Can You Track Your Car If It’s Stolen?

When you buy a new car, whether a brand new one or a used one, there are important actions you should take immediately.

One of them is to install a security/tracking system (if the car doesn’t come with a built-in one), and another is to secure insurance coverage. Well, even if not a new car, you should install a tracker on any car you own and have a coverage plan.

These two prerequisite actions will save you a lot, just in case you drive out of the dealership and the “new” car gets crashed or stolen.

Can you track your car if it’s stolen? Apparently, yes, you can. If you have installed a security system in your vehicle, you can easily track it down when it gets stolen. This article delves deep into how you can regain your stolen car.

Can You Track Your Car if It’s Stolen?

The simple answer is YES, and there are quite different ways to go about that. Every car comes with a unique VIN/chassis number, which can be used to track the car to an extent.

More so, there are many advanced car security systems that make vehicle tracking much easier than ever – by installing such systems, tracking your car when it’s stolen is pretty seamless.

How To Track A Stolen Car

1. Using GPS Tracking Systems

GPS (Global Positioning System) tracking systems are used to track virtually anything you hold of high value. To locate your stolen car using a GPS tracker, you definitely should have installed the GPS device before the theft.

There are various types of GPS devices offered by different brands, including notable brands like Lojack. 

Depending on the type of tracking device you installed on the car, you can access the car’s location in real-time. This means you can monitor where the car hijacker is taking your car at each point in time.

Typically, car tracking devices have a mobile app or web client portal where you can access the information you need. 

Tracking devices can be installed in many hidden places, including inside the hood (around the car’s battery). This is to ensure that the thief doesn’t easily spot the device and remove/damage it, therefore limiting your possibilities of tracking the vehicle. 

2. Integrated Security Systems

Quite similar to GPS devices but more advanced and feature-rich. Integrated security systems comprise tracking devices, alarm systems, and other handy security technologies that help to protect your car against theft.

Some of these integrated solutions come with features like stolen vehicle recovery assistance and automatic emergency notification. 

When you install this system, you can force your car to stop driving by triggering the respective command via the system’s mobile app or web client.

Some integrated security systems will allow you the privilege to contact the OEM directly and let them do the tracking from their end for more efficiency.

3. Using the Car’s VIN Number

Got no tracker installed on the vehicle before the theft? No problem, there’s still a way around. With your car’s VIN, you can narrow down your search and find the stolen car easily.

No two vehicles have the exact VIN, and the numbers cannot be changed. Every critical service done on your car will be available in the VIN record.

VIN stands for Vehicle Identification Number. When you look up a car’s VIN, it shows you every important information regarding the vehicle, including details of the last place the vehicle was serviced. With the information you get from VIN lookups, you can streamline your search to a county/state for the stolen car.

4. Vehicle Immobilization Systems:

Vehicle immobilization systems work similarly to GPS devices, and they help in checkmating car theft.

More so, some of these systems can allow you to stop your car’s engine remotely. So, if your car gets stolen, you can stop the engine remotely, and no one will be able to get the car moving again.

Vehicle immobilization systems can stop a car’s engine from running because they integrate with the car’s computer central (ECU/PCM), which makes the car move. When you finally recover the car, you can unlock the engine via the VIS backend and start the car normally. 

5. Collaborative Efforts with Law Enforcement

You can report the stolen car to the Police department and other relevant law enforcement departments in your state.

In this case, you’d be requested to provide proof of ownership of the vehicle – you have to submit all requested documents. If you have insurance coverage, contact your issuer and see if they can be of any help.


So, can you track your car if it’s stolen? Yes, you can, but you ought to have installed a tracking device or system in the car prior to the theft.

If no security system was installed in the car before it was stolen (or maybe the thief found where you installed the security system and removed it), then you should contact the law enforcement departments in your state to help out. 


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