplock.

    Tracker is something you get for insurance purposes (to reduce cost) and to help get the car back. It wont make it any less likely to get stolen in the first place.

    Premier Icon WorldClassAccident
    Free Member

    Trackers are a bit like fitting CCTV – Sometimes useful after the event.

    Unfortunately not always. The police had CCTV footage to the two oiks who stole my bikes cycling down the road and did nothing but give me a crime number for the insurance and told me not to bother to pursue it as it would probably just provoke them to target me and my house.

    Check what happens if your car does get stolen with a tracker fitted. Who goes off to find it? Who confronts the people who stole it? Who pays for the whole recovery process?

    Yes, probably worth it on a top end specialist car where you cannot secure it properly. Less so on something that is just a bit ‘nice’

    Premier Icon a11y
    Full Member

    Check what happens if your car does get stolen with a tracker fitted. Who goes off to find it? Who confronts the people who stole it? Who pays for the whole recovery process?

    That’s the point that stopped me buying some AirTags and the fork bung holders posted on here recently. Even if I was able to track whoever took my bikes, I’m not manly enough to go after them myself and I doubt there’d be any police involvement beyond supplying a crime number.

    Premier Icon z1ppy
    Free Member

    Check what happens if your car does get stolen with a tracker fitted. Who goes off to find it? Who confronts the people who stole it? Who pays for the whole recovery process?

    Depends on your service level I imagine.. these guys track it down then call the police..

    https://www.youtube.com/c/AutomatricsMtrack/featured

    Premier Icon blokeuptheroad
    Full Member

    I have a tracker fitted to a motorbike.  Its a DIY fit, sim card version that texts me if the bike moves then sends an updated GPS/GSM location every 3 or so minutes.  Monimoto is the brand.  It’s very portable and easily hidden, so would work just as well on a car, caravan etc.

    The main scenario where I can see it might be useful is when it is parked up in a town and I am nearby-ish.  If someone tries to nick it, it’s going to take them a minute or two to bypass the disc lock and/or chain, steering lock etc.  and manhandle it into a van. Hopefully that will give me time to get back to the bike, and probably be dismembered with a battery angle grinder for my troubles!

    Also with motorbikes, a lot are are apparently stolen to break for parts and thieves will deliberately leave them somewhere random for a day or two after stealing them, just in case a tracker is fitted.  Potentially giving you a window to recover it.

    It might not actually be a great deal of help, but it only costs me about £30 a year for a new SIM card and that’s worth it to me for the little peace of mind it provides.

    Premier Icon TheFlyingOx
    Full Member

    Car already has a proximity alarm. Based on the above I think I’ll go for a cheapo eBay SIM version just for a bit of peace of mind and then look at visible deterrents.

    Cheers all.

    Premier Icon BillOddie
    Full Member

    For the OP there isn’t a great deal of point IMHO.

    However, I have one  fitted to my Transporter camper along with a stoplock as the insurance mandated a professionally fitted tracker.

    There SHOULD be a different response from the police should a vehicle with a tracker get stolen if you can see where it is as it is treated as a crime in progress and they have to act, in theory etc.

    Premier Icon poly
    Free Member

    That’s the point that stopped me buying some AirTags and the fork bung holders posted on here recently. Even if I was able to track whoever took my bikes, I’m not manly enough to go after them myself and I doubt there’d be any police involvement beyond supplying a crime number.

    I think that depends on: your police force, the attitude of the individual copper, the particular location it gives back etc. I do know someone who had their handbag nicked with an iPhone in it, used “Find my iPhone” took a screen shot and police got a warrant and made an arrest early the next morning – by that time the phone had gone and was no longer traceable but the handbag and its contents were still there (along with a number of other items from other thefts). Was a relatively rural location with no doubt which house it was in – would be less use in a block of flats.

    Premier Icon plyphon
    Free Member

    If you live in a high car crime area, and the car really is that attractive to thieves – then your only real defence is to put it in a garage so they don’t know where it’s kept.

    If they want the car, they’ll break your windows at night and nick the keys. Keep them out of sight of any windows, but in sight downstairs – so they don’t come upstairs whilst you’re asleep looking for the keys.

    If its a modern car that is a hot target then one of two things happen:

    1: It’ll be joy ridden to death over the next few days until Police pick them up or its found in a ditch, in which case you won’t want it back anyway.

    2: It’ll be chopped up for parts and shipped out of the country in a number of days. You’ll have the tracking to where it was taken apart, but the car will no longer exist.

    If it’s a vintage car, whilst it may be stolen to order, you’re a bit better protected just by the nature of it being an older car oddly enough.

