Have you ever wondered whether rental car companies can track their customers’ speed?
Not knowing whether your speed is being monitored can leave a creepy feeling and dampen your driving experience.
In this article, we explore the means rentals car companies employ to track your speed.
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Here’s the short answer to whether rental car companies can track your speed:
Rental car companies can track your speed, but they’re obligated to let you know about it. They can use a variety of tools, GPS, especially for this purpose. If you’re not sure whether a company is going to track your speed in a rented car, ask them about it before signing the contract.
What Are Rental Car Companies And Speed Tracking?
Rental car companies are establishments that loan out cars to consumers. These firms are legalized to do so under the law. Also, they rent cars to customers based on terms and conditions which must be met.
Most rental companies require personal details like age, address, criminal record, driving history, rental history, etc.
They also require a legal means of identification, a means of payment, proof of agreement, etc. Others may not need all but some of these. It depends on what works for them.
Also, rental car companies loan out cars for a period ranging from short to long term. The short term involves a day to a few weeks. The long term involves a period of one to nine months. Payment and conditions will depend on your purchase.
Speed tracking, however, entails monitoring and documenting the rate at which a vehicle moves. Exceeding a particular speed while driving is prohibited and punishable by the law.
Speed tracking is employed to make certain drivers adhere to driving limits and get appropriate penalties where they do not.
Rental car companies tracking customers’ speed is not a new topic. If you are suspecting rental companies can track your car speed, you are right.
Rental car companies can track your speed. To track speed, they employ Global Positioning Systems (GPS), cameras, and wireless devices. They install these tracking devices in their cars.
Rental car companies must inform consumers of being tracked. Tracking consumers without their knowledge is against the law that protects human privacy.
Reasons Rental Car Companies Track Your speed
Here are reasons rental car companies track your speed:
1. Rental car companies track your speed for safety measures: Speeding in the past years has contributed to high rates of road accidents. By tracking your speed, rental companies believe they guarantee their car and consumers’ safety. The lesser speed a car journeys at, the lower the risk of an accident.
2. They track speed to reduce their insurance expenses: No car accidents with rental cars means lower insurance expenses. It is part of why they track your speed, to cut expenses on insurance and damages.
Do Rental Cars Have Speed Trackers?
Some rental cars have speed trackers, while others don’t. Be informed that not all rental companies with trackers track their customer’s speed.
Some companies, like Avis, Enterprise, Budget, Hertz, etc., have tracking systems installed in cars. These companies, however, put the tracking system to other use other than to track speed.
Rental car companies can have speed trackers, but they shouldn’t hide the knowledge from their customers. Even the law does not encourage such action.
Can Rental Car Companies Track Your Car in Other Ways?
Rental car companies can track your car in other ways. GPS and cameras are known for their efficiency in pinpointing locations. To know where your car is at a moment, and what it is doing, they use these devices.
Cameras help your rental companies visually record activities that surround your car. The dash camera is made mainly for this. Most dash cameras have built-in GPS. GPS is attached to those that do not.
How Rental Companies Track Speed With GPS
Compared to other means, GPS is quite popular in tracking speed. It tracks the distance the car covers, and the time used.
You can calculate your own speed when driving by dividing the distance of destination by the time the journey took.
GPS and dash cameras are efficient at tracking and recording speed. They serve as solid evidence in cases of misunderstanding. Like your rental car company may need proof to believe you in an accident.
Can Rental Cars Have Speed Limiters?
Speed limiters are used to restrain the vehicle from going beyond a specific speed limit. Rental cars can have speed limiters, also known as Speed Governor.
Not all rental car companies adopt speed limiters, but most do. Companies set speed limits, in most cases, to 80mph.
Car renter companies program speed limiters to alert renters when they are approaching the limit sometimes. We believe this alert can annoy people who love to speed. It’s not like the companies care.
Do Rental Cars Have a Black Box?
Most rental car companies install black boxes (Telematics boxes) in their cars. Black boxes can be physically installed in cars. They can also be downloaded on phones as an app. The app allows your phone to serve as a black box in this case.
Black boxes are used to provide significant information about your ride using GPS. They are used to monitor and record how you drive. Black boxes record information like your speed, the distance covered, what location you were as at when, the time of your driving, etc.
Black boxes are also employed to recover vehicles in cases of theft and robbery.
Is It Legal for Rental Car Companies to Track You on the Road?
It is legal for rental car companies to track you on the road with your knowledge. Tracking customers without their permission violates privacy. It is illegal.
Most rental car companies track their cars to protect them from robbery, crash, or impairment. Rental cars are private properties, the ownership right belongs to them. This means they can do whatever they like with it.
Tracking your car on the road if they deem it fit is one of them. Customers must, however, be informed.
Also, the law allows car rental companies to keep tracking records for a certain period. Exceeding the time frame might be illegal or not. It will depend on the reason your rental car company is keeping your details longer.
To avoid being tracked, it is advisable to ask your rental car company questions regarding the issue. Clarify all doubts before agreeing to and signing any contract with them.
How Will You Know If You Have Been Tracked in a Rental Car?
To verify that you have been tracked, find the tracking device. Trackers can hide in any part of your rental car. Look out for sounds and signals to help you locate them.
Also, tracking devices need to be powered to perform their duties. They’re installed in areas with power supply in most cases. Search around the battery to find them.
Locating tracking devices might mean you have to dismantle your car. If you find a tracking device in your car, you have been tracked.
Disconnecting a tracking device from your rental car might be legal or illegal. This will depend on the contract you signed with your car rental company.
What Happens When You Speed in a Rental Car?
If you are caught breaking any of the speed limits, you will be penalized. It doesn’t matter who the car belongs to. The charges are made to the car driver and not the car owner.
However, most speeding caught by speed trackers will warrant fines made to your credit card. Rental car companies make sure of this if you use your card as a means of payment.
Some companies may not notify you before charging your card. In this situation, you may end up with an impromptu debit alert.
If not charged to your account, you will be required to pay via other means. The mode of payment is always either through cards or cash.
For a speeding fine issued on-site, make sure you settle it. You handle it and not your rental car company. Be advised to do the paperwork needed to make payment for the fine.
Failure to pay it may lead to suspension of your driving license. This kind of situation will mar your reputation with rental car companies.
A fine left unpaid will lead to an even more complicated case. In this situation, you may need a lawyer to back your case in court.