Is It Illegal To Remove A GPS Tracking Device On A Car?

Last Updated on January 18, 2023 by Leepu Da Maxim

In most cases, it is perfectly legal to remove a GPS tracking device from a vehicle. However, this is illegal if there is a loan involved and a contract to fulfill. It is illegal when the GPS tracking device is a requirement to comply with an insurance company. 

Key Takeaways

  • If the GPS tracker is placed by a government agency or by the legal owner of the car then it will be illegal to remove the tracking device
  • If the GPS tracker is placed on the car without the owner’s consent then the car owner can remove the tracker
  • If you buy a new car and remove the GPS tracker by yourself then it could void the warranty

Removing A GPS Tracking Device In A Car – Legal And Illegal 

Removing A GPS Tracker From One’s Vehicle
It is perfectly legal to remove a GPS tracker from one’s vehicle when financing has been settled and when the insurance company does not impose it as a requirement.
Using A GPS Tracker In Someone Else’s Vehicle It is illegal to introduce a GPS tracker in a vehicle without the consent of the other person.

When a lender finances the purchase of a vehicle, the contract may include a requirement to maintain the GPS tracking device, removing the device is illegal in this case.
Insurance Company

The insurance contract with some insurance companies may include a requirement for a GPS tracking device, removing it voids the vehicle’s coverage.
Factory warrantyThe factory warranty of a vehicle may include a requirement to maintain the GPS tracking device, removing it voids the factory warranty.

How Do You Disable A GPS Tracker On A Car?

GPS trackers tend to be widely used on a wide variety of occasions. It is a navigation device that provides the exact location and speed of a certain person or object. Among all the available uses, GPS tracking devices are usually incorporated into many vehicles on different occasions.

So, first of all, it is necessary to know if a vehicle has a GPS tracking device installed. For many people, it can be a real nuisance. In other words, this means that other people can know the exact location of the driver and their vehicle. So, if a person is suspicious they can check the following places:

1. Dashboard: one of the most common places to be able to install a GPS tracking device is the dashboard of the vehicle. Therefore, it is the most recommended place to start looking for a GPS-tracking device. On many occasions, it is the perfect place, since it is within the reach of any person. So, installing a GPS tracking device in this place does not take much time.

2. Wheels: The wheels or the whole area around the wheels is another of the most common places because of its great accessibility. In general, the places to install a GPS tracking device should be hidden, but at the same time have great accessibility. The GPS tracking device should be attached to a non-moving part near the wheels of the vehicle.

3. Undercarriage: The undercarriage is often another location for those who do not want a GPS tracking device to be found. Here you will need to check the underside of the car along with a flashlight. Anyway, this place is the least likely place to install such a device due to the interference in the connection produced by all the metal of the vehicle.

4. Bumper: The bumper is also a very accessible area for those who have installed a GPS tracking device. Here, either the front bumper or the rear bumper may have been chosen. While performing the inspection at these locations, it is recommended not to interfere with the cables. Otherwise, this could disrupt the power supply to some important sensors of the car

Removing A GPS Locator In My Car, Legal Or Illegal?

Once you’ve detected the installation of a GPS tracking device in your vehicle, you should consider that it is not illegal to remove this device. In most cases, it is perfectly legal to remove the GPS tracking device from your vehicle. After all, it is your property and you can do whatever you want.

However, on a few occasions, it is somewhat illegal to remove the GPS tracking device from your vehicle. A very common situation is if you’ve needed financing and a lender to purchase your vehicle. Many lenders include as a requirement in the contract the inclusion of a GPS tracking device.

So, this is a technique that is widely used to prevent people from defaulting on the loan and permanently keeping the vehicle. So, if the contract states that the GPS tracking device must work at all times, removing it causes the person to breach the contract. Undoubtedly, this can have serious consequences for the vehicle owner.

Thus, once the loan is terminated and fully paid off the GPS tracking device can be removed. Another very common situation is what happens with insurance companies or factory warranties on the vehicle. In both situations, the coverage used by the insurance or warranty may require GPS tracker operation.

So, if the owner wishes to remove the GPS tracking device the car insurance coverage or the vehicle’s factory warranty could be voided. To avoid these inconveniences, it is recommended to keep the GPS tracking device active.

When the factory warranty expires, the vehicle owner can remove the GPS tracking device. Likewise, to avoid running out of insurance coverage for the vehicle, it is recommended to look for another insurance company. In this way, it is possible to get auto coverage that does not include as a requirement the inclusion of a GPS tracker in the car. 

How To Remove A GPS Locator

To successfully and permanently remove a GPS tracking device, it is necessary to follow some simple steps. Not many tools are required other than a trusty Swiss Army knife and some patience.

1. Finding The Device

As we have mentioned, the GPS tracking device can be found inside the vehicle or somewhere on the outside of the car. In particular, it is a small rectangular object that can be tricky to find. Also, many devices today are powered by built-in batteries. 

So, these devices do not necessarily need to be connected to your vehicle’s system. In any case, it is necessary to consider that the place of installation of this device must be accessible to everyone. A too-inaccessible place in the vehicle represents a greater difficulty for the installation. So, consider the easiest places to access.

2. Having A GPS Detector Device

This device is not usually well known by most people and yet it exists. It is a great electronic tool that can detect different electronic devices with some ease, including a GPS locator. In particular, this is a spy detector device that will allow you to make it easier to find the GPS tracking device.

If you do not have this device today there is a wide variety of units available online or in physical stores. So, if the task of finding the GPS tracking device is too difficult for you you can incorporate this tool to be able to continue. 

3. Using The Detector Device

Once you purchase your spy detector device you will need to start using it. After turning it on, you should perform a complete scan of your vehicle with this electronic tool. To have a strong and efficient signal, you must be within a radius of 5 meters. 

As soon as the spy detector device has located the GPS tracking device, you may hear a sound. In this case, you also can notice a blinking light from the GPS tracker. So, this makes it much easier to find the GPS tracking device. As you may notice this is the most difficult step to accomplish.

In case you do not have this spy-detecting device, you will need more patience and your common sense to the maximum. There are many places where a person could install a GPS tracking device without any problems. So, without this electronic tool, you need enough time to check your vehicle several times.

4. Performing More Than One Scan

Here, it is necessary to understand that a GPS tracking device does not transmit its signal without any interval. In particular, different GPS tracking devices have different performances. So, it could happen that with a single scan, your spy detector tool fails to find the GPS tracker.

In these cases, it may be more than enough to perform a second scan to find the GPS tracker faster. If necessary, it may also be useful to perform a third scan to definitively find the spy device. In general, two or three scans are usually enough to find this device. 

5. Removing The Device

Finally, you simply remove the GPS tracker that is installed in your vehicle. You can either remove the entire device or simply remove the batteries. Either of these two options is more than enough, as any electronic device needs batteries to function. Once you deactivate the GPS device, no one will be able to monitor it from now on.