Do All New Cars Have GPS Tracking Today? (Explained) | Motor & Wheels (2024)

Manufacturers equip the vast majority of cars produced today with an inbuilt GPS tracking system.

This system is for finding and monitoring the direction and location of a vehicle.

It works through the signal transmitted by satellite navigation to get its timing and position data, which, therefore, connects to the specific tracking system in the car.

In this article, we answer your questions about whether all cars now come with GPS as standard equipment.

Table of Contents

Do All New Cars Have GPS Tracking Today? (Explained) | Motor & Wheels (1)

Is GPS Tracking Standard on All New Cars?

Most new cars come with a pre-installed GPS system. It is safe to say that it is a standard for all new cars.

According to, about 78 million cars have a GPS system, and in the next few years, about 98% of cars will have them as well.

Are New Cars Required to Have a GPS Tracking System?

New cars are not required to have GPS trackers, as it is not required by law. You can choose to disable, block, or remove it as you so desire.

However, it is not recommended to remove it, as it serves as a quality safety system for monitoring your car remotely.

If you live in areas with a high rate of car theft, a GPS tracking system is an added benefit, because it becomes really difficult to steal a car that has a working GPS system.

How Do I Know If My Car Has GPS Tracking?

GPS tracking can be located easily in a vehicle. The commonplace is inside your wheel well. If you’re looking to remove it, it is better to carry a flashlight along, as they are usually hidden.

Another commonplace is your undercarriage. The undercarriage of your vehicle is basically the “under” of a car. I

f it is a hard-wired GPS, it means they wired it in the vehicle. You could check for any different wiring, either in thickness or in color. It is equally important to carry a flashlight.

However, features like GPS tracking contributes to why today’s cars have so many problems. As with anything, more features translate to more problems.

Can You Remove GPS Tracking From a New Car?

While you may not disable an inbuilt GPS system, it is possible to remove any tracker on it.

You can’t disable an inbuilt system because most cars have cellular communication and, more often than not, include a GPS system.

The main purpose is not to track your car, but for the general onboard navigation screen. It is also important to note that a GPS satellite only transmits timing and positioning, and not a specific location.

Can You Add GPS Tracking to Your Car?

It is very possible to add GPS tracking to your car. The installation comes in three options.

You could opt for a factory installation, or a dealer’s installation (this majorly comes with used cars) or you could easily get the device kit that requires little or no installation.

It is important to note that a factory installation cannot be done manually as against the device kit. Please contact your mechanic to sort it out.

These Cars That Don’t Have GPS Tracking?

It is safe to say, any car produced up to the year 2000 does not come with an inbuilt GPS system. According to, it was until 2000 that a precise GPS system became open for civilian use.

Today, there are almost no cars that aren’t produced with a GPS system. Although they might majorly not have a tracking device installed except as instructed by the owner.

Related:Does A Car GPS Need Internet Connection? (Solved)

How Do You Remove or Block GPS Tracking?

As said earlier, it is within your rights to either add or remove the GPS tracker.

Regardless of the immense benefits it offers, it could also be used for ulterior motives, hence, the removal. Below are different ways to block and remove a GPS tracker:

Get a Plug-in GPS Blocker

Plug-in GPS blocker is a device that jams a GPS tracking signal. You can easily plug it into your car’s cigarette lighter. The device comes on as you ignite the engine.

N.B. It is not illegal to own a plug-in GPS blocker in the U.S., but it may be illegal in some countries.

Remove the Battery

Once you have located the device, more often than not, they come with batteries and apparently, a device can’t work without its battery. Remove the battery and the signal will stop.

If it is a hard-wired tracker (installed through wires), you can simply disconnect these wires or take it to a professional to avoid damaging other connections.

Disable Location on Your Phone

GPS tracking signals work easily with our cell phones. A cell phone can easily reveal your location if you enable GPS and location setting. You can disable this by turning off your location, as this will clear all your history and records.

