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.
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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 zebra.com, 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 mymoto.com, 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.
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,
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.
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.
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.
What Is the Cost of GPS Tracking?
According to expertmarket.com, 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
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.
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.