vehicle security system

When it comes to protecting the security of your vehicles, car alarms and engine immobilisers are probably what spring to mind. What’s more difficult to fathom is the inner workings of a thief’s process. That’s why you need more than a basic car alarm – you need a holistic vehicle security system that’s been designed to outsmart criminals and protect your fleet.

Car security is big business in Australia, and understanding it is essential. That’s why we’ve put together this guide. Read on for our advice on the features of a good car security system, our comparison of the best vehicle security systems on the market, and more.

Page Contents:

  • What Makes a Good Vehicle Security System?
  • Compare the Best Vehicle Security Systems in Australia
  • The Business Benefits of a Vehicle Recovery System
  • Covert Trackers and Australian Law: What’s Legal and What Isn’t?

What Makes a Good Vehicle Security System?

The Australian market offers a whole raft of vehicle security solutions, but not all are the same, nor are they created equally. From standalone car alarms and car immobilisers through to full systems that enable vehicle tracking and recovery in the event of theft, there’s something to suit everyone.

As criminals have become smarter, vehicle security systems have followed suit. For businesses that manage fleets of vehicles, we’d always recommend a full security system that can holistically protect your valuable vehicles. The best car security systems should include:

  • Alarms
  • Vehicle immobilisers
  • Wheel locking devices
  • Vehicle tracking and recovery capabilities

Let’s take a look at these important security system features in more detail…

Car Alarms:

Once upon a time, car alarms were the only vehicle security solution available. Now, they’re just one part of a comprehensive vehicle security system. And while some insurance companies offer reduced rates for vehicles with reputable alarms installed, a more important reason to make sure your cars are alarmed is to deter criminals and alert you to break-ins. To that end, you want your vehicle security system’s alarm function to come with the following features:

  • Flashing LED warning lights, which can dissuade thieves
  • Motion sensors, to alert you to the vehicle being knocked or bumped
  • Glass break sensors, to alert you when windows or windscreens are smashed
  • Tilt sensors
  • Smartphone compatibility, so alerts can be sent directly to your phone

Vehicle Immobilisers:

A vehicle immobiliser stops your engine from starting when the correct key or fob isn’t present. In other words, it prevents hot-wiring. Sophisticated car security systems will enable you to immobilise your vehicles remotely, when you suspect the threat of theft.

Vehicle immobilisers have been mandatory in all new cars sold in Australia since 2001, but data shows that three out of four thefts of older cars (i.e., those without immobilisers) are cases of joy-riding. This shows how essential immobilisers can prove to be.

Wheel Locking Devices:

Wheel Locking Devices are essentially a mechanical immobiliser for your car. They offer another line of defence for your vehicle, whether a private car or part of a wider business fleet. There are also various other different devices including steering wheel locks (e.g. the Club or the Hook Lock), tyre locks and gear locks. These devices can be cumbersome and time-eating to use, but they are good as part of a wider vehicle security system approach.

Vehicle Recovery System:

It’s all very well having your vehicle protected in terms of alarms, immobilisers and locks, but if the worst happens, and a thief succeeds despite the deterrents, then the most important thing is being able to get your vehicle back, or at the very least prove what happened to it. Vehicle recovery systems work by using GPS tracking technology so that you can follow your vehicle wherever it goes. These systems work via GPS trackers.

Covert GPS Trackers

Nowadays, it’s essential that your car security system’s GPS tracking devices can be installed in a discreet spot (such as within the dash, or

micro-gps-trakeron the underside of the vehicle). These hidden GPS devices are called covert trackers.

The idea is that a criminal will have no idea you’ve got covert trackers installed in your vehicle/s. Covert trackers are powered by highly accurate GPS technology that tracks a stolen vehicle’s location, meaning the police can be sent directly to a crime in action. Whether your car’s in the hub of Perth or stranded by the Murray River, a covert GPS tracker will be able to locate it, vastly increasing the chances of you getting it back.

Car security systems should not rely only on a car alarm, criminals are becoming ever more smarter when it comes to vehicle theft. As a result hidden GPS trackers have become a favoured vehicle security system that enables fleet managers to track the location of stolen vehicles by taking readings at regular intervals and transmitting them to a central hub. This allows fleet managers to locate the exact position of where a vehicle has been, where it is heading, and in some cases, the speed it is doing. This data is displayed against a map so fleet managers can physically track stolen vehicles. These hidden GPS trackers can be as small as a USB stick, making them difficult to detect.

Micro and Mini GPS Trackers

Like covert trackers, micro and mini GPS trackers seek to go undetected by the criminal attempting to steal your vehicle. These vehicle security kits can be installed on any type of fleet vehicle and are very easy to install. Due to their size mini trackers are especially useful as motorbike GPS trackers to ensure security as well as providing real-time tracking. However, when installing a micro GPS tracker you must insure that it is done so covertly.

Geofences and Immobilisation:

Additionally, hidden GPS trackers can incorporate a geofencing option. This allows fleet operators to pre-set certain permissible parameters for a particular vehicle. The tracking system is then creates alerts if the vehicle leaves its geofenced area. For example, you know that your delivery vehicles only need to operate within 1 mile of Perth City Centre. Therefore, you can set this as a geofence, and should the vehicle be taken out of this area you will be alerted from which you can contact the vehicle driver or contact the authorities and track the stolen vehicle. Some advanced vehicle security systems offer the functionality of being able to immobilise vehicles remotely once they have passed out of a specific geofence to further increase vehicle security.

