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Do Car Dealerships Use GPS Trackers?

If you are wondering whether car dealerships use GPS trackers, the answer is an emphatic “Yes! They do!” In this article, we will discuss the problem car dealers address with GPS tracking, and how to choose the best GPS tracking system for your car lot.

Debt on Cars Is Big Business

According to a study by the Federal Reserve, a little more than one in three Americans is currently paying off a car loan. The total personal debt to car dealerships, banks, and finance companies on car purchases is a staggering $1.3 trillion.

Every year, fewer and fewer car buyers borrow to get their cars. The overwhelming majority of buyers make their car payments on time. But the statistics for 2019, the most recent year for which national statistics are available, show that just under 5 percent of car owners are 90 days or more behind on their payments.

It is likely that the statistics are worse for 2020, 2021, and 2022. They definitely are in New York and Philadelphia. The Federal Reserve Bank in New York reports that 8 percent—one in 12—buyers were three months or more behind on their car payments in October 2021.

There are a lot of ways for car buyers to get into trouble.

Desperate car buyers agree to payments they can’t afford. Only 4 percent of dealerships verify income data before they sell cars. Even so, 25 percent of buyers pay subprime rates. Many buyers drive away from the dealership with an upside-down loan, owing more than their vehicle is worth.

None of this means that American car dealerships could or should take a collective $50 billion hit by letting delinquent borrowers keep their cars indefinitely. Repossession may be the only way to avoid taking a huge loss on a sale. But what you can’t find, you can’t repo.

GPS Enables Banks, Loan Companies, and Car Dealerships to Find Cars

Every pay-at-the-lot car dealer needs a way to track vehicles with delinquent payments. Although there are a variety of technologies for finding cars, most of the time the best option is GPS.

Every GPS tracking device picks up signals from US government GPS satellites that enable its onboard computer to calculate its longitude and latitude to within 6 feet with a 95 percent level of confidence. Most GPS devices refresh their location data every 15 seconds. GPS trackers use cell phone towers to transmit tracking data 24/7/365.

Creditors can give this information to repossession agents. The repo truck driver can only take a vehicle by peaceful means, but even if the buyer locks it up in a garage, GPS will identify the location, and the creditor can get a court order of replevin.

What if you didn’t install a GPS tracking unit while the car was still on the lot, or the buyer finds and removes it?

The solution, of course, is to install GPS tracking devices where they aren’t easy to find. It is also technically possible for a repossession agent to put a tracker on the car and collect it later, but there are serious questions about whether this practice is legal.

Do You Really Need an Expert to Install GPS Tracking Units?

There are a number of reasons why GPS Technologies advises car dealerships and other creditors to get professional help to install GPS tracking units.

One reason to work with the pros is that GPS units have to be concealed from buyers. It won’t work to install GPS under the dash, or in a wheel well, or under the hood. GPS Technologies can help you find more secure locations in your vehicles to install your tracking devices.

Another reason to work with GPS Technologies is that you need information, not just a dot on a map. GPS tracking can show you the places drivers go every day, when they make certain trips, and where they park their cars. Recording this data gives the repossession agent a roadmap to the likeliest locations of the car, where it will be easiest to recover.

Experts in GPS technologies make sure your tracking units meet the specifications of your market. GPS Technologies can help you find units with the right battery life, which stand up to weather and road conditions, and that transmit data without noise. Then GPS Technologies can provide you with the app your repo company needs to find the car and the laptop display that gives you a complete history of each car’s driving history.

All states have rules limiting what repossession agents can do to recover a vehicle, but every state permits tracking with GPS—as long as it is installed before the car is sold. To avoid legal issues, you may also want to disclose during the sale that the car is fitted with a tracking device, although there is no requirement that this information has to be prominent in your disclosures to your customers.

GPS Technologies can also help you find the most economical choices in GPS tracking systems. Our years of experience help us save money for our customers.

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