It might sound like something straight out of a James Bond movie, but there are a number of reasons that might mean your car has been fitted with a GPS tracker without your knowledge.
In the most innocent example, you might have bought a car and either you didn’t ask or the seller didn’t tell you that the vehicle had one fitted. In more sinister examples, one might have been placed on your car to track your movements without your prior knowledge.
Whatever the circumstances if you need to find out if your car has a GPS tracker fitted, how do you do it? Let’s take a look.
What about GPS Tracking Devices?
When it comes to GPS tracking devices, there are two main types; monitored and unmonitored. Monitored devices transmit data in real-time, including the vehicles location, speed, direction of travel, etc. These can be hard-wired into the car’s power supply, but most are battery powered.
Unmonitored devices store ‘waypoints’ and don’t transmit their location in the same way. As the vehicle moves, they collect GPS ‘points’ at set time intervals as map coordinates that need to be deciphered later on. These are less expensive and also need to be physically retrieved and the information downloaded to get to the data.
Depending on the type of device installed, its location will be determined by the type of device it is and therefore might limit the possible locations it would be secured.
In the first instance, a visual inspection will be your best bet. Grab yourself a torch, a mirror and a floor mat and take a look in, around and under your car.
More often that not, you’re looking for a small box, cylinder or rectangular shape. Check the wheel wells first and hopefully the only thing you’ll find is your braking system, but be sure to check all around all four wheels including the springs and, if possible, behind your alloys.
Whilst you’re down there, check the undercarriage of the car. Older GPS trackers were attached to the underside of the car, some were even magnetic, so be sure to check for this. If it was installed in a less sophisticated manner, it might just be held on with velcro or duct, masking or electrician’s tape.
Bear in mind that most car undersides can be pretty dirty, so trackers can be harder to spot in-between all the dirt and grime, which is where your torch will come in handy. If there’s nothing there, it’s time to expand your search.
Inside of the Car:
Whilst it might sound unlikely, the inside of the car is one of the most popular places to find a GPS tracker. Many of the trackers these days are ‘plug-and-play’, meaning they will attach to your cars OBD (On-Board Diagnostics) port.
This port is usually found somewhere around your car’s dashboard. If you’re not sure where your car’s port is, take a look at the user manual that came with the car or, failing that, Google will help you pin it down.
If you still can’t find one, then don’t despair. Still inside the car, there are plenty of other places to look. Places to check include under the seats, in the rear pockets of the front seats (if they have them), in or behind the glove box.
It might sound like looking for a piece of hay in a stack full of needles, but remember you’re looking for a suspicious looking box, often with wires coming out of it. It really won’t be too hard to find, if there is one.
If all else fails, you can always call an expert. We have a team of specially trained, dedicated staff who can come and help you remove any existing device and install a new one.
This gives you peace of mind and satisfaction that the only person monitoring your vehicle is you…. oh, and the 24/7 control centre who will liaise with the police, should the vehicle be stolen!