Yorkshires Premier Fully Mobile Vehicle Security Specialists...
HOME/NEWS ARCHIVE/Thatcham Tracker Categories 5, S5, 6, 7 or S7 - What’s the difference?

Thatcham Tracker Categories 5, S5, 6, 7 or S7 - What’s the difference?

Thatcham Categories explained

Thatcham Tracker Categories you may have heard of are 5, S5, 6, 7 and S7 but the all-important question is, What’s the difference? This article aims to explain...  

All Thatcham approved tracking systems are designed and built to meet their qualifying Thatcham Category criteria before they can be approved for installation. Each category is broken down below and follows the dates in which they became effective. The one thing all Thatcham tracking systems have in common are their annual subscription fees. They need this to transmit the vehicles data.  

 

Thatcham Category 7 - This was a real entry level system and has been about for a good 15 years, it will merge into the category S7 as of January 2019 - Safe & Sound Vehicle Systems will never sell you one of these.  

Features:  

  • Internal battery back up  
  • Communicates via RF frequency  
  • Accurate to within a few 100 yards 
  • Battery disconnect alert  
  • 24-hour monitoring 
  • Some old Category 7 devices are simply battery powered and not hardwired to the vehicle.  

Pros:  

  • None really. We never advised installing this system as category 6 was always far better.  

Cons:  

  • Not very accurate locating due to only using RF. 
  • Far better systems available for little more cost.  
  • No driver identification.  

 


 

Thatcham Category 6 - A good, reliable entry level system which has been about for around 15 years but never had GPS built in until it was introduced to about 10 years ago.  

*Thatcham Category 6 is now superseded by Thatcham Category S7*

Features: 

  • Internal battery back up  
  • Communicates via RF frequency 
  • Communicates via GPS 
  • Pin point accurate tracking (within 3 metres) 
  • Full European tracking cover 
  • Battery disconnect alert  
  • Movement sensor alert  
  • 24-hour monitoring  
  • Some tracking system manufacturers offered the ability to add driver recognition (SmartTrack).  

Pros: 

  • Very small units so easy to conceal in a vehicle. 
  • Have GPS built in so very accurate locating of vehicle.  
  • Highly effective recover rate 
  • Great value for money and costs effective.  
  • Offer good piece of mind. 

Cons:  

  • No driver identification so cannot distinguish between authorised driver and a thief. (SmartTrack was the only company to offer driver ID as an upgrade. What’s the benefit, see the bottom of the page)? 

 


 

Thatcham Category 5 - Often requested by insurers for vehicles over a certain value (£70,000 if insured on a private policy of £50,000 if insured on a fleet policy).  

Features:  

  • All those of the category 6 and S7 (they’re both the same don’t forget). 
  • Automatic driver recognition by way of a driver ID card. 
  • Remote engine immobilisation (Upon Police request).  

Pros:  

  • Driver ID - this makes the system proactive and means that should the vehicle be stolen by key theft of key replicating while you’re in bed at 5am then you will receive a call within minutes of the vehicle driving. This driver ID card is to be kept away from the vehicle keys nor is it to be left in the vehicle as this renders the system ineffective.  
  • Remote Engine Immobilisation - Should the vehicle be involved in a high-speed chase or the police do not have the resources to get to it they can put in the request for the vehicle to be remotely immobilised. This means once the engine is turned off it then cannot be restarted and allows effective recovery of the vehicle.  
  • Proactive systems which alerts of vehicle theft within minutes  

Cons:  

  • Some owners do not like carrying the tag separately. The tag doesn’t facilitate attaching it to the keys as a way of ensuring the system is used as best it can be.  

 


 

Thatcham Category S5 - As of January 2019 this is the new category name for Thatcham Category 5 but with a few changes. 

Features:  

  • All those of Thatcham category 6 and 5 but some features are now optional such as;  
  • The driver ID card can now be kept on the keys. 
  • Remote engine immobilisation is now an option and is not a requirement.  

 Pros:  

  • Driver ID card can be kept on the keys so is more convenient 
  • Proactive systems which alerts of vehicle theft within minutes  

Cons:  

  • Should the keys be stolen with the driver ID card attached it renders the system useless and becomes reliant upon the owner realising its missing.  
  • Engine immobilisation is not a required feature means those looking for a cheaper installation may not opt for it and less chance of recovering the vehicle.  

 


 

Thatcham Category S7 - This is the new name for Thatcham Category 6 devices as of January 2019.  