Another simpler way is to put it on airplane mode. The bright side to this hack is that it turns off your GPS radio, which is another way of tracking you.

Put the Device in a Metal Box or Aluminum

Trackers can’t emit signals from a conductive metal. Once the device is located, you can wrap it in an aluminum foil, or a metal box. This will effectively block the signals coming from the device.

Use a Locator

Another effective way to locate and remove GPS tracking is to use a locator. This locator works within 5 meters (16 feet). Stand within this range and scan the car. If the locator beeps, a GPS signal has been located.

However, it is important to note that not all GPS emits signals constantly. Some are passive and only come on when the car is in motion.


How Do I Add GPS Tracking to My Car?

Relatively, it is easy to install GPS tracking by yourself, depending on the type desired.

Below are different ways to install a GPS tracking;

The OBD 2 Port

An OBD 2 port is a device that reads different information, like a vehicle’s speed, emissions, fuel usage, etc. This device is on the dash of the driver and it features a 16 Pin Port.

The simple way to install the tracker is to plug it into this port. It will automatically monitor and record vital information about the car. It needs no special installation,

Hardwire Installation

A Hardwire GPS tracker needs to be wired into the vehicle. We advise this process to be done by an electrician. It is usually connected near the car battery and put into the OBD 2 Port.

The upside to this type of installation is that it cannot be easily removed from your car, especially in cases of theft and criminal activities.

Battery-Powered Installation

This is the most common form of GPS. You only need to pick a suitable location in your vehicle (preferably a hidden place), put the device, and turn it on. It is not easily noticeable because it is relatively small.

However, because this tracker works with batteries, you’ll have to change them from time to time.

After Installation

Once you have completed the installation, make sure it works properly. You can easily test them by connecting them with your device, either a phone or a computer.

It will definitely show the location of your vehicle and all other necessary information.

Related:Do Ford Vehicles Have Tracking Devices? (Solved!)

What Is the Cost of GPS Tracking?

According to, the tracking cost ranges from about $14 to $250 per vehicle, each month. It is important to note that most GPS tracking comes with subscriptions.

They could either be monthly, yearly, or every two years. This cost, however, varies because of different reasons, including:


The more advanced your tracking system, the more expensive it becomes, and vice versa. We recommend you opt for a relatively advanced tracking system to:

  • Cuts down on your fuel cost
  • Ensure safe driving
  • Map out good routes
  • Give theft alerts

Additional Features

A tracking cost can also be expensive if you want to add some modern features. This mostly comes with the advanced system.

An advanced feature includes regular data refresh. It refreshes your system data automatically, giving you a more accurate and recent location of your vehicle.

You get this data regularly as against the basic tracking system, as you will need to transfer information by yourself, mostly at the end of that day.

Contract Duration

The subscription period to the tracking service could also make it more expensive. If you opt for a longer period, for instance, yearly, your tracking cost more than a regular monthly subscription.

Does the GPS Tracker Need the Internet?

A GPS works by using a satellite to send information to your specific tracker. Hence, it does not need an internet connection to receive signals.

The tracker will calculate your location gotten from the satellite.

How Much Does a GPS Tracker Cost?

According to Mojo, the device cost ranges from about $10- $200 or more, depending on the type of device and features desired.

A battery-powered device is more likely to cost less because it doesn’t require any special installation than the hard-wired tracker, which may require the help of an electrician to fix it properly. The cost of labor relatively adds to the price.


How Much Does GPS Fleet Tracking Cost? The Ultimate Guide 2022| ExpertMarket

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Do All New Cars Have GPS Tracking Today? (Explained) | Motor & Wheels (2024)


Do new cars have GPS tracking devices? ›

No, all cars do not have GPS tracking built in, though as advancement in technology has progressed, most modern vehicles have GPS capabilities, giving the driver the ability to navigate with their car's GPS as opposed to using a phone as a medium. Though a tracking feature may be exclusive to specific vehicles.

