GPS devices help dealerships keep an eye on vehicles - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

GPS devices help dealerships keep an eye on vehicles

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ALBANY, N.Y. -- If you're thinking about defaulting on your car loan but keeping the car -- think again.

It used to be that selling cars to high risk consumers was costly for dealerships. But GPS tracking devices required by financers not only keep the buyer honest, but also rev up sales.

Licensed Albany auto dealer Alice Baker established Little Motors in 1978. For 31 years she felt her business of selling used cars to people with bad credit or no credit worked well, but she knew it wasn't perfect.

"We prayed very hard that we kept good quality contact with our people," says Baker.

Baker says the runaway rate was very high, and sending the repo-man to collect cars that went missing or had default payments became costly. That is, until she began outfitting every car sold with a GPS.

"Our lenders force us to do this to do this to maintain lines of credit. To be able to keep track of our collateral, because the collateral that we keep track of is part of what we provide them for the backing of what we do," says Baker.

More and more lenders are requiring the installment of GPS tracking devices in vehicles for just that reason.

But some people NEWS10 spoke to think it's simply intrusive.

"I think that's just another level of people finding out what it is you do or where it is you go. So i think it is intrusive," said New York resident Nancy Andino.

"They're probably doing it for their own interests to make sure they get payment in time, but I mean, how far we're really going to let tracking and technology go is kind of scary," said Albany resident James Blavins.

Even though it might seem too much like "big brother" is watching, Baker says there has been an upside.

"Four of our customers actually had their cars stolen. And all four of them, within less than one hour, were located and found and given back to their customers. So they work for more than one way or another," says Baker.

According to experts, buyers must be informed that GPS devices will be installed in the vehicles in their written contract prior to the finalization of financing.

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