One of those often overlooked essentials you’d think that would be fully kitted out on every car you’re likely to purchase in the future. Some do come with some great deterrents... others, not so much.
Over the course of the last couple of years. Abarth theft across the UK has peaked dramatically with what feels like 1 or 2 of them being stolen each day.
You can see it often with posts circulating across the various owners clubs across the country with only a couple being found and returned to its rightful owner.
It’s shocking to say the least. Granted most who have savings aside, the beauty of making upgrades to your Abarth will always likely to be things such as suspension, power or aesthetics. Security is something you usually think “I could buy it.. but do I need to?” - trust me, any security is better than nothing.
Within the last couple of weeks. I was contacted by a firm asking if I would be willing to try out a form of security they offer in return for a couple of shoutouts and recommendations. Please note before I begin, this isn’t a paid sponsorship or anything like that. My views following this are down to my personal experience and what I have thought since using the kit.
Car.Lock offered to send their security kit which has a built in mobile app that can track your car’s location, diagnostics, movement and more. By simply inserting the kit into your ODB reader. You’re then prompted to download the mobile app and register as normal in order for it to sync and work.
Once registered and your make/model of car input. You can begin to test it out. So here are my thoughts regarding it:
‘Car Security can come in all sorts of price brackets. I’ve seen first hand from our club staff members that the amount of £ they’ve invested into protecting their own Abarth’s using Pandora security is staggering when you total it altogether. Nevertheless, all worth every penny for peace at mind. The Car.Lock kit however, is a lot cheaper and has a couple of similar perks like the Pandora kit, but again.. you get what you pay for and there is a big difference’
‘Kit installation was straight forward, plug and play. No sooner as I registered and setup it was easy enough to navigate’
1st Test - Movement
‘Outside the car and in a locked phase within the app, I tried opening the car doors as well as giving it a good nudge similar if a car door hit against it or whether someone was feeling strong enough to move it. Within around 15 seconds I received a phone notification stating the car had some form of movement. Not bad timing wise. Enough for you to return to the car and check for any suspicious activity’
2nd Test - Ignition
‘Likewise to the above, after unlocking the car and starting it. Another notification popped up informing me the car had been started. This appeared again around the 15 second mark. Which may seem a lot if you sit there counting it and a quick getaway could happen. But if you have other forms of protection for it then it may be enough to stop anyone trying to steal it’
3rd Test - Tracking
‘Within the app, your car location has an area marked from where the car was stationary prior to moving. If the car was to move outside of this marked area, you then receive a further notification informing you that the car is now being used on the road and can be tracked via gps. Again this is ideal if you want to track down the whereabouts of your car’
I asked a family member to take my car outside of the marked area nearby without me knowing where it was going to be. After a 15 minute walk following the app, I was able to track down my car which was great to see.
My first impression was that it’s a great bit of kit for the price without having to break the bank (details of cost and more at the end of the blog review below). Very straight forward to install and nice to see the notification are quite quick to receive. Please note the response time of receiving the notifications are down to your phone signal, if you don’t have a good one where you live then the notifications may take longer to come through.
Depending on the level of criminal mastermind, days of hot wiring modern cars aren’t common. Usually, they’ll head straight for the ODB or similar. The kit which sits inside the ODB port can be removed instantly by being pulled out. If that was to happen then the kit won’t work. You do however receive a notification informing you connection has been lost which could trigger you to question and check on your vehicle.
Another thing is the kit itself. Once plugged in. The cover that would usually go over it to hide it won’t go back into place as the kit sticks out too much leaving it on display. There is however a way round this. On the Car.Lock website, you can purchase an extension cable port enabling you to relocate the device elsewhere inside the car. This will allow you to put the cover back on and keep it hidden. Again, the cover could be removed and the extension port pulled out triggering the previous statement of it notifying you it’s no longer connected.
You can however separately buy an ODB Lock altogether. As pictured below, this bit of extra security bought separate will prevent anyone wanting to try and break into it for the time it would take to do so.
If your car is being used by other family members such as your partner or teenager/older child. You can use the app to keep a track on their driving ability as well as their location. You will receive data showcasing of the car is being used harshly on the roads such as speeding and more. Perfect for keeping track if someone is driving your car the way it shouldn’t be.
Pricing & More:
The Car.Lock kit is priced at £59.95 which can be bought direct from them or via Amazon.
The Car.Lock extension ODB reroute cable is priced at £16.90 which can be bought direct from them or via Amazon.
There is a paid subscription to use the device which is priced at £6.50 per month to use it (Paid monthly so you can cancel whenever you like). You will receive all the data and notifications as part of the package. There is however an additional charge where initially you only receive 5 Free SMS and 5 Free Phone Calls to notify you if you’re in a poor area mobile signal wise and it has this as a backup. You can purchase additional SMS/Call options too if you feel mobile signal notifications just won’t do it for you for that extra peace at mind.
So if you bought the kit, the extension cable and a years subscription would total around £155.00. If you bought the extra ODB lock from the link above you’re looking all in around £320.00 over the course of time.
The bottom range of a Pandora security kit starts at £400.00 and onwards for reference.
‘For me, I have a couple of other security measures on the car already such as a large steering wheel lock etc which again will prevent a theft. All of which can add up price wise. I’d say the kit itself is good but you get what you pay for. If you’ve got the extra £ saved aside from £400.00 onwards then go for the Pandora kit. If you don’t have the £ for that level and already have a couple of forms of security then the Car.Lock kit is spot on for its price’