Buy Here Pay Here (BHPH) lots offer a valuable alternative for car buyers who can't get access to traditional financing. But while the vast majority of buyers successfully complete their loan terms, BHPH lots have a few tricks up their sleeves to deal with unique situations. One such trick is the use of a GPS device to help dealers and repossession agencies successfully locate cars that need to be brought back to the dealership.
How They Work
Unlike the GPS device you'd use to help you get directions, the GPS devices that BHPH dealers use are designed to broadcast its current location whenever the dealership requests or "pings" the device through specialized software. Once the software receives a response from the device, the dealer can discover precisely where that vehicle is currently located.
These devices are usually connected to or installed near the vehicle's On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) port, although the exact location usually depends on the type of device used and who installs the devices. BHPH dealers typically strive to make these devices as inconspicuous and unobtrusive as possible. GPS devices generally rely on the vehicle's battery power, although some devices may have their own battery supply for backup purposes.
What BHPH Dealers Can Do With GPS Devices
If a customer falls behind on their payments, their vehicle's GPS device can help BHPH lots keep a close eye on its current location. This makes it much easier for BHPH dealers to recover vehicles from delinquent borrowers.
Some GPS devices are also paired with starter interrupt devices that prevent delinquent drivers from starting their vehicles until they either bring their payments current or surrender their vehicles to the repo agent. BHPH dealers can use this feature to encourage timely payments, but only after several payments have been missed.
What They Can't Do
GPS devices installed in BHPH cars are only designed for pinpointing your vehicle's current location in the event the dealership decides to send a repo agency to retrieve it. They are not designed to actively track your every single move throughout the course of the day, which should come as a relief if you are concerned about privacy issues.
Although a BHPH lot can shut down your vehicle remotely, it can only do so while the vehicle is stationary and, in most cases, already turned off. The dealer won't be able to shut it off while you're already driving, so you won't have to worry about your car suddenly cutting off in the middle of traffic.
If you're in the market for a vehicle and you're buying from a BHPH, it's a good idea to make sure the dealer discloses any and all GPS tracking equipment used to aid in vehicle recovery. This equipment and its purpose should be explained within the vehicle buyer contract.