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Does My Car Have a Thatcham Alarm or Immobiliser?

Does My Car Have a Thatcham Alarm or Immobiliser?

Knowing if your car has a sufficient level of security from the time of your purchase is a valid and essential question to ask, as vehicle thefts are unfortunately fairly regular  Alternatively, there are options to make additional reinforcements to your vehicle’s security.

In this blog, we will answer the question ‘Does my car have a Thatcham alarm or immobiliser?’

At Car Specialist Customs, we are proud to offer a wide variety of options when it comes to making your car a unique expression of who you are, alongside security options that can protect your vehicle. We are excited to share with you the option of our vehicle trackers.

The UK automotive aftermarket industry is thriving, ranking fourth in Europe and ninth in the world in terms of size, and turning over an annual £21.1 billion.

The sector supports 345,600 jobs and contributes £12.2 billion each year to the economy. And it is growing: the sector’s value is set to rise to £28 billion by 2022.

What is a Thatcham alarm?

To clarify, there are no alarms made by Thatcham. Thatcham is a company that specialises in categorising the effectiveness of aftermarket vehicle security. So when people use the term “Thatcham alarm” they are referring to an alarm that is approved by Thatcham.

Even though Thatcham approval is a sign of reliability for a vehicle’s security, it does not mean that every security system that fails Thatcham approval is sub-quality. In some cases, the method that some security systems work does not fall within some of the categories that Thatcham use to approve their vehicles.

What is an immobiliser?

An immobiliser is an aftermarket security system for vehicles that prevents the vehicle’s engine from turning on if certain parameters aren’t met. These parameters can vary between pressing a sequence of buttons in the vehicle, similar to a password. Other requirements may be having a key or fob present. This is all dependent on the model of the immobiliser being used.

Is an immobiliser Thatcham approved?

Is an immobiliser Thatcham approved?

There are different brands that create and supply immobilisers, there is a possibility that some of these may have Thatcham approval, the brand that we at Car Specialist Customs supply is the Autowatch Ghost Immobiliser.

Ghost Immobilisers are not Thatcham approved, this is because the method that the Ghost Immobiliser works on does not have a banding category within the Thatcham mode of certification anymore, this is alongside vehicle trackers, as they are aftermarket security measures.

Despite this, since March 2020, The Autowatch Ghost Immobiliser is TASSA approved and recognised by some insurers.

TASSA stands for ‘Tracking and aftermarket security systems association’ a legally recognised body that deals with the certification of security & tracking devices installed after the purchase of a vehicle.

So even though Ghost Immobilisers don’t have Thatcham approval, you still do have the approval of TASSA, an established and trusted organisation in its own right.

Although there are Thatcham approved alternatives, TASSA verified Ghost-II systems include a special vehicle marking system used by insurance companies across Europe linking to the International Security Register. Giving an extra level of security to vehicle owners.

Does my car have a Thatcham alarm or immobiliser?

All vehicles come with a standardised security system, these will not be approved by Thatcham. If you consider buying any aftermarket security, you can see whether or not the security device that you are considering is thatcham approved or not by heading to their website.

There may be certain vehicles that are fitted with immobilisers, however, this may be reserved for vehicles that are on the more premium end.

So does your car have a thatcham alarm or a immobiliser? The easiest way to find out is by looking at the vehicle’s specifications. However, in the vast majority of cases, they may have a standardised alarm system that is Thatcham approved, but in regard to having an immobiliser as a stock security system, it would be very rare.

How do I know if a 2nd hand car has a Thatcham-approved alarm?

The best way to find this out is by asking the previous vehicle owner, making a note of the model of security system the vehicle has and cross-referencing it with Thatcham’s list of certified alarm systems.

Who needs an immobiliser the most?

We think every vehicle should have an immobiliser, it is one of the most reliable security options you can have for your vehicle, especially the Autowatch Ghost Immobiliser we supply.

Do immobilisers have trackers on them?

There are car immobilisers that have additional features such as a car tracker as part of the security system, so there is a possibility of this option being available. However, not all immobilisers come with a vehicle tracker.

Of course, with any immobiliser that also features a vehicle tracker, you can expect to pay a premium price.

The basics of a vehicle tracker

A vehicle tracker is a small device, varying in shape and size depending on the brand and model you choose. These devices emit a signal which can allow you to view your vehicle’s location, through your phone or computer (this again varies with the brand and model you select.)

There are two types of trackers, monitored, in which location is shared live. And unmonitored, where location is stored on the device and viewable when the device is in the hands of its user.

Trackers can be installed within the vehicle so it’s undetectable, whereas others may not need installing, it is subjective to the brand and model you select.

Are vehicle trackers legal?

Yes, vehicle trackers are legal to use on vehicles you own. However, using them in certain ways is illegal, such as:

  • Tracking someone without their knowledge
  • Sharing the tracking information of a car you own but don’t drive
  • Using a vehicle tracker for coercive or controlling/abusive behaviour.

Like many things, a vehicle tracker is a tool, and if used incorrectly, can be illegal.

You should not put a vehicle tracker on any vehicle that is not driven or owned by you. As it can be seen as stalking or breaching GDPR.

Contact Car Specialist Customs today

Contact Car Specialist Customs today

Our team members at Car Specialist Customs are extremely passionate and proud of the multiple services and products we provide for the people of Greater Manchester and beyond.

As a fully insured and approved installer, catering to the needs of vehicle owners of Greater Manchester and beyond, we are proud to let you know that we offer services for the following:



Featuring the brands, Pandora, ScorpionTrak, Meta Trak & SmarTrack, we’ve included affordable, and premium products to suit the needs of our customers. With finance options available, and the option of installation, head to our website to get your quote!

We always will go above expectations to make your car feel special to you. With even more services and options becoming available in the future, Car Specialist Customs is the home of making any car unique, secure and special.

See what we can do for you today, we aim to have provided what you need to know before considering purchasing a vehicle tracker.

We hope to have answered the question ‘Does my car have a thatcham alarm or immobiliser?’ whilst providing supplementary information that can help you make an informed choice when it comes to investing in security systems for your vehicle.

Want to get in touch? You can find us here:


Unit 30

Caldershaw Centre

Ings Ln


OL12 7LQ


Monday – Wednesday – 10 AM – 7 PM

Thursday – Closed

Friday – Sunday – 11 AM – 7 PM


07523 971347 (Mon – Fri: 8:30 am – 6:00 pm)


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