When you’re shopping around for a car tracker, it’s easy to be bamboozled by the various options available to you. This is also true when it comes to the feature sets of many of the incredible trackers, especially those in our store.
One of the most misunderstood facets of car trackers is related to the technology that comes built into these amazing devices that helps you locate a stolen vehicle.
We’ve previously done a post on GPS tracking and what that is, but this time we wanted to look at another term you might see when browsing, GLONASS. It’s not a term many of us in the English-speaking world might be familiar with, but we think it’s important to know what it is and how it works.
WHAT IS GLONASS?
GLONASS is a portmanteau of the words GLObal NAvigation Satellite System and consists of 24 satellites operating in Earth’s orbit.
The system was first developed by Russia as far back as 1976 but the first satellite wasn’t launched until 1982. The system became fully operational over a decade later in 1995.
At its core, GLONASS is basically another type of GPS (Global Positioning System) used to track the position of compatible receivers around the world. This could be via your mobile phone or, in our case, in a car tracking system.
GLONASS is a Russian satellite-based system that works as an alternative to the more western-based GPS, but the two systems can also work together to help make the data they provide more accurate. In some cases, this collaborative approach results in a 20% improvement than using just GPS alone.
Whilst people often refer to GLONASS as a singular entity, there are actually five versions of it. As we mentioned, the first one launched in the 1980s and was only initially used for military and official Governmental projects, primarily for weather and positioning needs.
When GLONASS-M launched in 2003, this update was the first time it offered civilian uses. This was further enhanced in 2011 when a third civilian frequency was added, known as GLONASS-K.
The latest working version, known as GLONASS-K2 was originally planned to launch in 2021 but was postponed until 2022. Here in 2023, we’re still waiting for it to be launched and come online.
The fifth version of the system is currently being researched and is expected to launch towards the end of this decade.
HOW DOES GLONASS WORK?
Like any global positioning system, GLONASS works via a network of satellites orbiting the earth in three orbital planes. GLONASS has 8 satellites per plane. This constellation geometry then repeats once every 8 days.
To receive a location, you will need a minimum of 4 of them for a receiver to calculate its position in 3D space. This also helps the receiver, or tracker in our case, understand your position, velocity and acceleration information.
If you’re wanting to make sure your next vehicle tracker comes equipped with GLONASS (as well as many other technologies), then check out our systems that come with it built in. They include:
No matter what tracker you want to buy, regardless of whether it’s a GLONASS-compatible system or not, our team is available from 9 am – 6 pm, Monday to Friday on 0330 043 3993 to talk you through the process. Мы рады услышать от вас в ближайшее время.
Whilst we’re always going to advocate for the installation of a vehicle tracker to safeguard your beloved car, motorbike, caravan or truck, it is our bread and butter after all, it’s not something that you can just forget about once it’s installed.
Having one of our car trackers fitted is only part of the journey and that alone isn’t always enough to comply with your insurance requirements. Once it’s installed, it also has to be activated to work correctly.
PAY YOUR SUBSCRIPTION FEE
Whilst it might seem obvious, you’d be amazed how many times customers forget to pay their subscription. On top of that, there has been a rise in the number of insurance companies that have simply refused to pay out for stolen vehicles because their customer’s insurance policy is deemed to be void as the tracker has no subscription.
Let’s be honest, insurance companies don’t need much of an excuse not to pay out, so it’s vital your system is fully activated and the subscription is paid, once our team of engineers has installed it.
WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO ACTIVATE A TRACKER
Activating a tracker isn’t just a requirement of your insurance policy, especially if it’s stipulated part of your agreement to have one, it’s also integral to how it works.
Without it being activated, the tracker can’t communicate with the manufacturer’s system, so their control centre won’t be able to see its location or recover the vehicle in a theft situation. Without activation, it’s just a box of circuits and wires attached to your car.
If you’ve worked hard and have a luxury car to drive around in, then chances are the fitting of a vehicle tracker will be a prerequisite of any insurance policy, based purely on the price you paid and / or the current market value of the vehicle.
If your car comes with a tracker factory-fitted then chances are it may be activated when you buy it (but always check). If it’s something you have fitted on the after-market, then you will often need to get it fitted BEFORE you get insurance, or at least let the insurance company know that you’re getting it installed at a later date.
They may well insist it’s fitted before the policy can be started and you might also have to send confirmation to them to validate your policy. But again, fitting it is just half the story.
