Looking for car on phone tracking app

How to track your car

Last updated December 1st, 2023

It’s a scenario that’s probably all too familiar: wandering aimlessly around a car park, keys in hand but with no idea where you parked your car. You might even wonder if your car has been stolen.

Fortunately, there’s a solution available that can save you a good deal of time and stress. By tracking your car using a dedicated device or app, you can easily identify its location at any time. What’s more, tracking your motor can even help you save money on your car insurance.

In this guide, we will cover the various methods for tracking your vehicle, such as by using apps – or a GPS tracking device.

Value your car in under 30 seconds

Using Google Maps

Google Maps is more than a navigation tool – it also allows you to keep track of where your car is parked. Although the methods for setting up this feature differ slightly between the iOS and Android versions, both are very straightforward:

iOS version

  • Once you’ve parked your vehicle, simply open the app and hold the blue icon representing your current location.
  • This will drop a red pin on your parking spot and bring up a menu tab with the title ‘Dropped pin’.
  • Swipe the menu upwards to expand it, then tap the three dots in the top right corner and tap ‘Set as parking location’.
  • This will save your car’s location as a destination on the map, which you can navigate to when you wish to return to your vehicle.

Android version

The Android version has two additional vehicle tracking tools:

  • You can view your GPS history within the ‘Your Timeline’ section of the app. This allows you to view directions to the last destination detected by your GPS.
  • You can also add parking notes to destinations, allowing you to record details about your parking spot. (This is particularly helpful when parking in multi-storey or highly populated car parks.) Once you’ve saved the location of your parking spot, you can add notes about your surroundings or position within the car park to make it easier to track down your car when you return.

Using Apple Maps

iOS users can also use the built-in Apple Maps app to track their car.

  • To do this, you’ll need to enable ‘Significant Locations’, which can be found within the ‘Location Services’ section of your phone’s Privacy & Security settings.
  • Scroll down to Apple Maps on your General Settings screen. From here, you’ll be able to switch on the ‘Show Parked Location’ setting.
  • Your iPhone will automatically record your parked location when you’ve driven somewhere, as long as you’ve connected the device to your vehicle via Bluetooth or CarPlay.
  • Once you disconnect from the car, you should get a notification to let you know that the Apple Maps app has dropped a pin in your parking spot on the map.

Using other apps

There are many other third-party apps that can be used to track your vehicle. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most popular options - and provided a brief explanation of the set-up process for each:

Find My Car

Find My Car is an easy-to-use Android app. Simply open the app and tap ‘Park’. The app also allows you to snap a photo of your parking spot and add notes to make it easier to locate your vehicle. When you plan to return, just tap ‘Find My Car’ and follow the directions given.

Parked Car Locator

To record your parking spot with Parked Car Locator, open the app, select the compass icon, zoom in on your current location, then tap ‘Park Here’ to save your location. When you plan to return, simply follow the arrows shown on the map.

Find Your Car with AR

This iOS app allows you to set your location before you leave the car using the ‘I parked here!’ button on the app’s home screen. When you want to return to the vehicle, just open the app again and follow the red arrow on screen.

Installing a GPS device on your vehicle

If you aren’t keen on the idea of tracking your vehicle through your phone, you might consider installing GPS (Global Positioning System) technology to track your vehicle instead.

There are plenty of GPS devices on the market that can be used to track your vehicle’s location. A quick online search should show you a variety of options that suit your requirements and budget.

How does GPS work?

GPS technology works using GPS satellites, which orbit the Earth using a precise path twice daily. Each of these satellites transmits a unique signal. This enables GPS devices around the world to decode their precise locations in relation to satellites.