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Customer’s car recovered thanks to theft tracking feature in Smartplug.

Rebecca Kerr - 14th September 2017

By Lucy Wright

Self-installed Smartplug speeds recovery of stolen cars as vehicle theft jumps by 16% in the last year.

A sharp rise in vehicle thefts reported in 2016[i] adds to a motorist’s woes when it comes to safeguarding and managing the rising costs of car ownership. But a self-installed Smartplug from Smartdriverclub – the connected car service – could provide the answer for motorists looking for the peace of mind that should their motor be stolen, it will be recovered quickly.

This was the experience of one motorist insured with Smartdriverclub. Along with insurance, Smartdriverclub offers in-car connectivity to customers with benefits such as crash alerts, fuel tracking, MOT and Tax Reminders, alerts to mechanical issues as well as theft tracking. All the services are enabled though a matchbox sized Smartplug device which slots into a socket under the dashboard and feeds data to Smartdriverclub. Once in place the customer can view all of the services via an App on their smartphone.

Consultant engineer, Derek Moore, and his, girlfriend a Head Teacher from Stockport in Cheshire woke up in July to find that not only had his Vauxhall Insignia been taken by thieves from his drive whilst he was asleep, but his partner’s BMW Convertible had also been stolen at the same time.

Unbeknown to the thieves, earlier that month, Mr Moore had taken motor insurance cover from Smartdriverclub. With the Smartplug in place, Smartdriverclub was able to pinpoint the exact location of his vehicle 3 miles from his home. They confirmed this information to the police who were able to recover both vehicles within 3 hours of being reported stolen.

Derek Moore said: “When I arranged my insurance cover with Smartdriverclub, the additional benefits were a real attraction but I didn’t for a moment think that they would be put to use so soon. This has been the first time I have taken out a telematics based policy. There aren’t many insurers who provide services to protect your safety and your car in the way Smartdriverclub can and I am delighted I made the smart decision to get my car connected and protected.”

“I knew my car had the Smartdriverclub device and I was immediately able to log on to my portal to see where my car was parked and the route that had been taken. It was that knowledge that the police used, by retracing the journey taken by the thieves, they were able to find my girlfriend’s car in a nearby road. The thieves had forced a window open at the front of the house to gain access and take the keys for both cars which were later found, locked up”.

Penny Searles, CEO of Smartdriverclub says, “As a member of Smartdriverclub, victims of car theft can alert us as soon as they know their car has been stolen and we will liaise with the police to confirm its location. If this type of theft tracking was purchased alone, motorists may have to pay upwards of £300 per annum but with Smartdriverclub they get this service plus a range of money saving benefits with their insurance cover – plus the promise of a discount of up to 42% on their premium if they drive well.”

“Having your car stolen is a hassle most people could do without but it’s also a sad fact that many stolen vehicles are used in acts of crime and driven recklessly, putting other road users in danger, so the sooner the car can be recovered, the better.”

[i] https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice/datasets/crimeinenglandandwalesbulletintables

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