Category Archives: Car Security

Insurance Approved Tracker – How Easily Can I have one Fitted?

Confused About Car Trackers? Get an insurance approved tracker with us
Don’t be confused by insurance approved tracking systems

A common question we get asked is “My Insurance Company Has Asked Me To Fit A Tracker, What Should I Do?” Well if you need an insurance approved tracker then hopefully this post will help.

Insurance companies will usually demand that on more expensive vehicles a tracker is fitted. In fact you could be in breach of any policy if you don’t comply. Which means that in the unfortunate incidence of your pride and joy being stolen you might not even be covered. Making the loss of your vehicle even worse when no claim can be made.

Now if you have been asked to have one fitted you might be wondering what is the easiest way to get it done is. At Cobra Car Tech we offer nationwide installation on Thatcham Category 5 and 6 trackers.

This means you can order online with us,  we then arrange a mutually agreeable date for the installation, and the fitting can be professionally and easily done. In fact if you prefer we can even install at your workplace.

What’s the difference between Thatcham Category 5 and 6?

Protect & Connect 5 ADR card which helps comply with Thatcham Category 5. Making it an insurance approved tracker
The ADR card works passively so all you need to do is carry it

Essentially the main difference is that a Thatcham Category 5 Tracker is its more secure. It has the additional features of a driver identification card (known as an ADR card on Vodafone systems), engine crank inhibition and the subscription provider must have a secure operating centre that meets NSI requirements.

Now you might wonder what these extra features mean, so let’s look at them individually.

The driver identification card is a small passively operating card that is carried by the vehicle owner separately from the vehicle’s keys. If the car’s ignition is started and the car is  moved away from the card then the secure operating centre is alerted. They will contact you to confirm if a theft has taken place. This process is secured by a pre-arranged password, so should the thief have your phone as well, the police can still be informed. The secure operating centre will then liaise with the local police to actively recover the vehicle.

The engine crank inhibition feature means that, should the police allow, the starter motor on the vehicle can be cut. This means that if the thief stops the vehicle they will not be able to restart it. This feature dramatically increases the recovery chances of your vehicle.

And the final feature to be explained is the Secure Operating Centre. This is a dedicated 24/7 centre that can be contacted at any time. The Vodafone centre is the class leader and has in place more police agreements than any other UK category 5 tracker. This means they offer protection in over 180 countries.

Vodafone Protect & Connect 5 is the class leading insurance approved tracker
The class leading Vodafone Protect & Connect 5

The common features shared by the Category 5 and Category 6 are Battery Back-up power supply, Bi directional communication, Street level mapping, a police security agreement, positional data store and an illegal motion detection capability. All these features are needed to make the system Thatcham approved and thus an insurance approved tracker.

So if you don’t feel the need for the extra protection of the Category 5 Vodafone Protect & Connect 5 then it’s best to get the Category 6 Vodafone Protect & Connect 6. Bear in mind it is worth double checking that your insurance company hasn’t specified a Category 5 tracker. And a final thing to note is that the subscription must be kept up to date to validate your insurance. Luckily at Cobra Car Tech we are now offering the first year’s subscription free on all units.

So ordering and getting an insurance approved tracker has never been easier!

What’s the most effective alarm system out there?

Car security is often a game of cat and mouse.  As vehicles and aftermarket security systems get more high-tech so do the thieves. These days the professional car thief isn’t smashing windows or crowbarring doors open. Their real threat comes from key cloning, this allows the criminal access to the car almost effortlessly. In fact last year, in London alone, 44,500 vehicles were compromised using key clones.

Car thief in action
Protect your car from thieves

Key cloning can occur when unscrupulous vendors, such as your local car valet, copy the keys trustingly given to them by unsuspecting vehicle owners. More alarmingly than this is the fact that a portable device or laptop can be used to scan a car key and replicate it. A group of Israeli and Belgian researchers found a vulnerability in Keeloq the algorithm that is used to secure RF anti-theft digital key systems in numerous vehicles, including those made by such companies as Honda, Ford, General Motors, Mercedes Benz and others. All this means the key can be copied remotely will you’re parked up at your local supermarket unwittingly doing your weekly shop.

Now you might think why have car manufacturers allowed their keys to be copied so easily? Well according to European competition rules the cars OBD II port has to be open so that diagnostic programming is available to non-franchised dealers. An innocent enough regulation being exploited by the criminal minded.

But what can be done in order to prevent this kind of theft? Well an ordinary alarm and immobiliser is effectively useless against this attack. As the vehicle believes an original key is being used so doesn’t activate the alarm or immobilise the vehicle. So something more is needed and here’s where the Cobra Thatcham Cat 2-1 Wireless Canbus Alarm With Adr comes in. The Alarm has all the features you’d expect but it’s the ONLY alarm that uses OE key to remain armed in a hack clone situation. And that’s due to the use of ADR cards. If these are not present then the alarm sounds and the immobiliser kicks in. Turning the key clone holding car thief’s simple robbery into an absolute nightmare and more importantly securing your car.

The ADR Card is discreet
The ADR Card is discreet

This high security system disarming feature is straightforward to use. The vehicle owner carries the ADR card with the original keys, they come with a hole and are small enough to be barely noticeable so no worries there. The original vehicle remote just locks and unlocks the vehicle as normal. Upon using the unlock button of the remote the Cobra alarm allows 15 seconds to detect the ADR card, if it is not present the alarm sounds and the vehicle is immobilised. This elegant and convenient solution is the most cost effective way to secure your vehicle.

So if you don’t want your treasured motor to end up in a chop shop being stripped for parts or as part of a ram raiding bank robbery then act today. Get yourself the most effective alarm system out there, get yourself a Cobra Thatcham Cat 2-1 Wireless Canbus Alarm With Adr