    Older cars stick out more, and are harder to shift. Criminals tend to ‘specialise’ in in-demand models only (Range Rovers, Audi RS4, Golf R, etc). Best bet is to park it behind another car and with a steering lock on. Get a cover for it also.

    If it’s a vintage car that’s worth a significant sum, either garage it if you own a garage or rent a garage. There are specialist secure car storage services you can look into, also.

    Trackers don’t offer a deterrent, and often don’t stop the end fate of the vehicle that’s been stolen. Recently a friend had their Audi nicked – the thieves ripped apart the entire interior to find the tracker he had fitted. They couldn’t find it and abandoned the car, but at this point there was not a single bit of trim left inside the vehicle including the seats – they had done so much damage it was written off.

    Sad reality 🙁

    Premier Icon a11y
    Full Member

    I think that depends on: your police force, the attitude of the individual copper, the particular location it gives back etc.

    Thankfully I’ve never had to find out. It’d be pretty galling to (like the example above) having clear info and evidence of your belonging’s location and have no action. Not a police dig BTW, simply realistic where it’d come in the hierarchy of offences combined with the likelihood of a positive outcome.

    I did consider one of those SIM-based self-install trackers for my car but they’d never get it off the drive without waking the entire house 😀

    Premier Icon TheFlyingOx
    Full Member

    Is there such a thing as a plug-in rpm limiter? Maybe through the obd2 port?

    I used to have a bonkers RX7 and having witnessed a previous car being ragged senseless by the chap I’d asked to fit new tyres I found a setting on the RX7 ECU software that limited the rpm, enough to be moved around a carpark but not enough to even reach 2nd gear.

    Premier Icon FunkyDunc
    Free Member

    Sounds interesting – what car are you getting?

    Interesting question though, whats the difference in insurance quotes with fitted and not fitted?

    Premier Icon jimdubleyou
    Full Member

    Also with motorbikes, a lot are are apparently stolen to break for parts and thieves will deliberately leave them somewhere random for a day or two after stealing them, just in case a tracker is fitted

    Mate at work has his tricked out Q7 stolen off his drive (they broke into his house to get the keys).

    Recovered two days later via tracker.

    Premier Icon Tracey
    Full Member

    We struggled to get any insurance quote without the tracker fitted. The ones that would quote were so expensive fitting the tracker was a no brainer on cost alone

    Premier Icon Olly
    Free Member

    Tracker blockers are a thing.

    My old employer had an L200 nicked. Its “disappeared” off the tracker overnight and that was that.

    2 years later, it popped back up in Saudi Arabia.

    The theorey is the crims get a battery powered tracker blocker, hide it in the car somewhere and sell the car. The buyer is none the wiser, but the tracker blocker does eventually run out of battery, at which point the car has 600,000 miles on it and is in the desert.

    Premier Icon phil5556
    Full Member

    I’ve just fitted one to our camper, it’s one that I can monitor myself.

    It’s GPS obviously and has a SIM that works with any network so should mostly always get a signal & costs £4.80/month.

    It alerts (sends an email) if the ignition gets switched on or if the van moves.

    It’s not infallible, apparently thieves just use a GPS jammer these days?

    Assuming the van isn’t completely trashed I’d really rather get it back, but I spent 9 months building it. A replaceable car I’d probably rather just get replaced.

    Premier Icon TheFlyingOx
    Full Member

    Insurance is about £340 fully comp with no tracker mentioned, no chance the cost of a professional tracker and subscription would knock that down much further.

    Premier Icon dirtyboy
    Full Member

    Genuine tracker err trackers use VHF as well, and plod have directional finders in traffic cars? Or that used to be the case I believe.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Full Member

    I’m not seeing it unless you’re driving something irreplaceable. Someone steals your motor. Oh dear how sad never mind cough please Mr Insurance Company I’ll have a new one thanks this is why I’ve been giving you hundreds if not thousands of pounds annually for the last thirty years.

    I’m increasingly of the opinion that a lot of services exist for no other reason than people might pay for them. Car GPS trackers; cat GPS trackers; washing machine insurance; third-party PC antivirus; boiler cover; extended warranties; etc etc, you can spunk money hand over fist for things you’ll likely never need and then when you do need it you’ll probably discover that you’re not covered anyway because it’s Tuesday or something. The money’s better off in my bank then it covers absolutely everything, my pet insurance isn’t going to be much help when the roof falls in (unless it lands on one of the cats).

    Premier Icon jamesoz
    Full Member

    Tracker blockers are a thing.

    My old employer had an L200 nicked. Its “disappeared” off the tracker overnight and that was that.

    2 years later, it popped back up in Saudi Arabia.

