You’ve fallen behind on your payments, and you know it’s only a matter of time before the repo man comes. Your next thought might be to try and evade him, but first you need to know:
Exactly How does the repo man find your car? I created the following visual table to help you answer this question:
|Information from Lender
|Details like home/work address, references, car make/model/VIN given to repo agents
|Checking locations owner frequents like home, workplace, gym; following car when spotted
|Dealers install devices allowing real-time location monitoring
|License Plate Scanning
|Cameras mounted on repo vehicles to automatically scan nearby plates
|Databases with registration info, parking violations used to aid searches
|Keep payments current, maintain insurance, ask lender about alternatives, voluntary surrender
Read on below, and I will teach you exactly how repo men might try to find your car.
Relevant Articles To Read:
- The Complete Guide to Car Repossession
- Can a Repo Man Enter a Gated Community
- Car Repossession Laws By State
- What Time Do Repo Men Usually Come
- Can A Repo Man Move Another Car To Get to Yours
- How Much Are Repossession Fees
Table of Contents
1. Information Provided by Lenders
When auto lenders hire repossession companies to take back a car, they provide:
- The owner’s name, home/work addresses, and personal references
- Specific car details – make, model, year, color, VIN
With this data, agents can more easily ID vehicles and have a starting point for locating them.
2. Physical Searching Methods
Common searching tactics repo men use:
- Checking home and work parking lots/neighborhoods
- Following targets once spotted driving to track to other locations
- Staking out places the debtor frequents – gym, restaurants, stores
Agents know all the hiding tricks and will expand search areas. Many have years of recovery experience.
3. Technology Tools for Tracking & Identification
- GPS trackers: Dealers often install these tracking devices allowing real-time location viewing
- License plate cameras: Mounted on repo vehicle dashboards scanning nearby plates
- Public databases: Contain vehicle registration details, parking violations, tow records
This equipment and data help agents precisely identify target vehicles.
Legal Limitations on Repossession Practices
While relentless in car searches, some actions are off-limits:
- No trespassing onto private property
- No harassing, threatening, or using physical force
- Can only repossess if parked on public property
But agents use hands-on measures like tow trucks to seize vehicles swiftly in permitted scenarios.
Preventing Vehicle Repossession
To avoid repossession:
- Stay current on payments
- Maintain insurance requirements
- Seek alternative repayment options from lender if facing hardship
- Voluntarily surrender vehicle as last resort
Even hiding a vehicle briefly only delays recovery agents who will eventually locate it using this array of hi-tech tracking and traditional surveillance tactics.
But proactive loan management keeps payments on schedule and cars protected.
- Repo agents get owner and vehicle details from lenders to aid in identification
- Physical surveillance like home stakeouts help locate parked vehicles
- High-tech tools include GPS trackers and license plate scanning cameras
- Public records provide additional personal data to track owners
- Hiding briefly delays repossession but most cars eventually get found