How to Know if your Car has a GPS Tracker?

by | Learn

Last Updated on May 10, 2021

A car may have a GPS tracking device without the vehicle owner’s knowledge. When this is done for legitimate purposes it can be completely legal. When a GPS tracking device is installed in a car it may be for the following reasons:

  • Recovering the car in case of theft
  • Optimize productivity with a company’s vehicles
  • Reduce fuel costs
  • Optimize vehicle security

A GPS tracking device is often installed in a car to violate a person’s privacy. If you want to find out if a car has a GPS tracking device, it is necessary to perform some basic steps, but, before you continue, you may want to check the best GPS tracker in the market this year!

Detecting a GPS Tracking Device

GPS on car

Some basic steps must be performed to detect if there is a GPS tracking device in your vehicle. Visual tracking is one of the main steps that should be performed as follows.

1. Tracking the outside of the vehicle

The outside of the vehicle has different spaces that are usually very required when installing a GPS tracking device. The most common exterior locations of the vehicle are: 

  • Undercarriage
  • Wheel wells
  • Front and rear bumpers
  • Vehicle roof
  • Under the hood

All these places have various nooks and crannies and small spaces that are perfect for the installation of a GPS tracking device. It is necessary to use a flashlight to perform a visual check. (1)

2. Tracking the inside

The inside is usually chosen by those who have access to the interior of their vehicle. A very common example of this is dealerships. A dealership may install a GPS tracking device when a person purchases a car through financing. This serves to find and retrieve the car in the event of non-payment. The most common locations are:

  • Data port
  • Under or around the dashboard
  • Inside or outside the trunk
  • Under the seats

To find a GPS tracking device more easily, you should first check the places that are easily accessible. The person installing a GPS tracking device often does not have a lot of time. That is why the most common places are usually those that do not require much effort to access. (2)

3. Using a bug sweeper detector

This device is one of the most chosen ones for people used to finding spy devices. It is a tool that detects radio frequency signals and similar signals. 

To use this device correctly, you should turn off the cell phone and any other electronic device near the vehicle. This could generate false signals and make it difficult to find a GPS tracking device. While using this tool, a sound can be detected when any type of radio frequency is found. 

4. Professional Workmanship

If you have conducted a thorough search without getting any results, you can choose other alternatives. Professional workmanship is perfect to have a qualified opinion. 

Auto mechanics know the ideal places and can detect a GPS tracking device without much effort. This can give you peace of mind as to whether a car has a GPS tracking device. 

5. Possible Responsible Parties

A GPS tracking device is an expensive implement that is installed for a certain purpose. This makes it possible to consider that a GPS tracking device is installed for a particular reason. Almost always when a GPS tracking device is installed the reasons are:

  • Financing of a car by a car dealership
  • The hiring of a private investigator by another person
  • Suspicion of a current partner
  • Possible identity theft
  • Possible disclosure of confidential information 

Final Words

By considering the main places where a GPS tracking device could be installed the task will be much easier. Each of these sites is very easy to check in a few hours. This also gives the user great peace of mind as they will be able to know if a GPS tracking device has been installed in their car. 

Other learning guides that you may want to check: How to make a GPS tracker and How to remove a GPS tracker from car. Until next time!


(1) exterior locations of the vehicle –
(2) dealership –

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About Gadgets Spy

Hi, I’m Michael, a security and surveillance expert. I co-founded and write for GadetsSpy and help teach people about new tech and Gadgets.