    The theorey is the crims get a battery powered tracker blocker, hide it in the car somewhere and sell the car. The buyer is none the wiser, but the tracker blocker does eventually run out of battery, at which point the car has 600,000 miles on it and is in the desert.

    It took me ten minutes to locate and discover how to disable a tracker on a work van. I obviously knew it was fitted but not where.

    I’m not an auto electrician or stealer of cars.

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
    Full Member

    I’ve watched quite a few of the Automatrics Mtrack recovery vids (linked above in an earlier post).
    Not sure how representative they are of typical recoveries, but for those where it is a desirable car/bike, it’s impressive how quick the tea leaves can totally dismantle a car, because they know there’s a hidden tracker in there somewhere. 12 hours after it’s nicked, it’ll be ripped apart to the point where you probably don’t want it back.
    Heavy plant is often ripped apart too, but not quite to the same extent.

    Premier Icon finephilly
    Free Member

    There is no such thing as a GPS jammer – the satellites are controlled by (usually) US military.
    You can get mobile phone jammers, which block GSM signal in a certain proximity (this is what’s used to relay the location).
    Automatrics and the original ‘tracker’ had redundant systems like RF transmitters (or their own network) to cover this eventuality.
    These guys are the best for anti theft but its £100’s per year.
    For under £100, you can get the ebay cheapo job with a SIM card slot.
    Get one with a self contained battery and immobilser function if you can – that will stop all but the most pro theives.

    Premier Icon greenfold
    Free Member

    I took the Tracker off my Defender after a year & took out an agreed value insurance policy instead so that if it was stolen I’d get a decent payout.

    Premier Icon CountZero
    Full Member

    There is no such thing as a GPS jammer – the satellites are controlled by (usually) US military.

    I dispute that, there are ways of spoofing GPS signals that have been used recently that can show the location of a ship or vehicle to be quite some distance from where it actually is. Access to that sort of technology would easily send those attempting to track a stolen item off on a frustrating wild goose chase, allowing the perps to dismantle or dispose of the item in pease.

    Premier Icon danmac
    Free Member

    All i’ve ever really taken from owning a car with a tracker is that if i dont use it for 5-6 days, the battery is quite low. After removing it, it would happily start up after 6-7 weeks of not moving. I now use an immobilser by Ghost, where you can programme a set sequence of dash/steering wheel/paddle and pedal before the car will start, twinned with a disc steering lock. At the end of the day, if someone wants to take the car, they will. Like others have said above, prevention is better

    Premier Icon danmac
    Free Member

    And FWIW, my insurance premium didn’t increase on that car after the tracker had been removed

    Premier Icon bruk
    Full Member

    Recently had my car stolen. BMW 340i Touring. Thieves broke into work and stole the keys. Police quick to turn up. It had a SIM card in it and you could remotely lock it, open windows and get a parked position on it via an app.

    They found back parcel shelf and other bits about 15 minutes drive away and the app never linked to it again so I suspect they either removed the sim or deactivated very quickly. Police clear that a tracker may have got it back at that stage as they would expect it to have been parked up somewhere and watched.

    Was eventually found parked up in Skelmersdale. Thankfully insurance company had already paid out so I didn’t have to have it back. Would I have wanted it after 24 hours. Probably, but after 4 weeks no chance

    Premier Icon reluctantjumper
    Full Member

    I took the Tracker off my Defender after a year & took out an agreed value insurance policy instead so that if it was stolen I’d get a decent payout.

    I went the Agreed Value route for the Mini for the same reason. If someone’s going to take it then I’d rather just have a decent payout to get another one as if it is stolen it will be ‘to order’ and most likely stripped or shipped by the time it’s been tracked. There was a £50 discount for having a tracker fitted but I really didn’t see the point as it wouldn’t put any thief off, they’d just know to use a blocker and then find it. Plus there’s nowhere to hide a tracker in it anyway!

    Premier Icon Gribs
    Full Member

    There is no such thing as a GPS jammer – the satellites are controlled by (usually) US military.

    Yes there is. They obviously do nothing to the satellites but jam the receiver by providing a stronger signal than the satellites do.

    Premier Icon jamesoz
    Full Member

    Yes there is. They obviously do nothing to the satellites but jam the receiver by providing a stronger signal than the satellites

    Yep, a few years ago I did a couple of days sub contract work and the chap working for the other company had one. When he plugged it in the power socket, my Satnav lost signal driving behind him. I think the radio went a bit fuzzy too.
    Illegal to interfere with radio signals but so is nicking cars.

    Must have been years ago too. I haven’t used a separate Satnav in a ten years

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