The best car trackers for your supercar insurance

3 minutes

When you invest in a performance car, whether it’s a Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini or another high thrills, high-value supercar, you want to make sure it’s properly protected – especially as it will be a prime target for thieves.

Specialist supercar insurance exists for that reason – but it’s becoming increasingly common for insurers to require owners to fit their performance vehicle with an approved car tracker to help minimise risk. Here, we explain what counts as an approved tracker and round up some of the best models to do the job.

How do car trackers work?

As a rule, the majority of car trackers operate using Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) or Very High Frequency (VHF) radio signals to pinpoint the location of your car.

GPS-powered trackers are the most common. They enable you to find your car anywhere in the world, plus they can link to an app or website to give you extra details on your vehicle, for instance how many miles you’ve clocked up or where your car is currently parked.

But the problem with GPS is the signal. If your car is underground or contained in a metal structure, it’s likely the signal will be cut off – so if your supercar is stolen and stored in a basement car park or packed into a shipping container to be taken out of the country, you won’t have much luck finding it.

This isn’t a problem for VHF trackers. The radio frequency allows your car to be located easily, even if it’s underground – increasing chances of recovery and making this type of tracker more reliable. In fact, the UK police depend on this type of technology themselves.

Which trackers offer VHF functionality?

The vehicle tracking and recovery company, appropriately named ‘Tracker’, provides car trackers that use a combination of GPS and VHF to increase the likelihood of a stolen car like a Ferrari or Lamborghini being found and returned to its owner.

While there are a wide range of car trackers on the market, at all sorts of different prices, Tracker’s products are the only ones supported by the UK police – with all UK forces set up to search for stolen vehicles with VHF-broadcasting Trackers. They are also what is known as ‘Thatcham-approved’, which is another reason they are often one of the preferred choices of your supercar insurance provider.

What does ‘Thatcham-approved’ mean?

Thatcham Research – officially called the Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre – has been researching products, like security devices, since it was founded by the motor insurance industry in 1969. They are a leading voice in vehicle safety, security and repair standards – helping define the industry benchmarks for all sorts of vehicle security systems.

Devices that have been assessed by Thatcham Research and meet certain criteria in terms of their functionality, design and performance are given a security certification which makes them ‘Thatcham-approved’ across different categories.

What are the different Thatcham categories?

To meet the likely requirements of your performance car insurance, you will need a Thatcham category S5 or potentially a Thatcham category S7 tracker. Previously these categories were known as 5 and 6, but they have been updated in recent years as the technology has progressed.

Category S5 trackers are the most secure and traditionally those most often requested by insurance companies for supercars. While battery powered options are available, these are usually hardwired into your vehicle. As a rule, S5 trackers:

  • Communicate via radio frequency and GPS
  • Are accurate to within three metres
  • Come with a battery disconnect alert with an internal battery back-up
  • Offer full European tracking cover
  • Provide a movement sensor alert
  • Provide 24/7 monitoring
  • Offer automatic driver recognition via driver ID tags
  • Include optional remote engine immobilisation

Category S7 trackers are generally cheaper and offer the same features as the S5, minus the driver ID tags and engine immobilisation.

What Thatcham-approved trackers are there?

There are a wide variety of trackers available that pass the Thatcham seal of approval. Category S5 offer the maximum amount of security and the following are some of the top choices currently available:

Tracker S5 Plus

One of the best, and compatible with performance cars as well as all electric and hybrid vehicles. This offers all the functionality of the standard S5, alongside Tracker’s patented VHF technology and access to the Tracker Touch app for hands-on control. Approved by UK police forces, the S5 Plus can locate your car within one metre.

Vodafone Protect & Connect S5 VTS Plus

This tracker, approved by a host of supercar brands including Lamborghini, Bugatti, Ferrari, Maserati, Porsche, Bentley and more, offers Automatic Driver Recognition (ADR), European coverage as well as Russia and South Africa, tamper and tow-away alerts and a Manual Engine Start Inhibit feature. There are other versions too – the Protect & Connect 5 and the VTS – which are both cheaper options.

Metatrak S5 DEADLOCK

Suitable for all makes and models of car, this tracker comes packed with all sorts of S5 features, including automatic immobilisation, deadlock immobilisation, UK and European coverage, 24-hour monitoring with mobile app, plus the optional extra of OBD port protection.

Keep 24/7 tabs on your supercar

While a Thatcham-approved car tracker may be at the more expensive end of the car tracker market and they invariably need professional installation, they are vital for your insurance. But they also give you peace of mind that your treasured supercar is protected.

If you need to install a tracker in your performance car, it’s beneficial to ask your broker if there are any particular brands that they recommend. At Howden, we’re always happy to help. Simply get in touch to find out more.

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