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Incisive Business Guide to Stolen Vehicle Tracking Systems

Incisive Business Guide to Stolen Vehicle Tracking

Stolen Vehicle Tracking Guide Summary

This guide from Incisive Business outlines the features and benefits for your business from protecting your company vehicles using stolen vehicle tracking systems.

A stolen vehicle tracking system, also known as After Theft Systems for Vehicle
Recovery (ATSVR) or Vehicle Location Unit (VLU), gives your business the ability to track and recover your vehicles should they be taken without permission.

Why would my business benefits from using a stolen vehicle tracking system?

  • Stolen vehicle tracking can help you to recover your vehicles, allowing you to maintain the running of you fleet with the minimum amount of down time required to replace a stolen vehicle.
  • Insurance companies often offer reduced insurance premiums when you use stolen vehicle tracking systems to protect your investments.
  • Using Stolen Vehicle Tracking to locate your vehicles will allow you to retrieve valuable products contained within the vehicles before they are removed.

What is stolen vehicle tracking?

Basically a stolen vehicle tracking system is a small electronic device installed in you car, commercial vehicle, HGV or plant equipment, which gives you or a tracking company, the ability to track the vehicle's location.

Which is the right vehicle tracking system for me?

There are two types of vehicle tracking systems - the most common is Global Positioning System (GPS), the other less common is Radio Frequency (RF) devices. Which you choose will depend on your specific requirements.

Global Positioning System

If you're a fleet manager you should probably opt for the GPS service, also known as Satellite Tracking.

GPS tracking products can track multiple vehicles at the same time.  GPS tracking ill transmit the information directly to your computer in real time.  It can tell you where the vehicle location: how fast it is travelling; whether the driver is revving the engine too much or how hard they are breaking;  providing you with the ability to work with your drivers to modify driving techniques, save fuel consumption and vehicle wear and tear.

With a GPS system it is important to remember that the vehicles are monitored by satellites circling the earth and they rely on line of sight.  Basically they have to be able to see the vehicle in order to track it.  If the vehicle goes into a garage, tunnel or building the vehicle tracking system will not be able to tell you what the vehicle is doing.  Sometimes this can apply when vehicles are in a major built up area where the signal may be intermittent.  To resolve these issues some vehicle tracking systems have both an active and passive tracking.

Active Tracking

Active tracking collects GPS location, vehicle speed, and direction as well as monitor events such as the turning on and off of the engine, the opening and closing of doors etc.  This information is transmitted, in real-time, via cellular or satellite networks to a computer or data centre for evaluation.

Passive Tracking

Passive tracking devices will store the same information as the active tracking system.  When the vehicle returns to base the device can either be taken out of the vehicle where you can transfer the data to your computer or some passive tracking systems can wirelessly transfer this data for evaluation.

Radio Frequency

For companies with one or two vehicles, or where you don't need to know the exact movement of the vehicles, or where you are simply concerned about the vehicles being stolen, an RF vehicle tracking system would be more appropriate.

RF stolen vehicle tracking systems use radio transceivers or Vehicle Locator Units.  The vehicle location unit is installed in the vehicle but remains inactive.

If the vehicle is reported stolen, a signal is sent to the stolen vehicle tracking device by means of a remotely activated radio signal.  Once the stolen vehicle tracking device is activated it transmits a radio signal which is picked up by receivers situated throughout the coverage area.

These receivers forward the information to a base station computer which will display the vehicle's approximate location on a computerized map.  The accuracy of the location will depend on the system chosen and can vary anywhere from a few miles to a few hundred feet.

The Police or other retrieval service cars equipped with Mobile Tracking Receivers can then be directed to the relevant location.  When they are within proximity of the stolen vehicle, the mobile tracking receiver will automatically pick up the signal and home in on the vehicle's exact location.

Unlike GPS systems, which require line of site with satellites, RF devices can track vehicles even if hidden in cargo containers, garages and underground car parks.

What information do I need from a vehicle tracking company to make a decision?

Before buying a Vehicle Tracking system you should consider exactly what you want it for and whether or not you need real time information.  Once you understand your needs you need to find a supplier who provides a relevant solution.

Some questions to ask your prospective vehicle tracking company:

  • What is the coverage of their vehicle tracking system?  Does it cover the whole country?  Are there any particular black spots and if so where are they?  If there are black spots will the tracking system retain data and if so for how long?
  • If your vehicles are overseas would the vehicle tracking system still track them and if so what would be there be additional costs?
  • What are the terms of the contract?  Normally these can range from one to five years.
  • Check to see if the product you are interested in has some kind of "future proof".  Can be updated with any new changes during the term?  You don't want to be left with outdated technology.
  • Are there any additional costs that may not be apparent in the monthly fees, such as installation costs, software licence renewal or update fees?
  • Are there any callout fees for repairs or when you want to switch the hardware from one vehicle to another?
  • What customer testimonials can they provide?  Can you talk to any of their customers?

Make sure that the vehicle tracking representative covers all eventualities and provides the answers in writing along with your quotation.

Once you have all the relevant information and costs, you should be in a position to make an informed decision based on all the facts.

For further information please click here for our Vehicle Tracking Buyers Guide.

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Download full guide as a PDF

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