Can Apple AirTag Track A Car?

apple air tag

Those who are looking to alleviate the risk of having their cars stolen are likely to be looking for an effective car tracking device. Not everyone is willing to spend the large sums of money that GPS trackers tend to cost. This is where Apple AirTag comes in.

Can Apple AirTag track a car?

Yes, Apple AirTags can be used to track cars as an alternative to GPS trackers. However, they have a few limitations, including their dependence on the presence of nearby Apple devices, lack of real-time location, and the fact that they’ll notify the car thief that they’re being tracked after 3 days if they have an iPhone.

You’re probably asking yourself, how can Apple AirTag be useful to me as a car tracker? What situations can I use it in? How far can you track Apple Air Tag? Don’t fret; we’re here to give you all the information you need.

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What Is Apple AirTag?

For those who are frequently finding themselves searching for their car keys and wallet, Apple AirTag could be just what the doctor ordered.

These nifty devices come in the form of small discs no bigger than a coin that can be attached to often-lost items.

They’ll help you find these items whenever they go missing by emitting a Bluetooth signal and transmitting the missing item’s location to the Find My app on your Apple device.

It can also be used as a cheaper, makeshift alternative to GPS car trackers.

Using Apple AirTag as a Car Tracker

There are several situations where Apple AirTag can be useful as a tool to track your car. For starters, you can use it to locate your vehicle if you’ve forgotten where you parked it.

This can come in handy in large car parks such as ones in malls and theme parks. Otherwise, you might have to spend hours searching for your car.

Also, if you’ve left your car in the custody of a valet or mechanic, it can help you monitor their behavior to know if they’re doing anything they shouldn’t be doing with it.

For instance, if Apple AirTag is showing that your car is 20 miles away from the repair shop, this lets you know that something isn’t right.

Unfortunately, the Apple AirTag lacks a location history feature, only showing you the last known whereabouts of your vehicle.

This means that if the offender manages to take your car on a joyride and get it back to where it’s supposed to be before you check AirTag, you’ll have no way of knowing what happened.

Using Apple AirTag as an Anti-Theft Device

Apple AirTag can also be used as a tracking device for your car in the case where it gets stolen.

The diminutive size of AirTags makes them super easy to conceal in your car without tipping off the thief that the car is being tracked.

Also, they don’t need an internet connection to operate. This is because AirTags use Bluetooth to transmit their location, relaying the signal to your device through nearby Apple devices with the newest version of iOS installed.

If you’ve placed an Apple AirTag device in your vehicle and it gets stolen, it’s bound to wind up in the vicinity (within 20m) of an Apple device as the thief is moving around with your car.

Through these devices, the AirTag will notify you of your car’s location every few minutes, even if the thief himself doesn’t have an iPhone.

However, it should be noted that Apple AirTags don’t provide real-time location; only periodical alerts as to where the car is at a given moment.

Limitations of Apple AirTag as a Car Tracking Device

There are two main issues with using Apple AirTag as a car tracking device, which are:

Anti-Stalking Features

Apple AirTag can be easily used by unsavory characters in unethical ways such as stalking. For this reason, Apple has incorporated measures to combat this.

If an individual is moving around on a regular basis with an AirTag that isn’t registered to their device, Apple will notify them that they’re being tracked within 2-3 days.

This is a pretty great move by Apple on the ethical front, but it doesn’t bode well for AirTags’ effectiveness as anti-theft car trackers seeing as the anti-stalking feature in AirTags will tip off thieves that they’re being tracked.

However, the thief will only receive this notification if they have an iPhone. Having an iPhone will also enable them to know the exact location of the AirTag within the car, and the AirTag device itself will start emitting an alert noise to help them find it.

Despite this limitation, Apple AirTags still give you a period of about 3 days to find your car without letting the thief know that they’re being tracked. This is a great feature given the low price of these devices compared to GPS trackers.

Availability of Apple Devices in the Vicinity

The effectiveness of AirTags in tracking your car is almost entirely dependent on the presence of other Apple devices in its immediate surroundings.

If your car is stolen by a thief that has an iPhone, you’ll get regular updates about your car’s whereabouts.

However, if they don’t, the frequency with which your AirTag relays your car’s location may take a severe dip if no one with an Apple device is passing close by. This may result in you having to wait hours between location updates.

In turn, AirTags are much better as car trackers in bustling urban settings than they are in rural areas.

If the person who stole your car ditches it on a deserted road with no passers-by, the chances of an AirTag helping you locate your car are very slim.

How to Tell If Your Car Is Being Tracked By an AirTag?

If you have an Apple device with iOS 14.5 or later installed, Apple will notify you that an AirTag that doesn’t belong to you is moving with you.

This notification will come after about 3 days of continuously moving around with the AirTag.

If you don’t have an iPhone, here are other ways you can check if you’re being tracked.

Using a Bluetooth Scanner

AirTags rely on Bluetooth signals to communicate with Apple devices.

Therefore, if you install a Bluetooth tracker on your phone and scan the car, you’ll know if there’s an AirTag stowed away somewhere in it.

Manually Searching Yourself

Back to basics, this is the most rudimentary way you can try to find out if your car has an AirTag tracking it.

Thoroughly search your car in all places where an AirTag might be hidden.

Granted, this isn’t the best way to go about it since AirTags are tiny and can be very easily concealed.


Apple AirTag is a viable option as a car tracking device if your priority is affordability. At an attractive price, this tiny contraption can help you locate your car in several situations.

However, it does have its shortcomings. These include its overdependence on the presence of other Apple devices nearby and the anti-stalking features that Apple has incorporated into them.

These features are an excellent move on the ethical front, however, they significantly hinder AirTags’ effectiveness as a car tracker in cases of theft.


This is the site where I share all of the information about home security. I have been working in this industry from last 10 years and therefore, sharing all my experiences and learnings.

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