The Vehicle Security Department began in 1993 in response to the British Insurance Industry tasking Thatcham with testing the effectiveness of security devices. The scheme was extended in 1996 to include light commercials and in 1997 to include heavy commercials and again in 1999 for motorcycles. Thatcham's test regime is considered to be one of the most rigorous in the world.
Since then Thatcham has tested almost every new vehicle, which can significantly help reduce insurance costs. Thatcham has also tested hundreds of alarms and immobilisers for after sale fitment. Once deemed to be Thatcham compliant, these systems appear on a quarterly publication.
Basic Thatcham requirements
Cat 2 immobilisers:
Minimum 2 circuit immobilization i.e. Fuel pump &
Anti scan anti grab remote controls
All black wiring
Anti tamper control box
Thatcham approval number
Cat 1 alarm/immobilisers the above plus:
Flashes indicators when alarm operates
Battery backup siren
Automatic arming of immobiliser
Cat 3 mechanical devices:
Can withstand an attack of as least five minutes