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How does vehicle tracking work?

man driving in car If your vehicle is stolen, we know you want it back as soon as possible. Of course, the key to getting it back is knowing where it is and this is where a vehicle tracker comes in. But, how does something so small work so effectively? Here’s everything you need to know about how vehicle tracking works.

What is vehicle tracking?

Quite simply, it’s the ability to track a vehicle. If you don’t know where your car is, the tracker - a small security device concealed on your car - will emit a signal which will tell us where your car is.  

How does the vehicle tracker work

Once you are aware that your vehicle has been stolen, you need to immediately call the police and get a Crime Reference Number from them and then call us. We can only act once we have the crime reference number as this ensures your personal security and makes sure that someone is not asking to track your vehicle who is not you.

While your tracker may have been in place for some time, we’ll only switch it on and activate the signal once we need to do so. When switched on, the transmitter starts to emit a signal which our satellites then pick up, and this shows us the cars location on a map.

How does the tracker use GPS?

Unlike with your mobile phone signal – which can be notoriously unpredictable - the Very High Frequency (VHF) technology we use doesn’t just utilise GPS signal. VHF are the first wavelengths at which it is possible to transmit and receive using small antennas – so it’s perfect for small, concealed trackers.

VHF technology transmits signals over long distances and can travel through substances like bricks, concrete and steel which aids location of concealed vehicles and is effective at finding even those hidden in shipping containers, lock-ups or underground car parks where GPS tracking can struggle.

Will it still work if my vehicle has been taken out of the country?

Yes, if you choose to do so, you can include European coverage which is realistically as far as anyone will get before you notice your car is missing so we will be confident to recover your vehicle even if it’s been taken out of the country.

What happens once my vehicle has been tracked?

We will tell you the location and you should inform the police that you know where the vehicle is. If you have signed up for the Guard and Recover scheme that we offer, TRACKER will arrange for a uniformed guard to stay with the vehicle until the recovery company arrives to pick it up and return it to you anywhere in mainland Great Britain. 

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