HOW TO ACTIVATE A TRACKER
Given how many people don’t, or forget, to activate their tracker, you might be thinking that’s because it’s overly complicated or difficult to do. It’s actually very, very simple.
Once you’ve chosen the tracker you want from our store, paid for the device and any subscriptions that might come with it, the next step is to arrange with our team to have it installed.
This can be done at your home, office, place of work or anywhere in the mainland UK. It’s at that point, once the installation is complete, the manufacturer will usually reach out to you via email or phone to get your subscription set up.
It’s worth noting that some of our trackers, for example from Meta Trak and Vodafone Automotive come pre-activated with a subscription plan. Just be sure to make a note of when it expires and ensure you renew it when the time comes. This is often another thing that gets overlooked but is also just as simple to fix.
⚬ Don’t get caught out by not activating your tracker or setting up the subscription.
⚬ If you have any questions about it, please don’t hesitate to contact us or the manufacturer.
⚬ Don’t wait until it’s too late to find out the consequences of not activating your device or renewing your subscription.
Our team fully understands that it can be a daunting process but are available to help and answer any questions you might have between 9 am – 6 pm, Monday to Friday on 0330 043 3993. Our customer service doesn’t end when you buy from us, that’s only the beginning.
As the economy starts to take a bigger bite from your wages, your savings and any disposable income you have, many of us are looking at ways to tighten our belts.
When you’re looking to save money, it’s easy to spend less in the short term, but that can often cost you even more in the long run.
If you’re looking to buy a car tracker to keep your vehicle secure, then the costs can mount up, but there is another option if you’re on a budget.
Within our fantastic range of vehicle trackers, we also offer a selection that aren’t insurance-approved.
Now that might sound like a strange proposition at first, but these devices offer fantastic value for money, whilst also giving you the power to monitor your vehicle yourself, right from the palm of your hand.
The question is are they any good? What are they? Do non-insurance approved trackers still provide you with enough peace of mind that your vehicle will be secure without the expense? Let’s take a look.
WHAT DOES ‘NON-INSURANCE APPROVED TRACKER’ REALLY MEAN?
Most vehicle trackers gain their ‘insurance-approved’ status by meeting the strict criteria set down by Thatcham Research, the insurance-funded automative research centre, but it’s not a mandatory requirement.
Thatcham’s aim is to reduce the cost of motor insurance claims by increasing vehicular safety standards. As such, security product manufacturers work hard to ensure their products pass Thatcham’s rigorous testing procedures to prove their credentials. This is vital when it comes to marketing their systems and gain that all-important ‘insurance approved’ status.
The features within those products provide the public with reassurance that the design, functionality and performance of the device meets set standards. The thing is, trackers don’t HAVE to meet these to be effective.
You might think that buying a ‘non-insurance approved’ tracker means it’s going to come from a backstreet manufacturer, or that it’s not going to give you the protection you need, but that’s just not the case.
Many of the leading manufacturers of car trackers, like Meta Trek, ScorpionTrack and SmarTrack make these trackers too. They obviously know their stuff and wouldn’t risk their professional reputation on a second-class product.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN DIFFERENCES?
The main differences between an insurance-approved and non-insurance approved tracker often boils down to the level of support you receive from the manufacturer.
Most, if not all, approved systems come with access to a 24/7 control centre who, in the event of a theft, will be available to you to track your vehicle and liaise with the police to recover the vehicle. With non-approved trackers, that will be done by you via a smartphone app.
The other main difference is that some trackers that fit this non-insurance-approved criteria can be installed without any specialist knowledge, and some have no wiring to connect at all. The ultimate DIY system for those looking to secure their vehicle for less. Don’t worry though, we can still come and install them anywhere in the UK if needed.
You will still get many of the notifications and alerts that more expensive trackers come with, like journey history, geo-fencing, low battery warning and driver behaviour analysis.
They are also transferable when, or if, you change your vehicle and want to move the tracker from one car, bike, motorhome or van to another.
Another key benefit of having a non-insurance-approved tracker is that they have no, or very low, subscription fees.
Most of the normal subscription costs goes towards maintaining the 24/7 control centre but, as we mentioned earlier, not having that as part of the package means that more of your money stays in your pocket.
Whilst you might not get all the ‘bells and whistles’ many other systems offer, that doesn’t mean that you’re getting second-best. These systems still will give you and your vehicle the security you need and you get it all for less.
⚬ If you’re interested, you can check out our range of non-insurance approved trackers
⚬ Leading brands with fantastic trackers at low prices, including those for fleet management.
