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Thatcham Approved Categories

Thatcham Approved Categories

We quite often get asked by customers what the different ‘Thatcham categories’ mean. Generally, the higher Thatcham rating the security systems on your vehicle are, the more your insurance could come down (as your car should prove harder to steal or break into).

Here is an explanation of the Thatcham categories for alarms, immobilisers, vehicle trackers and other security systems:

Thatcham Category 1 – Electronic alarm and immobiliser

Systems that fall into this class are the cleverest and most complex on the market. A Category 1 alarm will feature perimeter and ignition detection, and will incorporate movement or glass break and tilt sensors. There will also be a siren powered by its own battery supply that will sound if your car gets broken into.

Immobilisers are also a requirement to pass Category 1 tests and have to be passively set – that means without any action from the driver – while a minimum of two operating systems or one control unit used for normal operation must be isolated.

Thatcham Category 2 – Electronic immobiliser

Alarms are not a requirement to be awarded Category 2 Thatcham security status. However, an immobiliser is.

Just like Category 1 systems, a Category 2 device has to isolate at least two circuits or systems – or one vehicle control unit that’s required for the car to run properly. Again, it has to be passively set.

Thatcham Category 2/1 – Electronic alarm upgrade

This Category is achieved if upgrade work is carried out on a Category 2 vehicle.

As long as the car has Category 2 security status, adding an alarm with the above facets from Category 1, the car can be upgraded to group 2/1, potentially lowering your vehicle insurance premiums.

Thatcham Category 3 – Mechanical immobiliser

Unlike the Categories above, Category 3 immobilisation devices are mechanical, not electric. This means they are physical devices that disrupt how a car operates.

They are generally easy to set and unset, with the rules stating that they have to isolate a minimum of one operating system required for vehicle use. They can be permanently or temporarily installed. Category 3 devices include steering wheel and gear lever locks.

Thatcham Category 4 – Wheel locking devices

Most modern cars fitted with alloy wheels benefit from locking wheel nuts. These make it harder for thieves to steal your wheels, as a special key is needed to remove one of the nuts.

They actually count as a Category 4 Thatcham-approved device, which have to be reliable and durable, have a secure key replacement procedure, feature a traceable product and provide resistance to attack.

Thatcham Category 5 – Post-theft tracking and recovery systems

These systems can track the whereabouts of a stolen vehicle, but also have the ability to immobilise the car remotely by capping certain engine functions so the car can be shut down. This function is not permitted on Category 6 or 7 systems, though.

Thatcham Category 6 – Stolen vehicle tracking

Trackers with this function can track a vehicle, but don’t permit it to be remotely shut down.

Thatcham Category 7 – Stolen vehicle location

Similar to the above, immobilisation of the stolen car from a different location is not allowed.

Q class systems – Non-categorised aftermarket systems

These can include aftermarket alarms and immobilisers, vehicle marking features, data recorders, vehicle ID and signalling systems and improved door locks that have not been approved by Thatcham.

Sources :
Thatcham website-http://www.thatcham.org/files/pdf/Definition_of_Security_Categories.pdf 
RAC – http://www.rac.co.uk/community/blog/rac-blog/june-2013/what-is-a-thatcham-category-car-alarm 

Paul Randall
Paul Randall
2024-03-14
First Class! Dave and the team are fantastic. The fit on our first Mobile Bike Service and Repair Van could not be any better. From the very beginning, through the design process, all the way to completion I cannot fault a single thing. As I write this, our second van is being fitted to exactly the same specification and the third van is on the way. Long may this partnership continue!
Tim Lees
Tim Lees
2024-02-20
Very helpful and patient with an older guy who was a bit nervous ordering from a company I didn't know. The product I wanted wasn't on their website but I thought it worth asking and they had it at a good price. It came the next day and worked perfectly.
Richard Shepherd
Richard Shepherd
2024-01-17
I highly recommend Lee, Dave and the Team at Vehicle Accessories after they did a fantastic job for a one off bespoke van fit for my business. I approached them with a rather radical high concept idea, Dave did a great job taking notes from my extensive brief. He made a great effort to listen and take notes along the way making sure he understood and made suggestions for materials which really led to a much better end product. A particular highlight was a suggestion for them to fabricate a wall mounted Steal Mesh cage system for my equipment which far exceeded my expectations of quality and engineering. During the planning stage and construction suggestions were made to change materials and systems for what they thought would work better for the project as it developed. The end product was perfect and done to a very high standard, it really turned out better than I ever hoped for. Communication throughout was excellent with regular updates, fast responses and easy dialogue when confirming details or discussing changes. Changes were managed quickly and efficiently throughout the build with a great deal of flexibility and professionalism. Even though I was just having just one bespoke build being done for myself I felt highly valued as a customer and treated with the same level of respect and attentiveness as someone ordering a fleet. The quality of work and customer service will certainly mean I’ll be coming back for my next van project.
Philip Taylor Ashby
Philip Taylor Ashby
2023-12-26
Lee and his helpful staff sorted my lock problem that made it easy to break in or steal and at there Christmas closing time🙏, friendly helpful and reasonable thank you all.
Mark Elliott
Mark Elliott
2023-05-23
Great choice of equipment to fit and all done efficiently. They have designed and fitted racking to 75 vehicle for us in the last year.
Ross Thomson
Ross Thomson
2023-05-20
I can’t recommend Lee and his team of wizards enough. They fitted the gas with all the safety requirements and modified / adapted several parts of the electrics. They went above and beyond my expectations - I won’t hesitate to use them again.
Andrew Young
Andrew Young
2023-04-13
What can say.... the order process was simple, prices competitive and when it was realised that I had ordered 2 incompatible parts I got a call to check and recify the order. Collection was easy and the install team did a quick, neat job. Job done....until next time thank you
Annie Meadows
Annie Meadows
2023-02-28
Dave, Lee and the team at VA moved crates from my old van to a new one. Easy to communicate with, quick turn around, met all my requests, made good suggestions (such as putting in a waterproof floor) and did an excellent job. Highly recommend.
miles leech
miles leech
2022-12-22
Big thanks to Dave and the rest of the Vehicle Accessories team. They've done a great job fitting security locks and a floor in my new van. They also moved over my racking and interior lights from my previous van while going out of there way to make it all fit. Excellent service, very efficient and professional. Highly recommended and nice people to deal with. Thanks Miles Ashton Gas


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