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Do Car Trackers Work Without The Internet?

Do Car Trackers Work Without The Internet?

Sensible drivers, especially but not exclusively those with prestige cars, have taken the fight to car thieves by fitting vehicle tracking devices. Most car trackers offer European and even global coverage so, if in the worst case scenario a car is stolen for export, it can still be recovered, even from overseas. It’s an established fact that car insurance providers love car tracking devices and both they and most car makers recommend them. But in this troubled world so dependent upon electronic communication, do car trackers work without the internet?

The Importance Of The Internet

We take the Internet for granted, not really considering any more the depth and breadth of the achievement originally. It is now as much a part of our lives as television. Around the world billions upon billions of electronic devices are inter-connected by this virtual web. For better or worse, we can access all the information we could possibly want but what happens if this global machine stops? It’s fair to say that for a while at least chaos would reign. As far as our cars are concerned they would no longer be connected to the outside world and may be vulnerable to thieves if car trackers depend on an internet connection.

Do Car Trackers Work Without The Internet?

Consider first what we generally mean when we say ‘internet’. It’s the technology we access when we use a browser on our computers, pads and smartphones. From there we find information or entertainment, possibly downloading content in the form of data to our devices. We use it for work and leisure. It’s an everyday thing. 

To answer the question, yes, tracking devices do require a data connection but not in the sense of how the Internet is described above. Like our phones and satellite navigation in our vehicles, car tracking devices use GPS technology.


Developed originally for military purposes in the latter part of the 20th Century but now available to all, the Global Positioning System utilises a network of satellites to locate a signal somewhere on the surface of the planet. Like the internet, GPS is a remarkable thing. 

A vehicle fitted with a car tracker can be located to within a few metres in real time despite there being millions of GPS devices in use at any one time. The tracking device emits a signal if a vehicle is tampered with or stolen, which is picked up by up to 8 satellites and the position is plotted accordingly by a 24/7 ground-based station that is a feature of all subscription-based car tracking units. This information is passed immediately to the car owner who can take instant action and inform the police. 

Some car trackers also include a GSM (global system for mobiles) and a VHF signal which cannot be jammed by car thieves. In this way all bases are covered. A car tracker may not prevent a car being stolen but it will certainly aid swift recovery as the UK Police have proved over time.


Good vehicle tracking devices come with a smartphone app that allows the owner to locate or watch over a vehicle at any time and through which tamper alerts or any tracking activity can be monitored. Tracker buyers who choose not to go the subscription-based route would need this app since they have sole responsibility for tracking and may not notice if the vehicle is taken until hours later. Taking out a subscription means that the vehicle is monitored full time and any incident can be relayed to the owner instantly.

So, in the sense that where there is a wi-fi connection via the SIM card in the handset the app will engage with the internet, it isn’t essential since the app again uses mobile technology.

The Benefits Of Fitting A Car Tracking Device

Where the internet does come into its own is for sourcing the right tracker for your vehicle. That’s how we find the things we want these days. By browsing online for a car tracker supplier with a proven, trusted record, then first-hand advice can be sought as to the best car tracker for your needs. Whether it is for a Range Rover or an agricultural vehicle there’s a suitable tracker unit available. Using a subscription service, backed up by an app, is the way to go.

The benefits of a GPS car tracker and internet connection mean no matter where the owner is, the location of the vehicle is known. Any tricks of the illicit trade in cars that are used by car thieves will be noticed and relayed by the tracker. One recommended device is the SmarTrack™ Trident unit which is designated with the Thatcham certified S7 rating. This comes with UK 24/7 monitoring and, importantly, a comprehensively detailed app; great for protecting prestige vehicles like Jaguar cars.

The Internet And Car Theft

The Internet and the technology surrounding it has its advantages and disadvantages. Thanks to globally harvested information much is known about all of us and privacy is not so easily protected, helping to make criminals lives easier. On the plus side, it works in our favour as all we need to know about protecting our property is available online. 

We value our leisure time and the theft of a car can impact on us very badly. Thankfully we can take steps to protecting our car by following basic rules. Use a locked garage if available or park in a well-lit area. Make sure the car is properly locked when leaving it, don’t just click and walk away. 

Fit a car tracker. There’s a wide selection at prices to suit most pockets and, taken against the high cost of motoring, the additional expense isn’t so bad. Your car insurance company will be pleased too. The Internet does play a part in car security but the best defence against car crime is our own common sense.

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