Over the last several years, more and more BHPH car dealers have turned to GPS tracking devices in order to facilitate vehicle recovery in the event of non-payment. The prevalence of these devices was given a further boost by the down economy, in which dealers were struggling to stay profitable with so many more customers defaulted on their payments. Although perceived by dealers and financiers as an essential tool, the GPS tracking trend has led, in turn, to worries on the part of some consumers as to whether GPS tracking of this kind is an invasion of privacy.
Of course, the titled to any vehicle being financed is owned by a buy here pay here dealer or auto finance company who funded the loan until it has been paid off, so dealers and financiers do have the right to track the location of their assets. However, that doesn’t necessarily provide comfort to Joe The Consumer, especially in the USA where freedom and independence are so highly valued. But there is another small detail which may set many minds at ease: the fact that the majority of GPS tracking devices remain inactive unless a buyer defaults on his or her payments. So dealers are not sitting around “big-brothering” their clients. On the contrary, in many instances the dealer must pay a hefty charge just to activate the device, so they only do so when absolutely necessary – as in when a vehicle must be repossessed.