How to Recover Missing or Stolen Inventory Using Car Lot GPS

A car is stolen roughly every 30 seconds in the United States, according to a Traveller’s Insurance report. Whether someone is after your car or the goods inside it, theft is an unfortunate reality of our daily lives. 

If you happen to be on the receiving end of this misfortune, there’s one of two things you can do: locate the stolen vehicle using GPS location tracking or pray your thief was just going for a joyride and will kindly leave your car on the side of the road for the police to recover later. However, if you’re anything like us, you probably prefer the former to the latter. 

While anyone is susceptible to theft, new car dealerships are particularly vulnerable. With large lots and hundreds of vehicle assets, managers and owners need simple solutions that keep profits high and costly thefts low. 

GPS is a powerful technology that can be utilized for much more than navigation to a new brunch spot or scenic hike. After all, satellite technology was an advancement of the 20th century that helped make space exploration possible. GPS advancements over the past half-century have allowed for real-time location tracking, navigation, and most importantly for auto dealers, vehicle recovery

As a trusted auto inventory lot management software provider, we help customers across North American best leverage GPS technology to fit their dealership’s needs. If you have yet to invest in GPS solutions or are interested in learning more, we’re here to break down how it works and why it is an ideal tool for all auto dealerships. 

Picking the Right GPS Technology

It’s important to keep in mind that there are different types of GPS technology. The type in which you choose to invest in will greatly impact your chances of a speedy and successful recovery of lost vehicles. Passive GPS records the current location of the vehicle but does not transmit it to the server. Meaning that when a vehicle is returned to the lot, this information from the GPS can be downloaded and analyzed but not in real-time. While this provides valuable information, it doesn’t support instant flexibility for providing whereabouts when a vehicle goes missing. 

Active GPS, on the other hand, provides real-time tracking software that offers instant communication between the vehicle and the dealership. This type of car lot GPS technology is what enables law enforcement to capitalize on vehicle recovery swiftly and efficiently with the added benefit of catching the perpetrator while still in possession of the vehicle. It’s a win-win solution for both the dealers and law enforcement. 

Investing in active car lot GPS software, such as Elo GPS, allows for dealers and drivers to be notified of unauthorized vehicle usage through the software’s geofencing technology. When a vehicle exits the dealership’s designated perimeters, managers will be promptly alerted via text or email. This immediate notification, in conjunction with law enforcement, enables inventory to be relocated the minute it goes missing. 

Reporting Stolen or Missing Vehicles

Whether you have a car lot GPS tracking system or not, there are a few general rules that need to be followed when reporting stolen or missing vehicles. 

First and foremost, call the police. Time is of the essence when dealing with stolen or missing vehicles. It is important to have law enforcement involved as soon as possible. When law enforcement has been reached, they may ask you to provide further vehicle information, including the make, model, license plate, and VIN. With a car lot GPS tracking system, this process is streamlined as all the relevant data is stored and readily available within the software. After a police report has been filed, contact your GPS tracking system’s team and they will work with your local law enforcement to help recover the vehicle. 

Lastly, make sure you call your insurance provider within 24 hours of your car being reported missing. This way your insurance provider can help protect you if your car is used to harm someone or do damage after the theft occurred.


The likelihood of recovering stolen or missing vehicles is often dependent on the foresight of the dealer. If you have a car lot GPS tracking system, the process is rather simple. Without one, you run the risk of a prolonged headache and the chance of never recovering your vehicle. Elo GPS’ cloud-based, car lot GPS technology offers complete inventory lifecycle management for new car dealers, including lot management, theft protection, and much more. To learn more about how to best leverage inventory recovery for your dealership using GPS technology, schedule a demo today.