DON’T RISK US­ING DIY TRACK­ERS

In­sur­ers voice fears over homemade se­cu­rity de­vices re­vealed by CCW

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - News - Mur­ray Scul­lion

The FBHVC is ad­vis­ing en­thu­si­asts not to make homemade track­ers in or­der to pro­tect their clas­sics and save money.

Last week’s CCW broke the news that homemade track­ing de­vices were be­ing used by thieves to track and lo­cate clas­sics re­motely – and for less than £5.

Since then, ex­perts, in­clud­ing the Fed­er­a­tion of Bri­tish His­toric Ve­hi­cle Clubs (FBHVC), as well as a lead­ing clas­sic car in­surer, have sug­gested that peo­ple shouldn’t cre­ate their own track­ing de­vices.

Some in­sur­ance com­pa­nies stip­u­late that a tracker must be fit­ted to a car in or­der for it to be in­sured. How­ever, it has emerged that many in­sur­ance com­pa­nies don’t of­fer tracker ser­vices on clas­sic poli­cies. The use of telem­at­ics and track­ing de­vices is only re­served for younger driv­ers. Peter James, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Peter James in­sur­ance, ex­plains: ‘I am not aware of any [clas­sic] in­surer or bro­ker of­fer­ing a telem­atic solution. I would ex­pect that telem­at­ics can be used to trace a stolen ve­hi­cle, but of more im­por­tance with young driv­ers is that in­stal­la­tion of a “black box” is de­signed to con­trol and mon­i­tor the risk and use. I only know of telem­at­ics/black box technology be­ing used for young driv­ers.’

Liam Lloyd, mar­ket­ing man­ager for Foot­man James In­sur­ance, con­firms: ‘ The telem­at­ics rat­ing has not made an ap­pear­ance into the clas­sic mar­kets, to my knowl­edge.’

FBHVC com­mu­ni­ca­tions di­rec­tor Ge­off Lan­caster says: ‘We would ad­vise cau­tion to any­one mak­ing their own track­ing de­vice. It won’t be Thatcham-ap­proved, it won’t be safe and it could se­ri­ously dam­age elec­tri­cal sys­tems in your car.’

One owner of an ap­pre­ci­at­ing fast Ford voiced his grave con­cerns about the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion within the Ford com­mu­nity af­ter a track­ing de­vice was found on a Ford Es­cort RS Cos­worth at a Ford Fair at Sil­ver­stone.

Ford Fi­esta XR3i owner Matthew Byrne says: ‘De­cent track­ers are £300 and £15-per-month sub­scrip­tion. I don’t want to in­vest that when it spends 99% of the time sat in my garage. In­sur­ance com­pa­nies should be do­ing more.’

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