Hiding Small Tracking Devices In Your Vehicle

Hiding Small Tracking Devices In Your Vehicle

6 minute read

Listen to article
Audio is generated by DropInBlog's AI and may have slight pronunciation nuances. Learn more

Using small tracking devices is a great way to secure your property against theft. GPS tracking goes far beyond plotting dots on a map, it grants peace of mind and is an excellent analysis tool. Knowing the location of family members’ cars, fleet vehicles, or your personal car provides tremendous peace of mind and also some incredible practical benefits too. Before we dive into where and how to hide a GPS tracker in your car, let's first take a look at why you would want to start geo tracking your car in the first place.

Why hide a GPS tracker in your car?

There are some great reasons to hide a small tracking device on a vehicle you own:

  • To help law enforcement in case of theft.

  • Monitoring your vehicle if it is being used for work.

  • To reduce your insurance premium.

  • Finding your car if you have parked it in an unfamiliar area.

  • Keeping track of your family members including teenage children.

  • Finding out if your car has been towed or stolen.

  • To alert you when your car enters or leaves a designated area.

How to hook up a tracker 

How you hook up a small tracking devices depends on what type of tracker you use. Broadly speaking, the difference is in how the trackers are powered, battery operated or connected to a vehicle's power supply.

If you have ready and easy access to the interior of the car you want to track then you should stick to the latter because you can access the car's electronics and install a tracker that will never run out of battery or fall off the vehicle. 

Some trackers need very little effort to install. The Jetset tracker plugs straight into the OBD port which is usually right beside the driver’s leg. It is a plug socket that mechanics usually use to carry out engine diagnostics. You just plug in the GPS tracker and as soon as the car starts it will start transmitting, no further setup required. If you can’t find the OBD port on your car, have a look in the owner's manual or Google OBD port and the name of your car.

Other GPS trackers like the Commuter need to be wired directly into the car’s electrical system. One big advantage of this type of tracker is that they can be completely hidden from view so any thief will have no idea where the tracker is unless they completely dismantle parts of the car.

Speaking generally you should install the GPS tracker with the transmitter facing upwards. This direction is indicated in the user manual of most units. The user manual will also contain detailed installation instructions including a wiring diagram showing which wire should be connected to the live wires in your car. Be sure to disconnect the vehicle’s battery before you make any alterations to the wiring. 

This installation is certainly doable for the DIYer but if you don’t feel comfortable then you can take it to an auto electrician or AV installer and get them to hook it up for you!

The Outlander and Recon are completely self contained and have their own power supplies. This means they can be mounted anywhere on the car without all that messing about with wiring. You just need to charge up the battery before use.

Many of these battery powered units come with magnets to attach to the metallic parts of the underside of a car and are rugged enough to survive the water, stones and debris that can be kicked up by a car's tyres.

Where to hide a GPS tracker on a car?

When you are trying to decide where to hide a GPS tracker you are spoiled for choice. It all depends what type of tracker you have decided to go with.

Battery powered units are great because you don’t need to get inside the car to install them. You can stick them to the underside of a vehicle using magnets, velcro or even strong tape. Now while these gadgets are fairly robust, any technology is vulnerable if you put them through enough abuse. 

We would advise fitting these units to the steel bracing that holds on the bumpers in most cars. This keeps them out of the firing line for most of the stones and debris that get kicked up by a car's tyres. It is also easy to reach for quick install and retrieval while being very hard to spot unless you have the car lifted up on a ramp. Unless you know exactly where the tracker is it will be nearly impossible to find.

Hardwired trackers are even more difficult to find because they are actually hidden inside components in the car. Popular locations for these trackers are in the trunk, under the hood or behind the grill. These areas all have their advantages and disadvantages. Advantages in that it is very easy to install trackers in these areas. There is usually easy access to the wiring loom from these spots and it's easy to reach them. This ease of access makes it easier to spot the tracker or a wayward cable.

Which is why we recommend you install the tracker in the dashboard of the vehicle, away from the elements and from prying eyes. It takes a little bit more work, at a bit of an awkward angle but removing parts of the dashboard and putting the tracker in behind virtually guarantees that the tracker will never be found.

You will need to take out the radio using the special tools provided with the radio and remove either the glove compartment and surrounding plastic panels, or the dashboard under the steering wheel. Then attach the tracker securely to the inside of the dashboard using magnets, mounting tape or velcro, making sure that the tracker’s transmitter points up.

Wiring the unit in at this point can be a little tricky but keep a level head and you should manage it just fine. You will have to consult a wiring diagram for your particular car model but we recommend connecting the tracker to the constant live so the tracking unit is always transmitting. Again, if you don’t feel confident with electrical wiring then it is always a good idea to ask an expert.

Key Takeaways:

  • Where and how you install a tracking device on your vehicle depends what type of tracker you are going to use.

  • Battery powered trackers are used when you don’t have ready access to the inside of a vehicle and are best fixed behind the front or rear bumpers.

  • Hardwired trackers never need to be charged and are best placed inside the vehicle where there is access to the constant live wires, behind the dashboard is best.

  • If you have any questions or queries you can reach us using the contact us page or the live chat below.

« Back to Blog