The downsides to tracking a car with an Apple AirTag

Using an Apple AirTag to track your car beats allowing a thief to steal your ride. However, it isn’t a perfect deterrent.

Small, affordable trackers like the Apple AirTag or Tile can aid authorities in finding your stolen vehicle. However, before you throw an AirTag in your sedan or SUV and call it a day, you should consider a few of the downsides to using an AirTag or similar tracking device to keep tabs on your car.

Your Apple AirTag might not be the best option for tracking your car

Sure, an Apple AirTag is much better than nothing. However, the inexpensive little trackers aren’t perfect. There are a few ways a more traditional GPS tracker could be much better for keeping tabs on your ride.

You can’t see location history in the same way as a dedicated GPS tracker
Notifications could alert a thief to the presence of an AirTag
Rural areas could render the AirTag useless

Unfortunately, your AirTag won’t report its history in the same way that a plug-in or hard-wired GPS tracker will. For instance, a Bouncie OBD-port tracker will store route histories until the owner deletes them. That’s helpful for a court case detailing the specifics of a crime.

Of course, an OBD port tracker is obvious; your vehicle typically has one port, and an OBD tracker won’t evade a seasoned car thief. On the other hand, you can hide a battery-operated mini tracker in your vehicle without a thief noticing it.

What’s more, Apple AirTags will notify iPhone users of the presence of a tracker. Granted, the notifications are necessary given the felonious possibilities of using a tracker to keep tabs on a person. However, if your would-be car thief gets a push notification, they may locate and dispose of your tracker.

What’s more, if they can’t locate the tracker, they may abandon the theft. While that’s preferable to losing your vehicle permanently, the thief may escape. Ideally, a tracker would lead to your vehicle’s return and the thief’s arrest.

Finally, Apple AirTags “sends out a secure Bluetooth signal that can be detected by nearby devices in the Find My network,” per Apple. However, that means drivers in rural areas will have fewer Apple devices to bounce signals to and from the AirTag. As a result, you won’t get as accurate a location for your vehicle.

Beyond function, an Apple AirTag won’t decrease your insurance premium any. However, a dedicated GPS tracker could lower your insurance rates. Ultimately, we recommend using an AirTag to supplement a dedicated vehicle tracker.

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