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Ever thought your vehicle needed more security to stop thieves running away with it?
Despite a hefty price tag, many people have turned to installing GPS tracking devices in their cars.
Not only does this keep an eye on your vehicle 24 hours a day, seven days a week but it can also bring down the price of your car insurance.
Never lose your car
From a car security and insurance point of view, a vehicle tracking system is one of the main weapons in the fight against vehicle theft.
These devices are usually installed by a professional but if you’re technically minded and have the right kit, you can do it yourself.
But check with the manufacturer (you don’t want to invalidate any warranty) and with your insurer (in case any discounts on your premium hinge on the device being fitted by a pro.
Unfortunately, this kind of technology doesn't come cheap. In addition to the purchase price there is usually a monthly or annual fee.
So it’s important to weigh up the costs involved with having your car stolen and whether it’s worth the initial outlay. Many of these systems are activated as soon as a vehicle is tampered with or the engine is started without any keys.
The device then sends out a signal via GPS satellite technology to a monitoring station and the police.
Some of these devices even have a driver recognition transponder card and so, even if the keys are not used to start the engine, anomalies can still be picked up as it identifies the authorised driver.
Some companies offer a service that calls the car owner if their vehicle is driven at an unusual time or into an unusual area. They will contact you to make sure you know your car is in use.
This involves the tracker company building up a map of where you usually travel and park, it will then highlight deviations from this pattern.
You can also buy systems that incorporate a remote engine kill when the speed drops below a certain point, this prevents a thief from driving further away in your car.
Is there another way?
If you don’t fancy shelling out for an expensive GPS tracker on your car then the next best thing could even result in cheaper car insurance.
Telematics insurance has been gaining in popularity in recent years and even more so given the gender ruling in December 2012.
So what is telematics?
A small box is installed in your vehicle, it works similar to a black box found in aircraft by recording everything that happens.
Insurers can then build a history of data about your driving and subsequently raise or drop the price of your car insurance.
This gives insurers a way of monitoring the location, movements, status and behaviour of a vehicle.
This new technology will really benefit young drivers aged 17-24 who, historically, have paid extortionate prices for their car insurance. This is set to change with the introduction of telematics.
A telematics box will record anything a driver does whether they are behind the wheel or not, for example where you park at night will be taken into consideration.
There are five key areas telematics technology assesses how motorists drive:
Acceleration Insurance providers will look to see if a driver has been approaching corners too quickly, taking turns at high speeds, braking and accelerating sharply and sticking to the speed limits.
Critics suggest this big brother technology restricts drivers too much, yet early indications show it is possible to reduce the price of your car insurance as long as you drive with care.
Surely that can’t be a bad thing? Drive responsibly and get rewarded!
Are GPS trackers worth it?
If you feel extra security is needed on your vehicle then GPS tracking is definitely something you should look into.
Prices vary so have a good think before investing and make sure you inform your insurance provider before parting with any money. Some insurers will only recognise certain brands.
Even an extra car alarm with immobiliser can reduce the price of insurance so there isn’t a necessity to part with lots of cash.