Can a Car Be Tracked When Off?

Can a Car Be Tracked When Off?

Tracking your vehicle can be vital in unexpected situations such as theft, some vehicles are harvested for car parts, never to be seen again. So for someone with a car tracker, it’s vital to have an answer to the question ‘Can a car be tracked when off?’

At Car Specialist Customs, we are proud to offer a wide variety of options when it comes to making your car a unique expression of who you are, alongside security options that can protect your vehicle. We are excited to share with you the option of our vehicle trackers.

The UK automotive aftermarket industry is thriving, ranking fourth in Europe and ninth in the world in terms of size, and turning over an annual £21.1 billion.

The sector supports 345,600 jobs and contributes £12.2 billion each year to the economy. And it is growing: the sector’s value is set to rise to £28 billion by 2022.

What is used to track a vehicle?

Vehicles can be tracked through a device commonly known as a vehicle tracker or a GPS tracker. Vehicle trackers optimise the use of GPS in order to triangulate your position and leave a record of the journey taken by the vehicle with the tracker installed.

GPS stands for Global Positioning System, and as the name states, is a system that helps you understand your position on the globe (localised to wherever you are upon using it).

A GPS tracker is a small device, varying in shape and size depending on the brand and model you choose. These devices emit a signal which can allow you to view your vehicle’s location, through your phone or computer (this again varies with the brand and model you select.)

There are two types of trackers, monitored, in which location is shared live. And unmonitored, where location is stored on the device and viewable when the device is in the hands of its user.

Trackers can be installed within the vehicle so it is undetectable, whereas others may not need installing, its subjective to the brand and model you select.

Can a car be tracked when off?

Can a car be tracked when off?

This is dependent on the type of tracker you use. Most, if not all trackers operate by using the car’s battery/electrical system to power it. So for some models of car trackers, they will not track the location of the vehicle if it is off.

On the other hand, some models of car trackers have their own internal batteries that can operate independently without requiring the car to be on. Understandably the battery life will be limited, but in this instance, a car can be tracked if it is off.

Why would a car need to be tracked if its off?

This can prove to be valuable in instances in which someone ends up missing, as the tracker could help guide authorities to the last known location of the vehicle, hopefully making it easier to find the missing person.

A car being tracked whilst it is off can also be helpful in situations where the vehicle has been towed unexpectedly. Or for people who lease/hire vehicles to others. In instances where the vehicle has been somewhere it shouldn’t be, or has not returned when it should have been.

Where can I buy a vehicle tracker?

Car Specialist Customs is a trusted vendor of many brands of vehicle trackers. With our range varying from £250-£1500, you can be sure that we have every type of tracker you could need.

We have trackers that have one solitary function, to others that have an array of convenient extra features that will only help to give you peace of mind and improve your vehicle’s security.

The rules for tracking a vehicle

The rules for tracking a vehicle

There is no ruling against installing a tracking device to reassure the security of your car.

Complications may occur if you are renting or leasing a car, although you would be allowed a tracker that does not require any dismantling of the car to install. Be sure to speak to the provider prior to making any arrangements in regard to installing a tracker.

When it comes to vehicles that are not yours, if you have not been given permission to do so, you are not allowed to put a GPS tracker on a vehicle that is not yours. You can be subject to criminal charges if you are proven to be doing this to someone.

To avoid any possible complications, if you have been given permission by someone to track their vehicle, obtain the permission in writing, with the date along with the signature of the person who requested it.

What to do if someone tracks your vehicle without permission

This is a serious offence, so make sure you have proof of this beforehand. The best proof of having your vehicle tracked can come in the form of finding the tracker in your vehicle. Alternatively, having evidence of someone applying the tracker to your car can also be considered proof.

If you are renting or leasing a vehicle, and the provider hasn’t stated the vehicles are tracked either during conversation or within the paperwork, you are within your rights to launch a formal complaint.

Though it is understandable as to why rented/leased vehicles would require trackers, if this is done without the driver’s knowledge, it can be seen as spying/ breaching data protection.

There are devices available that can help you detect whether or not your car has a tracker on it. There are manual methods of finding out, here are some helpful tips.

Signs of a tracker in your vehicle:

  • A small box or rectangle (usually with wires coming from it)
  • Any abnormalities in or outside your car
  • Wiring that you can physically see

Where to find a tracker in your vehicle:

  • In the wheel-well of your car
  • Around your front and back bumpers
  • Any crevice or space outside car that is not subject to heat or direct weather.
  • In and around the dashboard, including the glove compartment
  • Underneath, behind and on the sides of seats
  • In your boot and in the spare tire storage.

Order a vehicle tracker today

Order a vehicle tracker today

Our team members at Car Specialist Customs are extremely passionate and proud of the multiple services and products we provide for the people of Greater Manchester and beyond.

As a fully insured and approved installer, catering to the needs of vehicle owners of Greater Manchester and beyond, we are proud to let you know that we offer services for the following:



Featuring the brands, Pandora, ScorpionTrak, Meta Trak & SmarTrack, we’ve included affordable, and premium products to suit the needs of our customers. With finance options available, and the option of installation, head to our website to get your quote!

We always will go above expectations to make your car feel special to you. With even more services and options becoming available in the future, Car Specialist Customs is the home of making any car unique, secure and special.

See what we can do for you today, we aim to have provided what you need to know before considering purchasing a vehicle tracker.

We hope to have answered the question ‘Can a car be tracked when off?’ whilst providing supplementary information that can help you make an informed choice when it comes to investing in security systems for your vehicle.

Want to get in touch? You can find us here:


Unit 30

Caldershaw Centre

Ings Ln


OL12 7LQ


Monday – Wednesday – 10 AM – 7 PM

Thursday – Closed

Friday – Sunday – 11 AM – 7 PM


07523 971347 (Mon – Fri: 8:30 am – 6:00 pm)


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