White truck on a motorway

How a Thatcham device can help protect your commercial vehicle

27 March 2020

In a previous article, rising van theft, we showed you how you can keep your commercial vehicle safe against van theft, a crime that has been on the rise, especially with the widespread introduction of keyless entry systems.

Something that could help you protect your vehicle could be a Thatcham device; an alarm, immobiliser or another security device that has been tested and approved by Thatcham Research, also known as the Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre.

Carry on reading to find out about some of the approved devices that are used to help keep your vehicle safe.

Category 1 – Combined alarm and immobiliser

Thatcham Research considers a Category 1 device to be the most complex vehicle protection system. A vehicle alarm of this kind may have advanced features such as perimeter and ignition detection or glass break or tilt sensors, all of which have their own battery supply to set off an alarm when needed.

To be considered for a Category 1 device, a vehicle must have an immobiliser that can kick in without action from the driver and must be able to close down one of two operating systems or control systems that a vehicle needs to start. This could be the ignition circuit or the fuel pump circuit.

Category 2 – Electronic immobiliser

A Category 2 device refers solely to immobiliser devices. Again, the immobiliser must isolate at least two systems required for the vehicle to run.

This kind of device must be able to activate on its own.

Category 2/1 – Alarm upgrade

A device can be given a Category 2/1 system if the vehicle Category 2 immobiliser receives a retrofitted alarm system that meets Category 1 specifications.

Category 3 – Mechanical immobiliser

Whilst a Category 2 immobiliser can work on its own, a Category 3 device is a mechanical device that usually has to be set and unset by the user. The device can be either a permanent fixture to a vehicle or a temporary feature, such as a steering wheel or gearbox lock.

To meet the Thatcham specification, a Category 3 device must again isolate at least one of the operating systems needed for the vehicle to be able to function.

Category 4 – Wheel locking devices

This classification can be awarded to any device that locks the vehicle’s steering wheel, such as locking wheel nuts, but they must be reliable and strong, have a proper key replacement procedure, be traceable and help resist an attempted theft.

Category S5 – Post-theft tracking and recovery

This category of protection should be able to track a vehicle’s location following a theft, but should also be able to immobilise a vehicle by halting key engine functions.

Category 7 and S7 – Stolen vehicle location

Category 7 was new for 2019 and replaced the previous Category 6 and 7 devices. Category S7 devices can immobilise a vehicle, as well as track the location of a stolen vehicle, whereas a Category 7 vehicle can track a vehicle but not immobilise it.

Now that you know the different categories of devices, take a look at some of the reasons that you should consider having a Thatcham approved device installed in your vehicles.

Lower insurance premium

Because a Thatcham device is designed to make it more difficult for your vehicle to be stolen, insurers may look at your vehicle more favourably when it comes to your insurance premium.

Naturally, the higher the classification of the device, the more likely it will bring your insurance premiums down.

Industry-leading protection

Thatcham is the leading authority on vehicle security research in the UK, giving you peace of mind that your vehicle is well equipped to fight off potential thieves.

Financial protection

Retrofitting a Thatcham device to your vehicle might seem like an expensive cost upfront, but it can give you the financial security that your vehicle is now much safer when it comes to the risk of theft.

Be sure to weigh up your options when it comes to installing a device and the potential for lower premiums against the risk of your vehicle being stolen.

Source: Zywave Inc. - Risk Insights: Protecting Your Fleet With Thatcham Devices

Finding the perfect business insurance or commercial vehicle insurance that fully protectes your business can be difficult if you don't know what you need. If you find that your insurance premium is rising year on year, get in touch with us here at Premierline, where we can shop around on your behalf to make sure that you are still getting the insurance that your business needs.

At Premierline, our insurance brokers will assess your business' needs to make sure that your business is covered should the worst happen. We work with some of the UK's most well-known insurers to ensure that your quote is competitive.

It is important to make sure that you have the right insurance in place to protect the business that you have built. Every business is different and has its own business insurance needs, which is why we work with some of the UK’s most well-known insurers to ensure that you are getting the right insurance cover for your business.
The information and tools contained in this guide are of a general informational nature and should not be relied upon as being suitable for any specific set of circumstances. We have used reasonable endeavours to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the contents but the information and tools do not constitute professional advice and must not be relied upon as such. To the extent permitted by law, we do not accept responsibility for any loss which may arise from reliance on the information or tools in our Insight Hub.