Can Rental Companies Use Tracking Devices?

by William Adkins ; Updated July 27, 2017
Rental companies can use tracking devices to follow you wherever you go.

Global positioning systems, map displays and other navigation tools are helpful when you are traveling, but the technology allows a rental car company to track your every move. Rental car companies can write this into the contract and add restrictions and penalties if tracking devices detect a violation. It’s legal because you consent by signing the rental contract.

What Tracking Means for You

A GPS can be a lifesaver by allowing help to locate you and reach you quickly. For rental car companies, tracking devices are also useful. For example, if a customer doesn’t return a car, a GPS can locate the vehicle quickly can save the rental company time and money. Some rental companies use the technology to monitor your travel. Tracking devices can tell if you break the speed limit or travel beyond geographical limits. You could be hit with stiff penalties for these violations. Some rental companies disclose their tracking policies. For example, you might see a sign at the front desk notifying customers that tracking devices are used. Other companies simply write this policy into the small print of the rental contract. Smaller rental companies may be more likely to monitor customers. Read the contract terms before you sign and ask questions so you know if you will be monitored.

About the Author

Based in Atlanta, Georgia, W D Adkins has been writing professionally since 2008. He writes about business, personal finance and careers. Adkins holds master's degrees in history and sociology from Georgia State University. He became a member of the Society of Professional Journalists in 2009.

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