How To Tell If Your Car Is Bugged

by | Cars

Last Updated on June 4, 2021

Even though the chances of the FBI being on your tail and tracking your car aren’t all that big, there’s no denying that many people are actually followed illegally. This isn’t a small thing, and it’s a breach on security and privacy that nobody should be dealing with.

And while most of the everyday people have little to no reason to be worried, that same thing can’t be said for people who possess sensitive information, people in high-authority positions etc. And we must not forget jealous lovers who don’t trust that your tennis coach is just your coach.

It’s no secret that most of the listening and tracking devices out there are sophisticated and pretty difficult to detect. But that’s not to say you can’t find them, especially the ones that people buy for cheap from shady online shops and stores.

When it comes to your vehicle, you’ll find that most of the devices being used are GPS trackers. They’re hidden somewhere in or on your car, and if you aren’t looking for them specifically, there’s a pretty big chance that you won’t find them.

How do you know your car is bugged?

Now, as humans, we have something that’s known as the “sixth sense”, and sometimes we “just know” that something is going on. We have that feeling that someone is monitoring us. And while we can just turn around and see if someone is following us, that same thing can’t be said if you’re suspicious of your car being tracked.

You might have a gut feeling that your vehicle is being tracked. Maybe you feel like someone followed you home from work. But there’s no way to know this for sure, unless you take action. Therefore, the question to be asking is …

How do you scan your car for a tracking device?

The first thing you’ll want to do is the obvious – look around your car. Some of the more popular places where a tracker might be hidden is underneath the car, or close to the back wheels. These are places that aren’t too easy to inspect, though, so you might struggle a bit to check well. To add to this, if whoever is tracking your car knows what they’re doing, there’s a pretty big chance that they’ve hidden the tracking device better, and you can’t find it that easy.

The other place where bug detectors are oftentimes hidden is behind the dashboard, deeper into the car’s electronics. This is the most likely place where someone who knows what they’re doing will go for, but they will need to have access to your car for at least a few hours. This means that you’ll have a much easier time finding whoever is responsible because not everyone has such access.

If this is the case, you might be inclined to rip your car apart. You’ll want to remove the dashboard, check everything and see whether or not you’re right about this. But before you do this, there’s a much easier way to check things without doing so, which will save you a lot of time, and potentially prevent you from damaging expensive parts on your car. You can buy a GPS bug detector, which is readily available to the general public, and it will help you find any tracking devices in your car. They work by checking for electronic frequencies in your car’s proximity, and if something is there, there’s a pretty big chance they’ll find it. Note that they won’t intercept, or block the bugs, they’ll merely help you find them. (1)

Just as the trackers’ quality varies, the quality of bug detectors varies quite a bit, too. Some are pretty much useless and won’t detect anything but the cheapest trackers out there, while others will find just about any tracker available online.

Another thing to keep in mind is that while you’re using this device to find whatever tracking devices might be in your car, you’ll want to turn off your smartphone. If you don’t want to do that, at least put it in airplane mode. Otherwise it’s going to disturb the signal and it might cause problems and false alerts. You’ll be finding your own phone instead of the tracking device, and you’ll be wasting time. To add to this, it might be a good idea to park your car in a remote area without much movement or people, because their phones can also disturb the GPS bug detector’s functionality.

One more tip we would suggest when you’re looking for a GPS tracker in your car with a bug detector is to do things slowly. Don’t rush it, and be thorough. If whoever is tracking your car knows their stuff, they’ll do their best to hide the tracking device and you won’t be able to find it so easily.

What if this doesn’t work?

Sometimes you can’t find any traces of a GPS tracker, but you still have that gut feeling that someone is tracking you. If that’s the case, the last thing you can do is seek out a professional to check things for you. There are people who do have advanced bug detection equipment, and they’ll be able to check your vehicle very thoroughly. If they don’t find anything, you’ll get that peace of mind and you’ll know there’s nothing to find, so you won’t have to worry. 

If you want to check on your own, we have a list of the best bug detector with a buyer guide included helping you find the perfect one for you.

Wrapping things up

Even though you oftentimes should in fact trust your gut feeling, there’s no denying that sometimes it’s just wrong. It might be wasting your time, and you might be looking for things that aren’t there. If that’s the case, you’re much better of relaxing and not worrying about someone tracking your every move.

You didn’t find anything with your bug detector? The professional you hired didn’t find anything either? Well, perhaps there isn’t anything there.

You may also want to check the following guides; How to view dash cam footage, and Where to mount a dash cam guide. And finally, find out here the best dash cam under 100 dollars! Until our next article!


(1) – Electromagnetic Frequencies –

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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.