Thatcham is a common name heard when insuring your vehicle or shopping around for security systems. But who are they? What does “Thatcham approved” mean?
Who are Thatcham?
Funded by insurers, Thatcham is a research centre and the pioneers of vehicle safety standardisation. They also deal with security systems and repairs. With heavy influence on tracking systems and car insurance costs.
With a cutting-edge workspace, crash laboratory and automotive academy, Thatcham trains and educates technicians and apprentices with up-to-date skills in repairing vehicles.
History of Thatcham
Originating in 1969 by the Motor Vehicle Insurance Industry, it had the aim to improve insurance prices. With studies in vehicle safety and repair as their outcome aims towards more manageable crashes and repair costs, therefore lower insurance prices.
1992 brought a New Vehicle Security Assessment into Thatcham’s headquarters, focussing on the growing amount of car thefts taking place, which at the time was 620,000.
Thatcham’s Role in Car Insurance
The management of the Association of British Insurer’s Group Rating System is Thatcham’s main role. Which offers insurers data on new vehicles, as well as the effect on a 15km/h crash and any associated costs or timing that may be needed for repairs. This will provide the blueprint for forming the cars insurance group and therefore the cost of car insurance for that vehicle.
Thatcham endorse additional security products which owners can purchase and install to aid reducing insurance premiums. With their stamp of approval, Thatcham groups the security products, including Thatcham approved car trackers, for insurers to decide if the protection is good enough for reducing your insurance price.
Despite not producing or developing car trackers, Thatcham test and measure against their standards to allocate appropriate categories. With three main categories to fall under:
S7 trackers include the following features:
- GPS Location Tracking
- Motion Sensing – with an alert of movement detected by the sensor in the tracker. This can alert even when a car is not switched on, helping reduce rolling or towing car thefts.
- Control Room Monitoring – With a dedicated team alerted when a car is stolen and they will contact authorities.
- A Health Check Programme.
S5 trackers include the following features:
- With S7 features plus
- Auto Driver Recognition (ADR), with ID fobs for the driver and any non-authorised driver will trigger an alert for the control room.
- Data Logs – excellent for fleet management companies.
S5 Plus trackers include the following features:
The highest standard of tracker on the market.
- With all above features, it also includes:
- Remote Immobilisation Authorised by the Police – temporarily immobilising the vehicle, not allowing any further driving.
Thatcham approved trackers are the gold standard of ensuring your car is safe and prevents thefts, keeping your insurance premiums down and ideal for more expensive cars.
As car makers develop autonomous driving features, Thatcham step in with their extensive research and offer their advice on using technologies on British roads. For example, their latest plea is to revise the Governments Automated Lane Keep System plans.
As they have determined situations where lives are put at risk in these systems, only meeting two out of twelve key principals to ensure safety. Waiting until the features are fully ready before allowing Automated driving, and instead should be classified as “Assisted Driving” technology.
They are making a case to ask for further work with insurers and the auto industry for road safety considerations before Automated Lane Keep Assist Systems are approved.