Which cars have built-in GPS tracking? ›

Luxury and high-end vehicles have often led the way in integrating sophisticated tracking technology, making GPS trackers a standard or optional feature in models from renowned brands like Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi.

Do cars still have built in GPS? ›

Navigation systems now come as standard equipment in many cars—both new and used—and are also available as stand-alone GPS devices or apps—like Waze and Google Maps—that you can download for free to your phone.

How do I find out if my car has a tracker from a dealership? ›

First, check with the salesperson or manager who sold you the car. They may be able to tell you if a tracker was installed during the sale. If not, they should be able to give you the contact information for the person who installed any tracking devices on the car. Next, take a look around the exterior of your car.

What year did cars start having GPS trackers? ›

1994: BMW 7 series E38 first European model featuring GPS navigation. The navigation system was developed in cooperation with Philips (Philips CARIN). 1995: Oldsmobile introduced the first GPS navigation system available in a United States production car, called GuideStar.

Can newer cars be tracked if stolen? ›

Most new cars will have some type of location tracking technology included, but they have to provide you information on it upfront, you just have to actually read that stack of paperwork they give you to learn the details.

Do dealerships put trackers on cars? ›

Do dealerships put GPS trackers on cars? Why? Yes, many dealerships install GPS trackers on their cars. It helps in managing and protecting the inventory, enabling quick recovery in case of theft and offering valuable data on the vehicle's usage and condition.

Can someone track your car without you knowing? ›

The short answer is yes. You can certainly hide a GPS tracking device on a car without the driver knowing. In fact, there are many ways to do so. Why Do People Hide GPS Tracking Devices in Cars?

How do I disable GPS tracking on my car? ›

Remove the GPS tracker's battery.

If it's connected to your vehicle by a magnet or a data connector plug, just tug the device free and remove the battery to stop the signal. Afterward, dispose of the battery and GPS device to ensure it doesn't continue to transmit your location.

Can GPS be tracked if car is off? ›

Yes, GPS can work when your car is off.

Can a cell phone detect a GPS tracker? ›

You can detect trackers that are currently near you and separated from their owner's device with manual scan. It's possible that the trackers found in a manual scan are simply misplaced or temporarily separated from their owner's device.

How to block vehicle GPS tracking? ›

For instance, wrapping things like aluminum foil around the GPS receiver creates a Faraday Shield, which blocks the GPS signals. Similarly, wet trees and plastic or tin containers filled with thick materials can also scramble these signals. These signals will help you protect your GPS data.

What does a hidden GPS tracker look like? ›

Compact Design: Wireless GPS trackers are small and discreet, often resembling matchboxes or decks of cards, making them easy to hide within a vehicle's interior. Magnetic Casing: Many trackers feature magnetic casings, allowing them to slide under the vehicle and attach to the frame securely.

Does my car have a built-in GPS tracker? ›

Finding The GPS device

Some places to look in the exterior include the front and rear bumper, the wheels, underneath the hood, and the undercarriage. Some places to look for a GPS tracker in the interior are in the OBD 2 diagnostics port, underneath the seats, underneath floor mats, and in the trunk or hatchback.

Do dealerships put GPS trackers on cars? ›

Do dealerships put GPS trackers on cars? Why? Yes, many dealerships install GPS trackers on their cars. It helps in managing and protecting the inventory, enabling quick recovery in case of theft and offering valuable data on the vehicle's usage and condition.

Do new cars have trackers for repo? ›

In recent times, lots of car dealerships not only offer brand new cars to their clients, but they also offer to fund. Not only that, they even make the bulk of their profits from these automotive loans, which are why it is very essential for cars dealerships to install the GPS for repo.

What does a dealership tracker look like? ›

Compact Design: Wireless GPS trackers are small and discreet, often resembling matchboxes or decks of cards, making them easy to hide within a vehicle's interior. Magnetic Casing: Many trackers feature magnetic casings, allowing them to slide under the vehicle and attach to the frame securely.

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