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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,
I have ordered my MINI cooper and was told one of the reasons they had a low insurance group was because they would be difficult to break into. However, they only have an Immobiliser as standard and while it may be good I am thinking of getting the alarm (£200 option). Can anyone provide any info on this alarm and whether it meets any of the insurance groups approved lists, is it CAT 1 or not.
Thanks
 

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For those of us across the pond; what is an immobilisor?
 

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There are different types of immobilisors but the concept is the same. Some work that if you try to start the car without unlocking the doors from the outside the car won't start. Basically doesn't protect from people breaking into your car, but prevents them from taking your car.
 

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The immobalizer in VAG products (VW/Audi) and several other makes use a small chip inbedded in the key which communicates with a transponder in the dash. When an attempt is made to start the car, these communicate to validate that the key being used is registered for that car. If not, the car starts briefly, but cuts out and won't start again until one of the correctly coded keys are used to start the car. I hope this makes sense.
 

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I have ordered the remote alarm based on the assumption that the base Cooper does not have remote central locking, and this option adds it as part of the package. Am I mistaken?

If the base cooper comes with remote locking, then I'd rather spend the £200 on other goodies. Nobody takes any notice of a car alarm these days anyway.

I assume also that an alarm is not required to qualify for the Group 8 insurance?
 

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Fun on 2 & 4 wheels!
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Sorry to dissapoint you but all MINIs have got remote central locking. The alarm is just that, and yes it's true noone takes any notice of an alarm, in fact when my alarm went off at 3 in the morning, noone in my neighbourhood were worried about my car being robbed, just about getting some sleep, and reminded me of that fact the next day. That's life I'm afraid!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So what are you saying guys just stick with the standard package of remote central locking and immoliliser?
Surely an alarm has more effect than irritating people. But then again, I have just changed my mind, all they do is irritate people, normally in the early hours when a lorry rolls past and the over sensitive things goes off.
Thanks fellas you just saves me £200.
 

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An alarm won't stop a determined thief, but it may slow him down. Some of my friends use "The Club" on the steering wheel but its value is a bit dubious. Sure, it is hard steel, but all it takes is a couple minutes with a hacksaw or a pair of bolt cutters to snip the steering wheel rim and off it goes. I remember reading where a Porsche theft ring was broken up in San Diego. In one corner of the chop shop was a pile of steering wheels, all with a Club on them.

The Mini is small enough that anyone who is determined to steal it could show up with a small wrecker and tow it away. In the States we can get LoJack which is a locating device activated by the police. They boast a high recovery rate but you have to pay for the peace of mind. I've been lucky, never had a car stolen, but a few attempts have been made.
 

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Alarm is a Thatcham CAT 1 so it may annoy your Neighbours but it\'ll also save you cash on your insurance. You\'ll easily make back the two hundred quid probably on one years insurance but maybe two depending on how old you are how high risk your area is etc.
 

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I was told that the Immobiliser was also Thatcham 1? if that\'s so then the alarm would save you no money on insurance. By the way my nest insurance quote was from Direct Line. About £100 cheaper than any other quote.
 

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An immobiliser can\'t be CAT 1.

The Thatcham grades are thus.

Immobilisers that pass the Thatcham tests get a Thatcham CAT 2 rating.

Alarms that pass the Thatcham tests get a Cat 1 rating.

Therefore when you buy a Cat 2 alarm and immobiliser only the immobilser part has passed the Thatcham tests, the alarm hasn\'t.

To simplify it:

Category 1 = Alarms
Category 2 = Immobilisers
 

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Discussion Starter #12
R U sure ginge?
I am sure you can get different ratings of alarm and immobiliser.
May be wrong, I just always thought the CAT 1 stuff was the best, which it is.
 

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You can not get a Cat 1 pass without passing the immobiliser part as well.

You need at least 2 circuits immobilised to get this. Then if the Alarm passes, do you get a Cat 1 status.

Everyones a winner with Cat 1 - except your insurance company maybe!!
 

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Guys, It\'s still not clear if the Insurance companies are offering lower rates if you pay for the optional Alarm. Has anyone got quotes which show any difference?

If the ratings are based on the basic car without options, then the immobiliser on its own is what they have been based on. These ratings are very low (Group 9 for the Cooper??)
 

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I dont know about differences in premium if the alarm is fitted, however an article in the latest What Car says that admiral are reducing the groupings on the MINI until the end of the year. One will be a group 4 and the Cooper group 6. I got an online quote for my Cooper and it came out at £276 but then again I am slowly drifting toward boring old fart status.
Hope this is of some use.
 

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Yes that is true ICEMAN I should have made it clearer I guess.

Also Thatcham CAT 3 is for Physical Theft Prevention Devices. I.e. steering locks etc.

Yes you should get a discount on insurance if you have the alarm fitted but it is up to the insurance company at the end of the day.

My insurance company would not even quote me without one fitted for my Cooper Works.

Oh and you shouldn\'t pay too much attention to insurance groupings they are meant as a guide and nothing else and are down to individual insurance companies interpretation. In other words you could pay more for a group 5 car than a group 6 if the insurance company deemed it to be higher risk.
 

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I had an online quote with Directline for a Cooper without the alarm, came out at £248.85.

It is for parking on a drive (in Thetford, Norfolk), full no claim, protected no claim discount, fully comprehesive, named driver only, and £100 excess.

I guess it is cheap because (a) I have a home insurance policy with them, and (b) I am female and 36.

Smiffy, it is under £250.00 without the legal assistance bit - don\'t see the point if I go for fully comprehesive. Being mature has its avantages sometimes! ;)
 

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I contacted my current insurer - A large insurer who are well known for all types of insurance - To change from my Audi - No ABS, no alarm, no immob., larger engine, to a Mini would mean an increase on my policy.

Work that one out!
 

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What you\'ver to look at Johnboy is the desirabilty of the car.

The MINI is probably THE most desirable car at the mo\' which means premiums will be high. Also the chances of having some jealous neighbour key it, smash a window etc are extremely high for the same reason.

The value of the car is also taken into account. If you stack it, it will cost a fortune to repair/replace.

All adds up to expensive insurance.

You\'ll probably find it will drop after a while though as the initial surge of interest in the car begins to subside a bit and it becomes more common place on the roads.
 

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I called MINI customer service to ask about the standard immobiliser and optional alarm. They told me that the alarm was Thatcham 1 approved and the standard immobiliser was category 2.

Don\'t forget to mention these to your insurance companies...
 
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