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Please recommend a vehicle tracking system........


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Currently I have Tracker Horizon on my M3, but I'm hoping to change this car in March for a new Porsche Carrera 4S, and obviously will need to get some sort of tracking device fitted for insurance reasons, if not for piece of mind.

I know that there are now dozens of different versions available, not all of which comply with the Thatcham Category 5, which I believe is a relatively new standard for systems of this type - I know that Porsche offer a tracking system, but expect it to be expensive, and not necessarily as good as other systems available. I believe that some systems allow you to log-on via the internet and you can see exactly where your car is and the speed it is doing - this might be very interesting when the car is in for a service (or when I have to let the wife borrow it !).

Any feedback on the systems available, advantages and disadvantages of different options, prices etc ?

cheers beerchug.gif


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Sidicks, mine had a Tracker Horizons installed purely because it was one of only two systems the insurance company would actually accept.

The other was a name I can't recall right now but I'll try to remember.

However, you're right in saying it is not Thatcham Category 5...because they've just addressed that issue by launching a new product.

Here are the details:

TRACKER's intention to make thieves' lives a misery just got even stronger with the launch of the Company's fourth stolen vehicle tracking system, TRACKER Echo. Not only does this sophisticated product track a stolen car in the UK and across Europe, it is also fitted with a driver validation solution to combat vehicle theft with the keys, an automatic monthly system check and a movement alert, amongst other benefits.

Achieving the toughest new insurance industry security standard to date, Thatcham's Category 5*, TRACKER Echo will allow TRACKER to pin-point the exact location of a vehicle in the UK and other European countries. Local police will then be alerted to ensure its safe recovery.

On purchasing the system, TRACKER will also fit a separate unit utilising its existing proven VHF radio technology providing an extra level of protection. This means that if the satellite signal is lost because the vehicle has been hidden underground, in a garage, in the back of a lorry or even in a shipping container, then the UK's 52 police forces as well as those in France and Spain will still be able to track down the stolen vehicle directly.

The system's unique features make it ideal for the 2.7 million** motorists who drive through Europe either on business or on holiday every year and want the peace of mind of knowing that if the unthinkable happens, TRACKER and the police will work together to ensure the fast recovery of their vehicle. As with TRACKER's other systems, TRACKER Echo will be fitted covertly within a vehicle, and so thieves will not even know they are being tracked.

John Sharpe, business development manager at TRACKER, commented, “TRACKER Echo is an incredibly comprehensive and feature-rich product. The advanced system has been developed using TRACKER's unique experience of this industry, taking into consideration what today's driver needs to combat vehicle theft.”

Driver Validation – a solution to combat key theft

Every TRACKER Echo customer will be provided with a unique, electronic validation tag that is kept separate from the keys, which, when present in the vehicle, will identify them as an authorised driver. If the TRACKER Echo fitted vehicle is stolen, even by the use of the vehicle's keys, the system will recognise that the tag is not present and an alert will be sent to TRACKER's 24-hour control room, who will then contact the owner to verify the theft.

Monthly System Check

Due to the complexity of the TRACKER Echo unit, combining diverse and sophisticated technology, TRACKER will conduct regular remote health checks of the unit to ensure all elements are fully operational.

Guard and Recover

For all recoveries in Great Britain, TRACKER will arrange for a uniformed security guard to be sent immediately to wait with the retrieved vehicle. A recovery vehicle will then ensure its safe return to the owner anywhere in mainland Great Britain.

It costs £774 including VAT and the subscription is £159 per annum. Don't fall for people telling you it's £599 though - because that's the amount they quote on the site excluding the installation fee.

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Hmm, I'm not so sure. If you take into account how much the loss of the car could cost you in respect of future premiums - then it could pay for itself from one theft incident alone.

That's not to mention the discount on your insurance premium, the fact that they won't touch certain cars without them and that it'll hopefully save you all the hassle of having a car stolen and unrecovered (inconvenience, worry, having to sort another car out etc).

Mine is £109 p.a. and I consider it cheap for peace of mind and would happily pay the £159 for an Echo system.

Even if you were spending, say, £15k on a hot hatch I think £109 p.a. for a Retrieve, Monitor or Horizons system represents good value at less than 1% of the cars value.

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No, don't get me wrong. I had Tracker Monitor on my R and thought it was an essential addition to the security of the car. My point was that going for the Category 5 protection (at £774 plus £159 pa registration) is likely to be a product for the higher and more expensive end of the vehicle scale, whereas say a new R would be better placed by the existing Horizon cover rather than the new Echo?

I accept that any Insurance Company will lessen Premiums with added security cover, like Tracker. All I was trying to point out was that the new Echo system would only likely benefit more expensive cars like a DB9, 911 etc. 169144-ok.gif

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The Echo seems good initial value over the Horizons to me.

The Horizons is £674 all in - so for the extra £100 you get the VHF module too, plus the electronic tag facility.

Add the additional £50 a year subscription fee and I think it still represents decent value.

I think it's a very personal subject in respect of how much value you put on the peace of mind ultimately.

There is something they're not telling people mind you.

See, in essence, you're really only getting the VHF facility in addition to what you can get on the Horizons service.

I say that because you can call them up at any time to say the vehicle should not be moved for a period of time. I do this regularly. So, if I park somewhere that I think I'm a bit suspicious of, for any length of time, I'll ring Tracker Network UK and say "The car won't be moving, or shouldn't be moving, for the next 2 hours" - and they'll place it in full lock-down mode.

Then, even if it is moved with keys....they ring to confirm it.

If ever we go away for a weekend in one of the other cars I'd tend to do this too. Say the car shouldn't move from 8am Saturday to 8pm Sunday for example - and they do the same.

You could, theoretically, do this every day and on multiple occasions. I've found them very helpful in all respects and whilst I know there are other products out there that offer similar protection at lesser monies, the peace of mind I have with the current system means I'll stay with them on my next 'generation' of cars too.

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how comes everyone has annual fees? My dad bought his clk and a tracker was already fitted. We obviously informed Tracker of the ownership change and they quoted us £100 n summin every year. OR £300 and summin for our entire period of ownership?

Did you lot not get that option?

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I have Tracker Retrieve on both my cars, both with lifetime subscriptions at arond £550 all in.

Have used it twice following breakins when keys were stolen. First time took 5 days to locate the car, second time 45 mins. Both times locked and parked in car parks.

Ulimately it does involve a claim though as both times the locks had to be changed. Also the hire car replacement is a claim.

It does give me peace of mind knowing that I can throw the keys at any one who breaks in to the house or car jacks the missus. Then all I have to do is make a phone call.

Discount from the insurnace company will never offset the cost though, it is purely peace of mind and a better nights sleep that you are paying for.

Recommend Tracker in all its flavours though.

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It's only worth paying that £300odd if you think you're definitely gonna keep your car for three years. As you might have sussed, that's not the case for most on here!

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Precisely. At the rate I've been changing I'm just glad the annual fee is transferable too! It's been swapped twice in 9 months....

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