Features:

  • All features remain the same as the category 6, just a category name change.  
  • Some devices in this catgory may be battery powered only and therefore not suitable for normal insurance purposes. We would never sell you one of these battery powered "wireless" units.

 


 

What’s the benefit or Driver ID? 

A standard category 6/S7 tracking system does not use driver ID and is simply a reactive system which other than the vehicle being towed away, or a power disconnection being detected the vehicle can be driven away without alerting you.  

Let’s say you’re asleep in bed with your alarm set for 7am. At 5am you are broken into; your vehicle keys are taken, and your car is subsequently stolen. The tracking system wouldn’t know the difference between you driving it and a thief with your keys or cloned keys. 

Now let’s say you that same scenario happens with a Thatcham Category 5 or S5 installed - as soon as the vehicle is driven away the tracking system will recognise that the driver ID card is not present and silently alert the control room at which point you will be contacted within minutes to clarify the location of the vehicle.  

This way you are on to the theft within minutes and have the best possible chance of recovering your vehicle.  

A System with Driver ID is always the best option in our opinion. There are some products below which feature it and also the Smartrack S7 system which it can be added to.  

 


 

We hope this article makes for interesting reading and helps clarify the category differences and features. We have lsited below some of our more popular tracking systems, each of which we highly recommend.

Any question then please ask. 

Smartrack S5 & S5 Plus Thatcham Approved Tracker

✓ CHEAPEST PRICE ANYWHERE for this state of the art tracking system.
✓ Thatcham Category S5.
✓ Approved by all Insurance companies.
✓ Uses Automatic Driver Recognition Tags.
✓ Employs GPS & GSM to communicate the vehicles position throughout Europe.
✓ Optional Remote Engine immobilisation facility.
✓ FREE Smartphone App.
✓ Suitable for Cars, Vans & Motorhomes

Price includes NATIONWIDE fitting at your location *
IN STOCK
£489.00
DETAILS
Sale Product

Smartrack Protector Pro Global Tracker

✓ Amazing value for money & the simplest, most effective system available.
✓ Thatcham Category 6 Tracking System.
✓ Approved by all insurance companies.
✓ Uses GPS & GSM technology to pin point the location of your vehicle anywhere in Europe
✓ Suitable for Cars, Vans, HGV & Motorhomes.
✓ Optional Key Theft Protection System.
✓ FREE Smartphone App.
Price includes fitting at your location *
IN STOCK
£199.00
DETAILS

Trackstar S5 Thatcham and Insurance Approved

✓ Approved for Range Rover, BMW & Jaguar
✓ Thatcham Category S5.
✓ Uses Automatic Driver Recognition Tags (Tags can be kept on keys).
✓ Approved by all Insurance companies.
✓ Employs GPS & GSM to communicate the vehicles position throughout Europe.
✓ Optional Remote Engine Immobilisation.
✓ FREE Smartphone App.
✓ Suitable for all vehicle makes and models, including Cars, Vans & Motorhomes.

Price includes fitting at your location *
IN STOCK
£529.00
DETAILS
Sale Product

Smartrack Cat 5 Tracker **NATIONWIDE FITTING**

✓ CHEAPEST PRICE ANYWHERE for this state of the art tracking system.
✓ Thatcham Category 5, S5 as of January 2019.
✓ Approved by all Insurance companies.
✓ Uses Automatic Driver Recognition Tags.
✓ Employs GPS & GSM to communicate the vehicles position throughout Europe.
✓ Remote Engine immobilisation facility.
✓ FREE Smartphone App.
✓ Suitable for Cars, Vans, Motorhomes & manufacturers including Mercedes, Subaru, Mitsubishi, Toyota and more...
Price includes NATIONWIDE fitting at your location *
IN STOCK
£689.00
DETAILS
Sale Product

Smartrack Key Guard Car Tracking System

The Key Guard comes with two encrypted Driver Recognition Cards. If these are not presented before the vehicle is moved a covert signal is sent to the control centre.
✓ Thatcham Category 6 Tracker.
✓ Approved by all insurance companies.
✓ 2 Driver Cards Supplied.
✓ Uses GPS and GSM to pin point your vehicles location throughout Europe.
✓ Suitable for Cars, Vans, HGV & Motorhomes.
✓ FREE Smartphone App.
Price includes fitting at your location *
IN STOCK
£379.00
DETAILS
©2016 Safe & Sound Vehicle Systems Ltd, all rights reserved. Site by edoru
PRODUCT COMPARISON
You've reached the maximum comparison limit of four products.
Please choose one of the following options....
VIEW COMPARISIONS