⚬ For those looking for a self-tracking, self-management solution, these can offer incredible devices for less.
If we’ve opened your eyes to what’s available then we’d love to hear from you. Our team is available from 9 am – 6 pm, Monday to Friday on 0330 043 3993 to find you the best tracker, whether it’s insurance approved or not, and get your vehicle secured as soon as possible.
We all love spending time at home, but for those with a campervan, the whole world can become your living room. In recent years, the sales of motorhomes have consistently increased. In fact, according to the National Caravan Council (NCC), motorhomes and campervans are being sold in record numbers across the UK.
In the latest figures released by the DVLA, 16,608 new motorhomes were registered between July 2020 and July 2021. This represents an 8.25% increase from the previous year, which was also a record at the time. As a population, we now spend around £1.15 BILLION on motorhomes, caravans and campers in the UK alone every year. It’s clear that we’re staycationing more than ever and whilst that’s a positive thing for us, it’s also an increased market for those looking to steal them.
If you’ve just bought your first motorhome, upgraded to a newer model or simply looking to take your first step on the journey to having your holidays on wheels, then we’re going to look at some of the best ways to secure your motorhome for every budget.
MOBILE SECURITY CONSIDERATIONS
It’s important to remember that, unlike most other vehicle security, the contents of your motorhome will be much greater than with a car or bike. If the vehicle does get stolen, it’s likely that almost all of your possessions at the time will go along with it, so you need a robust security solution for when you’re away AND when it’s stored at home.
Many thefts that occur with motorhomes and caravans are often split into two categories; entire vehicle theft when the vehicle itself is stolen in its entirety and secondly, the theft of possessions from the vehicle itself.
Generally speaking the former is carried out by professional thieves, whilst the latter tends to be more opportunistic. Thankfully, we’ve got you covered on both ranging from high tech to old school, but all designed to help you secure your motorhome no matter where it is.
HOW TO SECURE YOUR VEHICLE
It’s easy to forget, especially in these days of cutting edge technology, that many of the most effective ways to keep your motorhome secure is with a physical deterrent. They might seem like devices from a different era, but they are relatively cheap and work very well. They can come in the form of a steering wheel lock, wheel clamp, seat chain or pedal locks.
Any (or all) of these physical locks offer additional security to your motorhome. Whilst none of them will offer 100% total security, no system will offer that, they do all provide a visual deterrent to thieves.
To anyone looking to steal a vehicle, any physical lock means that the vehicle will take longer to steal. Added time means they’re more likely to be spotted (or caught) so use them regularly and advertise on the vehicle that they’re fitted. Any of those devices listed means any would-be thief might think twice before trying to make off with your vehicle.
MOTORHOME SECURITY WITH A VEHICLE TRACKER
If you’re looking for something a little more high-tech, then a car tracker might be exactly what you need. We stock a fantastic range of trackers designed specifically for motorhomes, as well as some that work incredibly well, no matter what vehicle you have.
One of the most popular features with motorhome owners is the ‘lifetime subscription’ feature that comes with Phantom’s iTrack S5 and Ultimate models, the S5 Motorhome Defender, S5+ (with Immobilisation) and S7 ALS trackers from ScorpionTrack, aswell as the fantastic systems from SmarTrack including the Motorhome Protector and Trident.
All of these systems offer all the features you would expect, including access to 24/7 call centres, a dedicated smartphone app and a raft of alarms and notifications to keep you fully informed about the status of your vehicle.
In addition, some of these systems, like the S5+ with immobilisation and even the Meta Trak Deadlock have a very useful feature called ‘No Tag, No Start’. This basically means that if the small ADR tag that comes with these systems is not within range, the vehicle will not start. In addition, with those trackers, the 24/7 control centre can also immobilise the vehicle remotely should it need to giving you complete peace-of-mind.
The vast range of trackers offered at Infiniti Tracking allow you to:
⚬ Easily transfer your tracker from one vehicle to another.
⚬ Buy a lifetime subscription model that lasts for the life of the vehicle.
⚬ Protect your motorhome anywhere in the world and have it installed for you anywhere in the UK.
Whether you’re rocking a 20-year old caravan or a luxury motorhome with all the amenities of home, you’ll want to keep it secure. Infiniti have been working in this ever-changing, demanding industry for over 20 years so we can help you navigate the market to find you the very best tracker for your vehicle, your budget and your personal circumstances. Our friendly team are available to you for help, advice and sales from 9 am – 6 pm, Monday to Friday on 0330 043 3993 so just ask!