Leasing companies are companies with a fleet of cars available for lease deals. The deals often involve strict agreements, monthly payments, added costs, added benefits, amongst other things.
One of the major risk factors in the leasing business is the cold fact that companies hand out their fresh cars to people for a couple of years and more. They basically trust that there won’t be any serious damage to their cars while the lease stands.
Hence, there have been speculations about whether leasing companies track their cars to keep tabs on them.
In this article, we will be examining this and concluding on whether the speculation is true or not.
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Here’s the Short Answer to Whether Leasing Companies Track Cars With GPS:
Most leasing companies only install tracking devices on leased cars with the consent of the customer. It would be legally untenable and morally reprehensible for them to do that without consent. If you find out you’re being tracked without your consent, raise the issue with the dealer.
Does My Leasing Company Know Where I Drive?
Leasing companies are typically not concerned with wherever you choose to drive your car. Lease deals give you a bit of independent ownership, which means you choose where you want to go, when you want.
However, you must keep in mind that your lease agreement has a mileage limit that you cannot exceed. Most mileage limits are between 12,000-15,000 miles, so you might just want to watch where you take the car to.
So, while leasing companies will not keep tabs on your movements, you should, so as not to flout the mileage limit and face unpleasant penalties.
Do Leasing Cars Have Other Forms of Tracking Devices?
Apart from GPS tracking devices, most car leasing companies often have satellite and navigation assistance packages. So, if they need to track any of their cars down, they just put a call through to the service center and it will be done.
So, even if your leasing agreement waives a GPS unit installation, the leasing company can still track you when they need to.
Is It Legal for Leasing Companies to Use GPS Tracking?
The legality of using GPS trackers has always been a subject of controversy. Below are the positions of the U.S. law about GPS tracking, according to Brick House Security:
- You can track a vehicle if you own said vehicle
- You can track a vehicle if your under-18 children are the subjects
- You can track a vehicle for due repossession in cases of payment defaults
Based on the three points above, the leasing companies can absolutely track leased cars legally. The first reason is because the car actually belongs to them for as long as the lease lasts.
Also, the law backs them to track their leased cars if a customer defaults on the monthly payment of any other fee.
This is the position of the law in the United Kingdom as well. Car leasing companies in the U.K. can also install trackers on leased cars with the signed consent of the customer.
Summarily, the legality of the use of trackers by leasing companies ultimately lies in the fact that they own the cars.
Below are some reasons why leasing companies use tracking devices on their cars:
- Discouragement of illegal and careless usage
- Quick recovery of stolen and missing cars
- Repossession in the event of payment defaults
- Effectiveness of roadside assistance after road mishaps
Do Leasing Companies Really Care What I Use the Car for?
Leasing companies absolutely care what you use the car for. That’s because they want their leased cars in great shape after the lease expires.
Most leasing companies provide maintenance packages covering repairs and replacements of car parts. In the agreements, they often caution against rough and careless driving that might increase the level of wear and tear on the car.
This is not to say that they would spy on your every move and constantly call you to ask what you are doing with the car.
They care because they need the car back in great shape and you know what? You should too or you’ll be at risk of huge penalties if you return a badly shaped car.
Can You Drive Too Far Away in a Leasing Car?
Truth is, when you have a leased car in your care, you can drive wherever you want. However, you must always remember there is an annual mileage limit that you cannot afford to cross. So, driving too far away in a leasing car is really not in your best interests.
Also, most leasing companies frown against driving the cars outside the country border and they put it right there in the agreement.
If you feel you are already going too far, check your odometer to be sure you are not on track to breach the mileage agreement.
However, we understand that there are times where it is absolutely necessary to drive very far. In such cases, you could contact the leasing company for a mileage extension and negotiate a reasonable markup.
Another alternative is renting a car for such long-driving purposes. You could also get a ride from friends and family or use the public transportation systems if you don’t mind.