Can Repo Track Your Car GPS? GPS and Other Data Required for Auto Repossession

Can Repo Track Your Car GPS? One of the best feelings in the world is to walk to a dealer’s car lot and drive out with a new (or used) car. If you don’t have enough cash, you can lease the vehicle or look for another auto financing option.

But life happens, and you might have difficulties making monthly car payments.

If you miss one or two payments, you could be the target of a repo agent. But can repo agents track your car’s GPS? Let’s find out!

Table of Contents

What Necessitates The Need for Repo Agents?

Car dealerships and finance companies understand the risks of extending loans to people, especially if they have a low credit score. So they must have plans to repossess the vehicles in case of missed or late payments. 

Lenders or financiers usually hire repossession companies and use the repossession threat to make customers pay their auto loan payments on time.

A repo man preparing his tow truck

A repo man preparing his tow truck

These companies use every available tool to find and take the cars back to their clients (lenders). However, lenders must provide the required information for the repo men to locate the vehicles. 

What Can a Repo Company Do To Track Your Car?

Since you co-own the vehicle with the lender or auto dealer, they have your information and need to provide it to the repo company for quick tracking. It includes:

VIN & Personal Information

Each car has a unique VIN (Vehicle Identification Number), which the recovery company needs to repossess the vehicle. This company will also need the car’s make and model.

Lenders also take your personal information before giving you the facility, which includes your home address. They’ll hand this information over to the repo men if you default on the payment plan for quick location.

A blurred car’s data plate containing the VIN information

A blurred car’s data plate containing the VIN information

And repo men know the tricks defaulters use to hide the vehicles. So they will look for the car a few blocks from your home or work address. 

W-2 Income Information

If paying the loan using your salary, the lender might give the recovery company your employment information from the W-2 form for repossession at your place of work.

The form W-2 for wage and settlement tax

Can Repo Track Your Car GPS: GPS Tracking Data

GPS tracking eliminates the manual tracking processes that can lead to days of searching if borrowers hide the vehicles. So most dealerships and lenders nowadays install GPS tracking devices on cars for quick location.

A car GPS tracker

A car GPS tracker

Is It Illegal To Remove GPS Trackers From Financed Cars?

Yes. Any vehicle financed from a car dealership falls into the secure collateral category. Removing any real-time GPS tracking system installed on the car hampers the lender’s ability to secure the collateral if you don’t make timely payments.

So it is illegal to remove the tracker.

Can Repo Track Your Car GPS: A car GPS tracker

A car GPS tracker

However, if you have completed paying for the loan or didn’t use the vehicle as secure collateral, you can remove the GPS tracker.

The lender or dealership doesn’t partly own the vehicle in such a case, so removing the device is legal.

Therefore, you should consider getting a personal loan to buy the car if you find tracking a bit intrusive.

Rules Surrounding Vehicle Repossession

Rule 1

Recovery companies have the right to repossess your vehicle off the street, from the driveway, at work, when shopping, as you fill your gas tank, or anywhere in a public space.

However, they cannot come into private property because it would be a breach of peace, which is illegal. So repo men cannot break into your house or garage to take the car.

Therefore, locking the car in your garage when you fail to pay the vehicle loan will force the lender to take legal action. If they win the court case, they will get a court order to take back the vehicle.

Also, they might receive approvals to garnish your wages to recover the remaining auto loan balance.

An approved car loan application with the personal details form showing

An approved car loan application with the personal details form showing

But GPS tracking makes the repossession process easier. Since it shows real-time location data to pinpoint the vehicle’s location, the repo men can monitor your movements and get the car when you park it in a public space.

Rule 2

Repo companies cannot take the vehicle while you’re in it. So if you hop into the car as the repo man hooks it for towing, the agent should not take it.

This action can also lead to a court case with forced repossession eventually.

Can Repo Track Your Car GPS: A repo man securing a recovered vehicle on his truck

A repo man securing a recovered vehicle on his truck

In most cases, repo companies will look for the car until the dealer or lender stops paying them for the service.

So if you notice the repo man is no longer waiting for the perfect opportunity to pounce on your vehicle, prepare for a legal battle in court.

Therefore, delaying the repossession is a waste of time unless you have evidence to show it is unlawful. In such a case, you must provide proof showing you didn’t break the auto loan contract.

How To Avoid Repossession Agents

The best way to avoid repossession is to follow the contract terms, ensure you have full auto insurance coverage, make payments on time, and communicate with the dealer/lender if you are experiencing difficulties making the payments.

Lenders also try to avoid repossession processes because they are expensive, time-consuming, and taxing.

So you can save both of you time and money by informing the lender if you’re about to miss a payment.

Can Repo Track Your Car GPS: A person signing a car loan agreement contract

A person signing a car loan agreement contract

Some auto lenders permit deferment plans by adding payments to your loan’s back end. This action can give you breathing space to help you get back on your feet.

Some exceptions that allow for these deferments include medical emergencies or job losses.

An alternative to deferment is renegotiating the loan terms or refinancing. The renegotiation can move your payment due date or extend the payment period, which lowers the monthly payments.

But lenders might not want to renegotiate if you are not keeping up with the auto payments.

Wrap Up

In conclusion, repo companies can track your car using the GPS tracker installed by your dealer or lender. Technology always simplifies things, and precise GPS location tracking eliminates the expensive manual searching process.

However, repo men must adhere to the rules explained earlier, and you can avoid them by communicating with the dealer/lender if you experience financial difficulties. 

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