Telematics tech company IMS (Insurance & Mobility Solutions) has saved London-based prestige car hire company City Inter Rent nearly £300,000 through the recovery of three stolen vehicles.

IMS director Dave Turnock said City Inter Rent snatched back two high-value Range Rovers and a top-of-the-range Mercedes from car thieves within hours of receiving alerts from the devices that had been installed just months earlier.


The vehicles were found packed in containers at Ilford, Essex, ready to be shipped abroad. Turnock said that, prior to shipping, the thieves normally park stolen vehicles in a residential area for 48 hours to see if the vehicles are tracked before exporting them, usually to Africa, the Middle East or Eastern Europe.

Turnock said that the thieves, who were likely to be professional criminals stealing vehicles to order, had managed to disable the manufacturer’s on-board vehicle tracking services, but missed the dedicated telematics tracking devices designed and installed by IMS. The vehicles had their wiring ripped out and had suffered bodywork damage. There were no arrests made.

He said: “Recent RAC research shows a 56% rise in vehicle theft over the past four years, and cars with keyless functionality are a particular target. Thieves are finding new technologies to override these systems and steal such vehicles, especially high value cars.

He added: “You need to work fast once an alert is triggered. We have a very short window of opportunity to work with our repatriation partners and law enforcement agencies to recover the vehicles before they are exported and, as is often the case, broken for parts.”

Ian Highland, Operations Director of City Inter Rent, said “Due to the nature of our business, we carry a high excess on our fleet insurance policy, and should we have suffered a total loss of the three vehicles in question, the financial outlay and resulting negative impact on the cost of future premiums would have been a real blow.”

152,541 vehicles were stolen in 2018-19 compared with 97,609 in 2014-15, according to police data.  Turnock said that while opportunistic theft was a factor behind the increase, particularly with economic pressures in the wake of COVID-19, he said organised criminals are making big money from shipping stolen cars to other parts of the world, or breaking them up for parts.

He said: “The proceeds are often used to fund more serious forms of crime, such as drug dealing or people trafficking. We urge law enforcement to make vehicle crime more of a priority, with stiff prison sentences for criminals, and we will continue to deploy technology to keep up with the criminals.



About IMS (Insurance & Mobility Solutions)

IMS (Insurance & Mobility Solutions), part of Trak Global Group (TGG), is a global provider of connected car solutions, services, and analytics to insurers, mobility operators, OEMs and governments. IMS is the developer of the cloud-based IMS DriveSync® connected car platform which has received industry acclaim for its ability to offer customers a data source-agnostic, multi-device strategy through which a multitude of B2B and B2C propositions can be taken to market. More info at


IMS Media Contact:
Ben Welsh 07568 382040