Jan 24, 2024

Car Immobilisers: How They Work and Why They Matter for Fleet Security

Fleet vehicles often contain high-value assets, meaning it is essential to protect them against theft. The risk of theft is not only a matter of losing a vehicle but also a potential disruption to business operations, loss of valuable assets, or sensitive data. This is where the role of car immobilisers becomes crucial.

Remote immobilisation has emerged as a highly effective tool for many fleet managers, offering an added layer of security against theft. In this guide, we’ll delve into the workings of car immobilisers, exploring their technology, effectiveness, and why they are an indispensable part of modern fleet management strategies.

We’ll also look at the broader implications of using these systems, from insurance benefits to enhancing overall fleet security.

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What is a Car Immobiliser?

A car engine immobiliser is a security device which prevents your car’s engine from starting unless the correct key or fob is present. It does this by disabling one or more components within the engine management system, stopping the engine from starting.

So even if a thief manages to get inside your fleet vehicle, they won’t be able to get anywhere with it thanks to remote immobilisation.

The immobiliser ensures that the engine remains inactive, turning your vehicle into an immovable object. This feature is particularly important for fleet vehicles, which are often targets for theft due to their value and the assets they might carry.

Remote immobilisation also adds another layer of security. It allows fleet managers to disable a vehicle's engine remotely, offering an immediate response to a security breach. This can be especially useful if a vehicle is stolen, as it can be immobilised quickly, reducing the risk of loss or damage.

How Do Car Immobilisers Work?

Car immobilisers are electronic security devices fitted to a vehicle to prevent the engine from running unless the correct transponder car key or fob is present. This technology works on a simple yet effective principle: it interrupts the power supply to the engine or disables critical components required to start the car, such as the fuel pump, ignition, or starter motor.

When the correct key is inserted into the ignition or brought into the vehicle's vicinity (in the case of keyless systems), the immobiliser receives a unique code, disengages the lock, and allows the car to start. This system serves as a deterrent against vehicle theft, as it makes hot-wiring or starting the car without the proper key virtually impossible.

Why Your Fleet Should Use Car Immobilisers

Car immobilisers have become a fundamental part of fleet security. They are not just an add-on but a necessity for modern fleets.

Reducing the Risk of Vehicle Theft

Car immobilisers have proven to be highly effective in deterring vehicle theft. The presence of an immobiliser makes it significantly more challenging for thieves to steal a vehicle, as they can't simply hot-wire the car and drive away.

Home Office research suggests the development and use of immobilisers reduced vehicle thefts by 20-45% between 1993 and 2013.

This reduction is particularly crucial for fleet vehicles, which are often targets due to their high value. By installing immobilisers, fleet managers can significantly mitigate the risk of theft, ensuring the safety and security of their vehicles.

Why Your Fleet Should Use Car Immobilisers

Car immobilisers have evolved from being a luxury feature to a fundamental necessity in fleet security. In today's context, where fleet vehicles are not only valuable but also pivotal for business operations, ensuring their safety is paramount. Here's why incorporating car immobilisers into your fleet is a wise decision:

Reducing the Risk of Vehicle Theft

The primary and most compelling reason to use car immobilisers in your fleet is their proven effectiveness in deterring vehicle theft. The presence of an immobiliser significantly complicates a thief's attempt to steal a vehicle.

Gone are the days when hot-wiring a car was a quick way to bypass security. With an immobiliser system, the engine simply won't start without the correct key or fob, rendering traditional theft methods ineffective.

The impact of immobilisers on reducing vehicle theft is backed by substantial research. For instance, studies conducted by the Home Office indicate that the development and implementation of immobilisers led to a reduction in vehicle thefts by 20-45% between 1993 and 2013.

This statistic is particularly relevant for fleet vehicles, which are often more attractive targets for thieves due to their high value and the equipment or goods they carry.

The installation of immobilisers in fleet vehicles is not just about preventing the loss of the vehicle itself.

It's also about safeguarding the assets within and ensuring the continuity of business operations. Vehicle theft can lead to significant disruptions, affecting service delivery, customer satisfaction, and ultimately, the business's bottom line. By equipping your fleet with immobilisers, you're not just securing vehicles; you're protecting your business's operational integrity.


The use of immobilisers can have a positive ripple effect on other aspects of fleet management. For example, it can lead to lower insurance premiums, as many insurers recognise the reduced risk of theft and may offer discounts for vehicles equipped with such security systems. This cost-saving benefit is an added incentive for fleet managers to consider immobilisers as a crucial investment in their fleet's security infrastructure

This reduction in insurance costs can be substantial, especially when applied across a large fleet. Additionally, the decreased risk of theft means fewer disruptions in business operations and potential savings on costs associated with vehicle recovery and replacement.

Remote Immobilisation at Fleetsmart

At Fleetsmart, our advanced tracking systems are the ultimate security solution for your fleet cars. With the option to add on a remote car immobiliser, you can rest easy knowing your vehicles are safe from theft.

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Get a quote from our team for any
vehicle tracking requirements

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