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Compare The Best Vehicle Security Systems

Vehicle security systems are consistently being used throughout Australia. Below we have listed some of the best vehicle security systems.

Supplier / ProductAlarm System & ImmobiliserRecovery SystemRating
Track My Ride★★★
Security in Motion / Mongoose VT401★★★½
Security in Motion / Autowatch 877★★★★
Viper Security / Viper Responder 3305VR★★★★½
*(1) poor, (2) fair, (3) good, (4) very good, (5) excellent

Track My Ride:


Track My Ride ReviewRating
Ease of Use★★★★
Customer Support★★★
Value for Money★★★★
Reviewed by Global Positioning Specialists09/09/2016

Track My Ride are an Australian company offering an off the shelf vehicle security package that brings GPS vehicle tracking for security to your fingertips.

The live tracking data is viewable on your phone via the app, but also provides you with SMS and email alerts. Geo-zones can be set up to provide additional vehicle security whereby the GPS tracker will send an alert to notify you when your vehicle/s leave a specific geofence without your permission. In addition, the playback driving history function allows users to playback vehicle journey history to see exactly what a particular vehicle has been up to. As well as the vehicle security functions you also to access to 7 detailed driving reports on issues such as locations and speed.

Security In Motion – Mongoose VT401:

Security in Motion

Security In Motion – Mongoose VT401 ReviewRating
Ease of Use★★★★
Customer Support★★
Value for Money★★★½
Reviewed by Global Positioning Specialists09/09/2016

The Mongoose VT401 is a vehicle security device provided by Security In Motion which can be hardwired in to any vehicle.

If the vehicle alarm sounds, or the battery is low, then the device sends a SMS to your phone with an alert and the geographical location of the vehicle. The device provides real time tracking data by sending SMS alerts with details of its location automatically at different time intervals ranging from 1 minute to 99 hours. Alternatively, you can opt for manual tracking whereby when you want to know the location of your vehicle you can send the tracker a SMS and receive an update by text in return.

Security In Motion – Autowatch 877:

Viper Security ReviewRating
Ease of Use★★★★
Customer Support★★★
Value for Money★★★★
Reviewed by Global Positioning Specialists09/09/2016

Security in Motion also offer a tracking device called the Autowatch 877 which is configured with the vehicle alarm. Data from the tracker is relayed to a control room where fleet managers can track, locate and immmobilise stolen vehicles to ensure their recovery. This device also encourages further security measures whereby drivers identify themselves to the vehicle as the legitimate user via a unique key fob.

This option is beneficial for companies that run fleets of vehicles with many drivers to ensure correct vehicle usage and monitoring vehicle activity.

Viper Security:

Viper security review

Viper Security ReviewRating
Ease of Use★★★★
Customer Support★★★
Value for Money★★★★
Reviewed by Global Positioning Specialists09/09/2016

Viper Security offer an excellent vehicle security system called the Viper Responder 3305VR 2-Way Security System. This state of the art security package aims to provide a highly sophisticated security system incorporating a shock sensor, back-up siren, immobiliser and keyless entry. In addition, you have the built in ability to remotely start, control or locate your car from anywhere via your smartphone.

Compare the best vehicle security systems for freeCompare Prices

The Business Benefits of Vehicle Recovery Systems

Vehicle recovery systems are essential parts of vehicle security systems for fleet operated businesses where the downtime of a fleet, due to vehicle theft, will negatively affect the bottom line. Vehicle recovery systems often come in the form of covert GPS trackers as opposed to a standard vehicle tracker with the aim to reduce the chance of a criminal spotting the tracker and quickly discarding of it. A covert tracker, hidden under the chassis or elsewhere, is harder to detect. Therefore, the criminal is less likely to be aware of the tracker and attempt to remove it. The key benefits of this are:

  • Hard-wearing: these trackers are often designed to be more rugged and work despite the harsh environments across Australia
  • They usually have their own power supply and as such, can be placed virtually anywhere on the vehicle allowing for better hiding and disguising
  • They can provide you with some basic data about your fleet such as where they have travelled and speeds, meaning you can keep an eye on your fleet and driver behaviour
  • Some trackers can immobilise the vehicle meaning it cannot be driven away, for example if it goes over a pre-set geo-fence
  • Some work in conjunction with police support allowing peace of mind
  • Using a covert tracking device greatly increases your chances of recovering a stolen vehicle and as such, save on costs associated with theft

Covert Trackers and Australian Law: What’s Legal and What Isn’t?

When it comes to installing a covert tracker and whether it is legal in Australia you need to think about your primary purpose for installing the covert tracker. If, as likely, your primary reason for installing the tracker is to prevent crime (i.e. a third party stealing the vehicle) as well as being upfront about driver behaviour, then you will be fine. The laws do vary slightly from State to State, but most fall under the Work Place Surveillance Act. For example, this means that in NSW, you can use a covert tracker but you must give your employees at least 14 days written notice that you will be doing so. If the tracker is to act as a deterrent for would-be chancing employees to use the vehicle for personal use or speeding whilst on the job, then this shouldn’t be a problem. It is essential that you notify your drivers that the covert trackers are there.

Additionally, you need to make sure you inform your employees about the type of surveillance you are using, why, when it will be used, how the data will be used, and whether this is temporary or permanent.