The Most Effective Ways To Keep Track Of Your Vehicle

October 29, 2021

Automobiles are like any other possession: try as hard as you can, you will end up losing it from time to time. Yes, losing a vehicle is difficult, but it still happens. Events such as theft, natural disasters, or even poor memory can end up separating you from you much-needed ride. When that happens, there are a variety of ways to track your vehicle down. Can’t find your car? Check out our guide on the most effective ways to track your vehicle.

Keep All Your Important Documentation


Sometimes, you will need outside help to find your vehicle. Keeping track of the documentation associated with your vehicle, including the title, registration, insurance, and service records, will ensure you can legally and easily claim your vehicle when it is eventually found. Poor record-keeping and failure to keep track of such important details as the car’s unique Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) could hinder your ability to prove that the car is yours.

Memorize Your License Plate And VIN


When people describe a car, the first things they list are make, model, and color. In a large parking lot, there are likely to be at least one, if not many, car or cars in the lot that match the description of your vehicle. Memorizing your car’s distinguishing identification numbers can go a long way to finding your car quickly - for you or other searchers. The license plate can be easily seen without needing to open the vehicle, and the VIN will give incontrovertible proof of the car’s identity.

Personalize Your Car


Most people drive later-model vehicles in a fairly limited number of options for size, shape, and color. This can mean that if your 2006 silver Honda CR-V has nothing to distinguish it visually from the seven other decade-old or newer CR-Vs in the lot, you’re going to have a hard time finding your vehicle. Simple decals can be stuck on glass (never paint!) or magnets on the body to display your interests and distinguish your vehicle from the herd.

Take A Picture Every Time You Park


Many people report cars as stolen only to find out that they merely forgot where they parked. To help your future self remember where you parked, take a picture every single time you park it. You can simply delete the picture the next time you park and take a new one. If your car does get stolen, the picture might help police and will certainly help you argue against help insurance companies if your car gets damaged and you need to make a claim.

Always Park In Well-Lit, High-Traffic Areas


Car thieves don’t like to get caught. Most cars that get stolen tend to get taken from empty parking lots or garages, which are safe places for thieves to break into your car. Even if it means walking farther, try to park near other cars and in areas that have a lot of foot traffic. If you can, park in a place that will remain lit by the sun or streetlights to avoid making it an easy target.

Always Lock The Doors


Car theft: everyone always thinks “it can’t happen to me,” until it does. What’s the easiest way to lower your risk of car theft? Lock your doors. While this sounds like a no-brainer, police are always shocked at how many car theft victims became that way through leaving their cars unlocked. No matter how safe you might think an area might be, remember you never know who might be passing through. Even at home, lock your doors - many cars are stolen directly out of driveways.

Don’t Keep Anything Expensive Or Irreplaceable In Your Car


Police and other law enforcement always instruct the public not to leave valuables in vehicles, but it happens anyway. Leaving expensive items in your car is a sure way to get the attention of car thieves or burglars. Storing valuables in your car is also a bad idea if you live in areas prone to flooding or other natural disasters. Remember, your car is not an extension of your house. Use it as transportation and leave the nice things at home.

Mobile Tracking Apps


Since mobile phones have a built in GPS unit, they are ideal for use as vehicle trackers. However, that means you have to leave your phone in your car, powered on, at all times. An easy solution to use a mobile phone as a vehicle tracker is to buy a cheap prepaid phone equipped with GPS. Place a minimum amount of data on the phone’s account, download free phone tracking apps, and you’ve got a DIY vehicle tracker.

Radio Frequency Trackers


While GPS is all the rage today in location technologies, radio frequencies remain a viable and more affordable option. Radio frequency, or RF transmitters are small and energy efficient, making them perfect for stashing in a dark place in a car. Because radio waves travel for such long distances, they are perfect for long-distance vehicle tracking. Several RF vehicle trackers with great brand reputation have been on the market for decades and can be found at most auto parts stores.

GPS Tracking Systems


GPS systems aren’t just for directions anymore. A wide variety of GPS systems are on the auto accessories market that allow users to keep tabs on their car’s location at all times. These systems work by placing a small GPS transmitter in an inconspicuous place on your car, like under the truck door or in a wheel well. These transmitters are powered by the car’s battery and send a GPS location every few seconds, allowing users to track their cars using mobile apps or web browsers.