Car finance companies using ‘kill switches’ to immobilise vehicles


Car finance companies now have the power to immobilise cars using a ‘kill switch’ if the customer does not make their monthly payments. The controversial immobilisers are a GPS device in the form of a small black box that is installed behind the dashboard of the car. They are said to be generally offered to customers with poor credit ratings.

Each month when a driver makes their monthly payment to the car finance company, a code is given to them to enter into the device. This will enable the car to keep on running. If they don’t pay, they don’t receive a code and the car will not start.

Many have pointed out that this is irresponsible and also potentially dangerous, as it could leave drivers stranded and vunerable. Graham Hill from the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers has also raised the issue of the legality of the devices. The Financial Conduct Authority is yet to confirm whether the immobilisers are under their investigation.

However, the Car Finance Company who fits the immobilisers claimed that the devices actually helped customers by reminding them when their payments were due. The company also said that they could provide an emergency code so that the driver was able to move their vehicle to a safe and secure location before being disabled.

What do you think? Are these immobilisers a good idea or are they ruthless and exploitative?

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