Choosing security systems

Look for 'Thatcham approved' for peace of mind

The Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre (MIRRC), known as Thatcham, has been testing and approving 'aftermarket' security systems since 1992

The Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre (MIRRC), known as Thatcham, has been testing and approving 'aftermarket' security systems since 1992

Your insurer might offer a premium discount if you get a Thatcham approved security system fitted. On high risk vehicles it might even be a condition of cover. Check before you buy insurance.

The Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre (MIRRC), known as Thatcham, has been testing and approving 'aftermarket' security systems since 1992. They publish lists of approved products and systems.

Systems undergo a wide range of laboratory and attack tests to ensure they're safe, reliable and effective against common attack methods used by thieves.

Fitting a Thatcham-approved security system doesn't guarantee that your car won't be stolen, but it should considerably reduce the risk.

You can find the names and suppliers of tested and approved products by category on the Thatcham website.

Electronic alarm and immobiliser

Category 1

Alarms must include perimeter detection, ignition detection, internal movement detection and independent battery back-up.

Immobilisers must set passively – without an action from the driver – and must isolate at least two operating circuits or one control unit critical to normal vehicle operation.

Electronic or electromechanical immobiliser

Category 2

Immobilisers must set passively – without an action from the driver – and must isolate at least two operating circuits or one control unit critical to normal vehicle operation.

Alarm upgrade

Category 2-1

Turns a category 2 approved immobiliser system into a category 1 system.

Mechanical immobiliser

Category 3

Must isolate a minimum of one operating system and be easy to set/unset. Devices can be permanently or temporarily installed.

Wheel locking devices

Category 4

Thatcham tests for resistance to attack, reliability and durability as well as the security of the key replacement process.

After theft systems for vehicle location, tracking and recovery

Category 5 – Stolen vehicle tracking and recovery.

Includes engine crank inhibition, a feature not permitted on Category 6 or 7 systems, together with an approved, secure operating centre and a level 1 (immediate) police response).

Category 6 – Stolen vehicle tracking

Category 7 - Stolen vehicle location

(updated 8 May 2012)