DataDot Technology SA

If you require a DataDot certificate on your new vehicle please click here:

What are DataDots?

DataDots are tiny polyester particles that are laser inscribed with unique information. Each microdot is no larger than 1mm in diameter. 10 000 of these Microdots are applied to motor vehicles using a special adhesive. The information etched onto the Microdots relates exclusively to the identity of the applied vehicle. The water-based adhesive used has UV additives providing easy identification of sprayed areas. The microdots are sprayed onto defined areas of on average 80 points within the vehicle, making it difficult for would-be thieves to alter the car’s identity. The sheer number of dots, both in overt (30%) and covert (70%) locations, effectively provides the vehicle with its own DNA. The dots are only legible under a low-powered microscope or by using a special UV light making it difficult to determine exactly where they have been placed. 

How do DataDots work?

The tiny DataDots act like DNA for a vehicle and gives the vehicle a unique identity that is almost impossible for thieves to alter. Most vehicle exterior components are sprayed with the DataDots, as well as major components such as the engine and gearbox. Improved identification of vehicles and its parts have many benefits. It makes actions such as registration fraud, substitution of identity (re-birthing), chopping of parts and fraudulent warranty claims more difficult. These are just some of the major challenges facing investigators and police. When a single dot is found, the vehicle’s identity can be determined and will ensure prosecution if found in the hands of criminals. This makes microdotted vehicles unappealing to criminals. By reducing the attractiveness of the vehicle to thieves it benefits owners, insurers, police services, prosecuting authorities and our country.



Typical Questions and Answers:

We have taken the liberty of pre-empting some questions that you are likely to ask or be asked and have provided some answers as follows:

Q: What is the cost for DataDot fitment?

A: The cost of the DataDot and application is included into Recommended Retail Price.

Q: Why is there no visible sign that my OEM vehicle has been DataDotted?

A: A sticker is affixed to all DataDotted vehicles.  

Q: Can I get a reduction on my insurance premiums if my vehicle is protected by DataDot?

A: Each individual is usually evaluated on their own merits with insurance risk. The South African Insurance Association however fully supports this technology and a number of insurers do give a discount or rebate. Make sure you draw this to the attention of your broker or insurance company.


Q: How can I prove to Insurers that my vehicle is protected by DataDot?


A: All insurers have access to systems called TU-Auto and / or  Tshole-Unicode. Both systems have record of all vehicles marked with DataDot. If there are any further queries, your insurer can email your vehicle’s full 17-digit VIN number to and a letter of confirmation of fitment will be e-mailed from the national database in reply to the broker concerned.

Q: Does the DataDot system have to be activated or deactivated as with tracking devices?

A: No, the DataDot system is not a tracking device. This system is active at all times and the link to eNatis identifies the current registered owner.

Q: Where on my vehicle are the microdots applied?

A: Each vehicle type has a different application specification. The microdots are generally applied to 88 points throughout the vehicle. Many locations are hidden. Listed below are a few specific locations:

• VIN label

• Inside bonnet reinforcing

• Inside boot reinforcing (where applicable)

• Inside front and rear bumpers

• Front and rear suspension components

• Underside of engine, bell housing, gearbox and drive shafts (where applicable)

• Rear axle and differential (where applicable)

• Parts of the floor pan and structural/reinforcing members

• Part of the underside of the body

• Insides of the doors (including rear hatches where applicable)

No areas will be marked which are visible from the outside of the vehicle and inside the cockpit of a vehicle. No panels or any covers shall be removed for reaching concealed areas except draining plugs.

Q: What do I need to do should my vehicle be stolen?

A: Simply report the theft to the SAPS as per standard procedure. You can indicate that your vehicle has DataDot Technology. This is not essential since the SAPS have access to the national vehicle database confirming microdotting. It is standard police protocol to check the database and flag the vehicle status accordingly since this makes identifying the vehicle much easier.

Q: In the event of damage to my vehicle, will the new parts fitted also have the microdot technology?

A: In general the answer to this is ‘no’. However if the insurer or customer would like to have the vehicle re-dotted as a result of major repairs - they may do so. This can be done by any DataDot approved fitment centre. See  

Q: What happens when I sell my car?

A: Any change to eNATIS/ownership details is available to the SAPS via their system which in turn has links to the national microdot database. Hence, when the unique microdot is identified it will be linked to the new owner.

Q: With the increased recovery rates and the quick identification of the owner, what happens if insurance has already paid me for the loss?

A: As per standard practice by the insurance companies, they will take ownership of your vehicle once they have settled your claim. The SAPS will therefore contact the relevant new registered owner / insurer once the vehicle is recovered.

 Q: Who can I call for more information or help with regards to DataDot?

A: You can consult this bulletin or the DataDot website:

Q: I note that there is a leaflet in my car saying “R2000 cash-back guarantee”. What does this mean?

A: Via statistical evidence, it is proven that DataDot on your car significantly reduces the chances of theft. As a result of this, DataDot offers a conditional guarantee which is further explained on the leaflet or on the following web link:


Should you require additional information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Kind regards

Volvo Car South Africa (Pty) Ltd.