A Complete Guide to Stolen Vehicle Recovery Systems

Multiple three-lane highways with traffic.

Have you been looking for a way to prevent vehicle theft and protect your fleet assets? If so, it may be time to deploy a stolen vehicle recovery system. As the name implies, these systems help discourage vehicle theft and aid in the recovery of stolen vehicles.

While the basic premise of a stolen vehicle recovery system is pretty straightforward, many options exist. To help you cut through the noise, we’ve created this comprehensive guide to recovery systems.

This is the ultimate resource for vehicle owners, fleet managers, and anyone else who wants to safeguard their mobile assets from theft. 

What is a vehicle recovery system & how does it work?

Vehicle recovery systems help vehicle owners and law enforcement personnel find and recover stolen cars. These systems provide real-time data about your car’s location that you can relay to the police to get your vehicle back. 

The most basic options rely on RFID or GPS tracking software to provide location information about your vehicle. Advanced options also include driver management and fleet maintenance capabilities so you can more easily oversee your assets. 

The benefits of vehicle recovery systems

Vehicle recovery systems provide a range of benefits to vehicle owners and fleet managers. By equipping your vehicles with vehicle recovery devices, you can:

Expedite the recovery of stolen vehicles

The most obvious benefit of vehicle recovery systems is right in the name — these solutions help expedite the recovery of stolen vehicles. 

In the event that your vehicle turns up missing, you can quickly track it down and share vital location data with law enforcement. Installing recovery devices can also discourage thievery, as bad actors know that the risk of being caught is higher.

See how Force Fleet Tracking’s disturbance alerts can help you recover stolen vehicles quickly.

Decrease auto insurance rates

Did you know vehicle recovery systems can save your company money? Implementing tracking technology may help you qualify for auto insurance rate discounts from your provider. Contact your insurer directly to find out whether they offer such discounts.

Even if they don’t, you can still reduce fleet management expenses using vehicle tracking technology. These intuitive tools monitor vehicle health, keep up with PM schedules, and more.

Promote driver safety

One way to promote driver safety is to install vehicle recovery technology that includes driver monitoring capabilities. Such a platform will help you monitor every team member’s driving habits, proactively address concerning trends, and recognize top performers.

Want to explore more ways to encourage driver safety? Check out our list of 15 essential truck driving safety tips.

Increase fleet security 

Whether you’re in charge of a small vehicle fleet or oversee large commercial trucks, maintaining the security of your assets should always be at the top of your priority list. That said, it’s easy to lose sight of your assets once they leave the yard. 

The good news is you can optimize fleet security and maintain continuous oversight of your vehicles by implementing vehicle recovery technology. Whether your vehicles are across the street or across the country, you can access precise location data at the touch of a button.

The different types of vehicle recovery systems

There are several different types of technologies used in vehicle recovery systems. These include:

GPS tracking software

GPS tracking software is foundational to most vehicle recovery systems. This technology provides pinpoint location data for each of your assets, allowing you to receive updates in real-time.

GPS tracking devices are compact, reliable, and easy to install. The best solutions also provide supplement vehicle data, like diagnostic information. 

See how Force Fleet Tracking’s vehicle maintenance software goes above and beyond vehicle recovery, allowing you to monitor your fleet’s health while keeping automatic records.

RFID chips

Radio frequency identification (RFID) tags are small devices that can be installed just about anywhere on a vehicle, such as on the dash or in the door jamb.

These devices contain information about your vehicle, such as the vehicle identification number, tag number, make, model, etc. To read this data, you need an RFID scanner, which you can install near your facility’s entry/exit gate.

Here’s how it works: you equip your fleet with RFID tags. As they leave, your reader scans them and updates your system to track which vehicles are present and which are still in the lot. This technology helps you monitor when vehicles leave your facility and identify when one doesn’t make it back as scheduled.

Immobilization vehicle recovery devices

Immobilization devices enable you to remotely disable your vehicles if they’re stolen. 

These devices represent the pinnacle of vehicle recovery technology, as they prevent thieves from evading police. The downside is that they’re quite costly and tedious to install.

Even so, you may want to explore immobilization equipment as a potential vehicle recovery solution for your business.

How to select the right vehicle recovery system for your business

The following tips will help you accelerate your search for a vehicle recovery system.

Research, research, research

Compare at least a handful of different solutions before settling on a device for your fleet. Make sure you check out each system’s website, as well as third-party review platforms.

Set clear goals

Before you can choose a system for your fleet, you need to define your “why.” Do you want a standalone recovery device or a comprehensive solution that promotes driver and vehicle safety?

Once you’ve set clear goals, you can eliminate products that don’t align with your needs and objectives.

Compare pricing and features of each option

After composing a list of products that might help you meet your goals, start narrowing them down by comparing the features and costs of each option. Look for the solution that offers the best combination of functionality and value based on your unique needs.

Best practices for implementing vehicle recovery systems

Recovery systems can easily be implemented in new vehicles or existing fleet assets. To ensure the implementation process is seamless, we suggest you:

Get your team involved

Engage your team in the search for a vehicle recovery system. Let them know why you want to install these devices on fleet vehicles and provide them with ample training on whatever system you select.

Proactively address privacy concerns

Your team may have privacy and legal concerns about your tracking technology, especially if they’re assigned take-home vehicles. It’s wise to proactively address these concerns during a Q&A session and create a detailed company policy governing the use of your tracking platform.

Monitor system performance

Even if you’re confident that the platform you installed is the right system for your business, you should continuously monitor its performance to ensure it delivers adequate value. If you have performance concerns, connect with the service provider or consider pivoting to another system.

Published May 18, 2023