What Cars Have GPS Tracking Built-In? An In-Depth Guide

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What Cars Have Gps Tracking Built In

Built-in GPS tracking has become a must-have feature in today’s connected cars. With real-time location monitoring, enhanced navigation, and stolen vehicle recovery, it’s no wonder that an increasing number of drivers are opting for vehicles equipped with this technology.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the world of built-in GPS tracking systems, highlighting their benefits, discussing privacy implications, and showcasing some of the top car models that offer this functionality.

Types of Built-in GPS Tracking Systems

Before diving into specific car models, let’s take a closer look at the two main types of GPS tracking systems found in vehicles:

  1. Active GPS Tracking: These systems transmit real-time location data, allowing for live tracking of the vehicle. They often require a subscription service and are commonly used by fleet managers and concerned parents. It’s worth noting that active GPS tracking is different from how AirTags work, as AirTags don’t have built-in GPS and rely on nearby Apple devices for location data.
  2. Passive GPS Tracking: Passive systems record location data internally, which can be downloaded and analyzed later. While they don’t provide real-time tracking, they are often more affordable and don’t require ongoing subscriptions.

Modern factory-installed GPS tracking systems come with an array of features, such as turn-by-turn navigation, real-time traffic updates, geofencing alerts, and even remote vehicle diagnostics.

Some advanced systems can also integrate with smartphone apps, enabling convenient access to tracking data and control over certain vehicle functions. For golfers, a GPS watch can provide similar location-tracking benefits on the course.

Top Car Models and Brands with Built-in GPS

Most major automakers offer built-in GPS tracking in at least some of their models. Here are a few standout examples across different market segments:

Luxury Segment Leaders

  • BMW – The iDrive system in most BMW models includes GPS tracking, real-time traffic info, and remote services.
  • Mercedes-Benz – COMAND navigation with GPS tracking is a standard feature on many Mercedes vehicles.
  • Tesla – All Tesla cars come with advanced GPS tracking, enabling features like Sentry Mode and Summon.
  • Ford – The SYNC infotainment system, available on most Ford vehicles, includes GPS navigation and tracking.
  • Honda – Honda’s Satellite-Linked Navigation comes with stolen vehicle tracking and 24/7 emergency assistance.
  • Toyota – Many Toyota models feature the Entune system with GPS tracking and roadside assistance.

Entry-Level Cars with GPS

  • Chevrolet – The MyLink infotainment system in many affordable Chevy models includes GPS navigation.
  • Hyundai – Hyundai’s Blue Link technology package offers GPS tracking and emergency support.
  • Nissan – NissanConnect, available on most Nissan vehicles, provides GPS tracking and remote access.

Aftermarket GPS Tracking Options

For car owners whose vehicles didn’t come with factory-installed GPS tracking, aftermarket solutions are available. Standalone GPS trackers from brands like Garmin, Verizon, and Bouncie can be easily installed and offer many of the same benefits as built-in systems. However, they may lack some of the integration and convenience of factory systems.

When choosing an aftermarket GPS tracker, consider factors such as ease of installation, subscription costs, and compatibility with your vehicle. Also, be sure to place the device in a hidden location, such as under the dashboard or behind a panel, to avoid detection by potential thieves.

Best Place to Hide the GPS in Your Car

Determining if Your Car Has Built-in GPS

If you’re unsure whether your car has built-in GPS tracking, there are a few simple ways to find out:

  1. Check the owner’s manual: Look for sections mentioning navigation, GPS, or telematics.
  2. Inspect the dashboard and infotainment system: Built-in GPS usually comes with a screen that displays maps and navigation info.
  3. Contact your car’s manufacturer or dealer: Provide your vehicle’s VIN or model information to get a definitive answer.

Key Benefits of Built-in GPS Tracking

Beyond just providing directions, built-in GPS tracking offers numerous advantages for drivers:

Features of Modern Built-in GPS Tracking Systems
  1. Enhanced navigation and convenience: Real-time traffic updates, points of interest, and dynamic rerouting make for a smoother driving experience.
  2. Improved vehicle security: With GPS tracking, stolen vehicles can be quickly located and recovered by law enforcement. However, it’s important to note that GPS tracking alone may not prevent someone from spying on your cell phone.
  3. Usage-based insurance discounts: Some insurers offer reduced rates for vehicles with GPS tracking, as it encourages safer driving habits.
  4. Fleet management: Businesses can use GPS tracking to optimize routes, monitor driver behavior, and reduce operational costs. Solutions like tracking a phone using IMEI for free or tracking a cell phone location online can also be useful for fleet managers.

Addressing Privacy Concerns

The idea of being constantly tracked by your vehicle may raise privacy concerns for some drivers. Automakers collect location data to improve their services and sometimes share it with third parties for marketing purposes. However, strict regulations are in place to protect consumer privacy, and automakers are required to obtain consent before collecting or sharing GPS data.

If you’re worried about your car’s GPS tracking, there are steps you can take to limit data collection, such as disabling location services in your infotainment system settings or opting out of data sharing programs.

Keep in mind, though, that doing so may impact the functionality of certain features like real-time traffic updates. It’s also worth noting that tracking a cell phone without the owner knowing may be illegal in some jurisdictions.

The Future of Built-in GPS Tracking

As vehicle technology continues to advance, built-in GPS tracking is poised to play an even larger role. Here are some exciting developments on the horizon:

Built-in GPS Tracking Enhances Safety
  1. Integration with autonomous vehicles: Precise GPS data will be crucial for self-driving cars to navigate safely and efficiently.
  2. Smart city infrastructure: Vehicle GPS data can help cities optimize traffic flow, reduce congestion, and improve public transportation.
  3. Personalized location-based services: Imagine your car recommending nearby restaurants based on your preferences or alerting you to deals at your favorite stores as you drive by.


Built-in GPS tracking has become an essential feature in modern cars, offering drivers a host of benefits from enhanced navigation to improved security. As the technology continues to evolve, it’s likely that even more innovative uses will emerge, transforming the way we interact with our vehicles and the world around us.

While privacy concerns surrounding GPS tracking are understandable, regulations and consumer protections are in place to ensure that driver data is collected and used responsibly. By staying informed and taking control of your privacy settings, you can enjoy the many benefits of GPS tracking while still maintaining peace of mind.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I add GPS tracking to my older vehicle? Yes, aftermarket GPS trackers can be installed in most vehicles, regardless of age or make.
  2. Do I have to pay a subscription fee for built-in GPS tracking? Some automakers include GPS tracking as part of a larger subscription package, while others offer it as a standard feature. Check with your vehicle’s manufacturer for specific details.
  3. Can I disable my car’s GPS tracking? In most cases, you can turn off location services through your infotainment system settings. However, this may impact certain features like real-time navigation and emergency assistance.
  4. How accurate is built-in GPS tracking? Modern GPS systems are highly accurate, typically pinpointing a vehicle’s location within a few meters. Factors like tall buildings and tunnels can temporarily impact accuracy.
  5. Can I track my vehicle’s location from my smartphone? Many automakers offer mobile apps that allow you to remotely access your vehicle’s GPS data, as well as control features like locking and unlocking the doors.

Ten years of experience in information and computer technology. Passionate about electronic devices, smartphones, computers, and modern technology.

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