Thatcham Research works in close collaboration with car makers, law enforcement agencies and insurers.

The introduction of the New Vehicle Security Assessment (NVSA) in 1992 effectively brought an end to the car crime epidemic of that era by introducing alarms and double-locking door functions, among other measures. In 1992, there were 620,000 car thefts, and the NVSA was instrumental in driving theft levels down by 80% up to 2016.

Today, this close working relationship with the automotive industry, law enforcement agencies and insurers continues, and we are involved across several areas including:

  • assessing the security of new vehicles through the NVSA programme
  • product security certification for alarms, immobilisers and tracking systems that verifies the functionality, design and performance of the product
  • research and assessment into current and future vehicle cyber security threats

Cyber Security

Over the past few years, vehicle theft has moved from physical entry methods to electronic intervention and keyless entry. Enhanced cyber security is becoming more paramount and Thatcham Research is involved in the 5Stars initiative to address this threat. A UK government funded project, 5Stars aims to research and develop an assurance framework for assessing the cyber security of vehicles, as well as a cyber security rating for consumers.

For further information


We carry out New Vehicle Security Assessments (NVSA) on all new cars prior to launch in the UK. The assessment assesses the level of security on each new vehicle model to provide a security risk rating for insurers. The NVSA assessment will be updated in 2019 giving car makers the opportunity to bring in fresh measures to address the challenges presented by digital theft techniques. The new criteria will be designed to shut down the Keyless Entry vulnerability, while anticipating other potential methods of digital and cyber-compromise.

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Thatcham Security Certification

The Thatcham categories for Alarm and Immobilisers were launched in the 1990s and have become an industry benchmark. The certification provides reassurance around the functionality, design and performance of alarms, immobilisers and tracking systems. From 1 January 2019, all security assessments will be conducted under a new Thatcham Security Certification banner.

To find more, click here

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