RAC Auto Windscreens trials unique vehicle security system

Article date: 10 February 2006

A unique vehicle security system, used by police forcesnationwide to prevent and detect crime, is being trialled at RACAuto Windscreens fitting centres in the South West ofEngland.

Customers at the selected RAC Auto Windscreens fitting centres arebeing given the opportunity to have their vehicle marked and linkedto the International Security Register (ISR). *Marking and ISRregistration makes a vehicle five times less likely to be stolenand is a powerful weapon against vehicle cloning.

The ISR is a confidential database operated by leading vehiclesecurity experts, Retainagroup. The database holds details ofregistered vehicles together with the names and addresses of theirowners, keepers and drivers. A 24-hour helpline and verificationservice is available to the public, motor trade and the policeenabling them to identify a vehicle’s rightful ownerimmediately.

More than nine million vehicles are currently listed on the ISRdatabase. The windows of marked vehicles are etched with a uniquecode and the telephone number of the ISR 24-hour helpline.Additional security information, such as mileage, radio Pin, alarm,immobiliser and locking wheel nut codes, can also be registered.The system also guards against criminals obtaining ignitionkeys.

Additionally RAC Auto Windscreens fitting centres will order newstencils, on behalf of the customer, to replace the ISR codes and24-hour phone number on glass which has been replaced in aregistered vehicle.

David Currier, RAC Auto Windscreens sales and marketing director,commented: “Trialling the Retainagroup security system is afurther step forward in the fight against vehicle crime. Customerfeedback has been really encouraging and we are keen that all 147RAC Auto Windscreens’ fitting centres will retail theRetainagroup security system by the end of the year.”

Wendy Rowe, managing director of Retainagroup, said: “Uniquemarking and ISR registration combats vehicle crime in so many waysand we are delighted that RAC Auto Windscreens recognises thebenefits for customers in the fight against crime.”

The RAC Auto Windscreens fitting centres currently trialling theRetainagroup security system are based in Bournemouth, BognorRegis, Frome, Newport, Poole, Portsmouth, Salisbury, Southamptonand Yeovil.



For further information contact:
PR Manager
RAC Auto Windscreens
E-mail: amelton@autowindscreens.co.uk
Telephone: 01246 223 192
Moblie: 07800 628008

RAC Press Office
Telephone: 020 8917 2742
Outside office hours: 07764 658 666

Notes to editors:

Vehicle crime facts and statistics

  • Despite the standard fitment of better locks, alarms andimmobilisers, vehicle theft and fraud is still a major problem,costing owners, insurers, finance companies and the police around£3.5 billion every year
  • Home Office figures for 2003 show that 282,816 cars werestolen in England, Scotland and Wales. That’s nearly twocars every minute
  • In 2004, 92% of unrecovered vehicles were not marked andregistered
  • The British Crime Survey (BCS) 2004/5 estimates that therewere 1,886,000 vehicle-related crimes in England, Scotland andWales. Of these, 738,531 were thefts of and fromvehicles.


  • Retainagroup is the country’s leading manufacturer andsupplier of vehicle glass and component security etching, markingand registration systems
  • Retainagroup marking and registration systems are used asoriginal equipment by many manufacturers including: Alfa Romeo,Fiat, Hyundai, KIA, LDV, Lexus, Mazda, Proton, Saab, SsangYong,Skoda and Toyota. Other Retainagroup customers include BMW, Ford,Harley-Davidson and Subaru
  • The Retainagroup system is a very effective theft deterrent. ARetainagroup marked and registered vehicle is 55% less likely tobe stolen than an unmarked one. Unique code marking is also apowerful tool in detecting vehicle "cloning", acting as anindependent cross check against other vehicle details such as theregistration number and VIN. The chances of recovery are at least50% better if a stolen vehicle is marked and registered
  • Retainagroup security marking and registration systems usestate-of-the-art laser technology, stencils with chemical etching,and ultra-destruct and anti-tamper stickers to mark and registeraround 600,000 vehicles a year
  • Since 2001, Retainagroup has been authorised to receive PoliceNational Computer (PNC) stolen vehicle data
  • The Retainagroup security marking and registration system isThatcham Q listed
  • Retainagroup has been marking and registering vehicles in theUK since 1982.

The International Security Register

  • Details of marked vehicles with owner information are held bythe International Security Register (ISR), operated byRetainagroup
  • Retainagroup markings include a 24-hour phone number (07000111333) for the ISR which is used by police, manufacturers,dealers, insurers, used car buyers and the public to check vehicleand ownership details
  • In 2005, the ISR handled around 100,000 incoming telephonecalls
  • If a vehicle owner’s details change, or the markedvehicle is sold, ISR records can be quickly and easily updated bycalling the 24-hour number, by going to www.theisr.org or by post. 
  • A dedicated web site is available to the police, where anetched code can be checked against VIN and registration number todetect cloning.

RAC Auto Windscreens

  • RAC Auto Windscreens provides a wholly owned and operatedcomplete automotive glazing repair and replacement service(windscreens, rear windows and side windows) through the largestfitting centre network in the UK
  • It is the only replacement windscreen specialist with its ownmanufacturing operation, producing 250,000 windscreens a year in adedicated factory in Chesterfield
  • Backed by a fleet of 1000 fully equipped mobile fitting units,RAC Auto Windscreens provides a true 24/7 national service formore than 750,000 private and corporate customers every year.


  • With 7 million members, RAC is one of the UK's mostprogressive motoring organizations.. Whether it's roadsideassistance, windscreen repair and replacement, learning to drive,vehicle inspections, legal and financial services orup-to-the-minute traffic and travel information - RAC is able tomeet motorists’ needs.


  • Aviva’s acquisition of RAC brings together RAC's powerfulbrand and customer base with the expertise and leading positionin motor insurance of Norwich Union Insurance (part of Aviva).Norwich Union is the UK's largest insurer, insuring one in sevenmotor vehicles and with a market share of around 14 per cent.

Back to top