Being out and about, at the beach or on a sports ground let's say and losing a personal item, can be a frustration and a worry. Even misplacing a set of car keys can cause panic because it always happens when on a schedule. That’s life. It’s bad enough to lose small items, but what if it is an entire car? Now that is inconvenient, which is why a product called AirTag from a famous brand that sells personal electronic items may come in handy. Many already own this product and may well wonder, in the event of car theft, ‘can I use an AirTag to track my car’?
What Is AirTag?
It’s a small Bluetooth-enabled, battery operated device about the size of a largish coin. Attach one to a keyring or place one in a handbag or wallet and its whereabouts can be tracked using an iPhone app to which the AirTag is registered. It’s a great and very inexpensive idea, especially for folk who regularly lose personal bits and pieces. Well, a car is a pretty expensive personal item and one that we can ill afford to lose, especially when car theft is such big business.
Can I Use AirTag To Track My Car?
Well, in theory and practice, yes, you can. There are however some rather important caveats to using one as a car tracker. Keyless car theft is a major problem these days and car criminals use very sophisticated technology to make light work of locks and security on cars, even from your own driveway.
Hide an AirTag somewhere in the car, under a seat maybe, and the tag will transmit its location to your smartphone via the iPhone AirTag app. The device does not however have a long-range and a stolen car can be many miles away in minutes. For this reason, if an AirTag is a long way away, a ‘Lost’ mode can be selected on the owner’s device and it engages with other iPhones near to the vehicle to transmit the signal back but therein lies a problem.
The thief may unwittingly have an iPhone in a pocket that can transmit data back to the owner’s phone but not everyone uses that brand so the AirTag in your car would only transmit its location intermittently if no other iPhones are nearby. Furthermore, car thieves are well aware of this idea and may swiftly locate the AirTag. Similar devices are now available for Android phones, although the same issues apply.
An early concern was that AirTags could be used to stalk an individual or indeed locate a car. A tag could be placed into another’s bag, pocket or vehicle and that person’s location would be known to a criminal. This loophole was to an extent covered by a fix that notified the target person if an illicit nomad AirTag was in constant proximity. Eventually the tag will sound an alarm. The problem is that this won’t happen for between 24 and 72 hours and in that time your beloved motor could be long gone.
Real Time Car Trackers Are The Answer
The principal problem with a Bluetooth AirTag car tracker then is one of consistency. If the stolen car isn’t near an iPhone then the signal is lost and thus the location is not constantly updated. That isn’t the case for professionally installed GPS car trackers.
One UK police force this year reported that they have discovered AirTags in abandoned stolen high-end cars which is a good indication that car thieves are well aware of these devices and that stronger measures need to be taken.
How GPS Car Trackers Work
GPS (Global Positioning System) trackers are portable devices professionally hidden inside a vehicle that allow vehicle owners to monitor and track their cars in real time. Real-time GPS car trackers can provide instantaneous speed and location data, enabling the police to track a stolen car from the outset. It works too, as literally thousands of vehicles are recovered every year in this way.
But Aren’t They Expensive?
The fact is, although useful, products like AirTags are cheap to buy and the old maxim that you get what you pay for applies.
GPS vehicle trackers can certainly be more costly however there are a wide range of quality products that suit different budgets so it’s not nearly so much of a financial burden as it may seem, especially as car insurance providers may well show their appreciation of such owner diligence by way of cheaper premiums. Some devices can be purchased outright while others can be on a subscription basis.
Some car trackers are specifically recommended by car manufacturers too: The ScorpionTrack S7 for example is recommended by Aston Martin and is a device that offers the whole gamut of car protection. This device is also recognised by insurers as well as being certified by Thatcham Research, the leader in car security.
Utilising the in-built movement detection sensors, this specific car tracking device offers a multi-faceted GPS tracking feature, one that protects against even the most determined and high-tech criminals. The S7 is even suitable for agricultural vehicles (very popular with rural thieves these days) and best of all, if you change vehicles the tracker can be transferred to the next car.
AirTags Are Useful, But Aren't The Ideal Car Tracker
We live in a truly technologically advanced society these days with electronic devices unheard of even ten years ago. Science has transformed our lives for the better by and large but the same can also be said for the criminal fraternity which has taken full advantage of the dark side of technology. Car theft is now a global industry and as fast as car makers update security in their products so the crooks keep pace. The AirTag is undoubtedly a product that helps in many ways with lost small items, but for cars? It's not the best or most reliable way. That’s why the importance of a GPS car tracker for both mainstream and premium vehicles is pretty much a must-have addition to your car.