Thatcham Car AlarmsThatcham Certified Installer Logo

How does the Thatcham Alarm Database Work?

Certificate with N/A where impression stamp should beThe TRI (Thatcham Recognised Installer) network comes with a new purely online system. We explain how the Thatcham Alarm database works, why it was necessary, and what this means for car owners and insurance companies.

Aftermarket Car Security Systems

When cars are manufactured with car security systems these are logged as a feature of the vehicle, along with engine size and trim options. These details are contained on a database and can be looked up by insurance companies when deciding car insurance premiums. The new Thatcham database allows aftermarket car alarm devices to be logged against each vehicle, and allows new information to also be accessed online in a similar way.

  1. For this process each TRI installer is issued with their own unique code.
  2. When fitting the device, or soon afterwards, an installer logs into the database. They enter car details, customer details, date, security device details, and their code to complete registration.
  3. Customers then inform their insurance company that they have an alarm.
  4. Because of Thatcham’s unique relationship with insurance companies, it allows insurance employees to view the database and look up individual car details.

Thatcham Car Alarms and Certificates

After the demise of the VSIB (Vehicle Systems Installation Board) in April 2009, Thatcham set up their TRI program. They understood that their tested Thatcham car alarms must also be correctly installed to maintain their Category 1 status.

After VSIB disappeared, and even before, paper forgeries were widely produced and submitted for insurance. A common fraud was the production of a printed stamp instead of the legitimate impression stamp that could be felt through all copies.

VSIB first suggested the idea of a purely online system but this was not realised until the TRI database was launched in July 2010.

Quicker and Easier

This whole process is much quicker both for insurance companies and car owners, as it doesn’t involve sending papers back and forth. It also prevents the possibility of essential documentation being lost or damaged.

For customers there is a one off cost of fifteen pounds with each set of details entered. However this should be viewed against long term insurance savings for having a Thatcham car alarm properly installed.

The TRI network and the Thatcham database are in their infancy. As this system grows, car owners and insurance companies will benefit from a safer, more regulated and accountable installation services for car alarms.

Last updated September 2011
Find your nearest TRI installer
Vehicle security - A guide for insurance

Website promotes the current recognised UK installer network. Car alarms should be fitted by either a Thatcham Recognised Installer or an MESF Approved Installer. © 2011