Car manufacturers now equip vehicles with alarms and advanced security devices from their factories. This helps to protect your possessions from being stolen by thieves. You can also acquire an aftermath alarm from us. But to ensure effectiveness and efficiency, the alarm has to be Thatcham approved. Is my car alarm Thatcham approved? Keep reading to find out.
Multiple brands of cars are fitted with Thatcham-approved alarms, including Toyota, Chevrolet, Audi, BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Fiat, Kia, Land Rover, Jeep, Mitsubishi, Peugeot, Volvo, Volkswagen, and a lot more. Check your car alarm for the Thatcham approval or the aftermath alarm device. Thatcham also has various categories of approval, from category 1 to 7.
Thatcham is trusted by several car manufacturers and drivers. Thatcham Research has kept many vehicles safe over the years and wants yours safe too. Before checking for approval, acquit yourself with the various ratings to understand the level of protection of your vehicle.
What is Thatcham Research
Thatcham is the institution responsible for assessing the efficiency of each alarm system. They rate every alarm independently, using a rating system to differentiate and categorize them so that consumers can have a better understanding of the level of protection in their vehicles and how these alarms actually work.
Thankfully, Thatcham has become an overarching institution in the alarm industry, setting benchmarks for manufacturers. This makes it easier for both manufacturers and car owners to compare and assess each alarm system according to a set of rules.
So if you own a thatcham approved alarm, all you need is to use the categories stated below as a guide to assess the differences, efficiency, and mode of operation of the alarm. This opens your eyes to the minute details of your newly acquired and old alarm systems. You can then go ahead with a replacement if it doesn’t suit your needs and preferences.
In addition, while Thatcham only rates these alarm systems, you’ll also hear about Thatcham devices. Do not be confused as it simply refers to alarm systems rated, approved, and certified by Thatcham security.
What are the Thatcham Categories
To fully understand the Thatcham ratings on your vehicle alarm, you need to learn the different classifications. Here are the 7 categories of Thatcham security approval.
Thatcham Category 1 – Combined alarm and immobilizer
The Thatcham category 1 alarm is the most sophisticated as it combines an immobilizer and an audible alarm. Alarms in this category go through rigorous testing but are the best to have in a vehicle. A category 1 Thatcham alarm features ignition detection, tilt sensors, glass breaks, movement sensors, and perimeter ignition.
Immobilizers rated in this category are the best because they are passively activated, I.e without user input. The immobilizer simply disconnects two operating systems, preventing the engine from starting. The vehicle won’t start and would be useless in this state until the car owner reactivates the disconnected circuits.
Thatcham Category 2 – Electronic immobilizer
The Thatcham category 2 only features an immobilizer and doesn’t include an alarm system. The immobilizer works similarly to category 1 – passive activation – the disconnection of two operating systems or one control unit.
However, car owners can retrofit an audible alarm to decrease vehicle insurance premiums. This improves thatcham classification to category 1. This is referred to as Thatcham category 2/1 – Alarm upgrade
Thatcham Category 3 – Mechanical immobilizer
Immobilizers in this category need to be activated by the car owners. Also, referred to as Mechanical immobilizers, they work differently from categories 1 and 2, which are both electrical immobilizers. This category 3 immobilizer requires the car owner to physically immobilize an important component of the vehicle such as the steering wheel and gear locks.
They can be set permanently or temporarily and are very easy to activate and deactivate. Its physical activation will disrupt the normal operation of the vehicle. Thatcham category 3 immobilizers are cheaper and easier to set and replace.
Thatcham Category 4 – Wheel locking devices
Wheel locking devices are popular with bicycles and motorcycles, and also cars. They are effective at protecting cars manufactured with alloy wheels. They can be an additional security measure to complement an audible alarm system. This ensures the full safety of your vehicle
Thatcham Category S5 – Post-theft tracking and recovery systems
Category S5 is a replacement for the Thatcham 5. This new category features both remote engine immobilization by shutting off one or two major components in the vehicle and tracking stolen vehicles. This is one of the best categories as it both ensures the safety of your car and its recovery if it ever gets stolen.
Thatcham Category S7 –Stolen Vehicle Location
The Thatcham Category S7 was introduced in 2019 to replace categories 6 and 7. While they offer cheaper security options, they are considerably less effective. It is impossible to immobilize the vehicle remotely.
Do New Cars Come With Thatcham Approved Alarms
Car theft was heightened in some areas in the region and to combat that, car manufacturers began equipping their vehicles with alarm systems. However, not many of those are thatcham approved alarms. Do new cars come with Thatcham-approved alarms?
Most cars come with Thatcham-approved alarms. Always look out for approval before making a purchase to ensure the correct investment. Simply buying any type of car alarm won’t be sufficient as it can put your vehicle at risk of theft. So you want to make sure it is Thatcham approved and can handle all your security needs.
As mentioned above, there are different categories of a thatcham approved alarm system and immobilizer. Category 1 is the only classification with both an alarm and an immobilizer. But before making a choice, check your vehicle’s security requirements.
Most cars are equipped with an audible alarm system, so you may only need to add an immobilizer. However, if your vehicle doesn’t have any form of security, then browse through our alarm systems to find a thatcham approved alarm for your vehicle. But first, you need to make sure your car doesn’t have one.
How To Check If You Have A Car Alarm
Having a keyless fob tricks most car owners into thinking they have a security system installed in their vehicle, which is not the case. This had caused several cases of thefts that would have been avoided if the car owners inspected their cars.
Inspect The Fob And Read The Car Manual
The easiest way to discover an alarm system in your vehicle is by checking the user manual. Every vehicle has one. If you’re not willing to go through that stress, then simply contact the manufacturer’s customer care. They’ll alert you to the type of alarm system installed, where to find it, and how it should be operated.
If it’s a used car, then you may want to ask the previous owner. They may have installed an aftermath solution which the manufacturer wouldn’t be aware of, so it’s your job to make sure that the aftermath alarm or immobilizer is thatcham approved.
Advantages of a Thatcham Approved Immobilizer
The number one advantage of owning a thatcham approved immobilizer is complete protection. You can immobilize your vehicle electrically and mechanically, depending on the category of immobilizer installed in your vehicle.
Another major advantage of owning a Thatcham-approved alarm is decreased insurance premiums. A common car insurance inquiry is if your car has an immobilizer installed. This is because an immobilizer improves the security level of your vehicle, thereby reducing the risk of your car getting stolen. However, car insurance uses a variety of factors to determine premiums, and it’s not guaranteed that an immobilizer will reduce insurance prices.
Conclusively, make sure your car is protected with a Thatcham-approved immobilizer and alarm system to secure your vehicle. Check the user manual or ask the previous owner about the type of alarm system in the vehicle to identify the category of the Thatcham alarm system installed.