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Are tracking devices worth the money?

Having a tracking device installed in your car is one of the most reliable and efficient ways of protecting it from crime. Although they can be quite expensive, these devices will lower your insurance premiums and could save you a huge amount of hassle, in the long run, if your vehicle is stolen.

Types of tracking device

There are two main types of electronic tracking devices that can be installed in your car. One of them uses GPS (Global Positioning System) signals, whilst the other uses VHF signals. Some devices have also been known to incorporate both.

Global positioning systems

A GPS module will be able to track a stolen vehicle anywhere in the world. The main disadvantage owners face with this system is that the GPS signal can be very weak. This means that if the car is being stored or hidden the signal can be easily lost. Most GPS devices require a monthly service fee to maintain; however, they are relatively cheap to install.

VHF signals

VHF is more dependable than GPS, as it is able to track a vehicle, even if it is hidden. The UK police currently use this system to track stolen cars.

The signal itself is only activated if the car has been stolen. The location of the vehicle is then reported directly to the police or a central monitoring system. Unlike GPS devices, there is no monthly fee to use a VHF tracking device.

How tracking systems work

Most tracking systems have a complex activation feature that can sense when an unauthorised driver is driving the vehicle. When the triggers are activated an alarm system is set off that transmits information to either the police or the monitoring company. Once alerted they phone you to check that you know what is happening with the car. Some tracking systems also have more advanced features, such as verbal communication with the monitoring station in the event of a car jacking; others also have remote engine kill, which is designed to prevent the car's engine from running once the vehicle has dropped below a certain speed.

Having a tracking system installed in your car should be seen as an investment. It could save you a significant amount of money, not to mention inconvenience, in the event of a theft and will give you peace of mind if you ever have worries about the safety of your car.