Cars have advanced greatly over the years. Putting computers in vehicles has expanded the possibilities to make the driving experience better. The most common, and most used, systems in cars are GPS and Bluetooth hands-free technology.

But when it comes time to sell your car, you may not think about the technology and information stored in its systems. If you don’t clear your settings and delete the data, you can be putting your personal information at risk.

Remove Your Data

pairing phone to vehicleBefore you sell your car, it’s important to “clean up” the data that has been stored in it. The systems in your vehicle store any and all information you decide to share with it.

  • Delete phone pairing from the car - Besides sharing a four-digit code to pair your phone to the car, the system remembers your phone’s unique ID in order to automatically reconnect each time. This isn’t a major privacy issue, but some cars have systems that will import contacts, and the last thing you want is someone to have all those names and phone numbers saved in the system.
  • Remove the “home” location in the GPS - This may seem obvious, but it’s easy to forget to remove your home address from the system. A good tip from Credit Union Insight’s website is to set your “home” location at a familiar point just before your home (i.e. entryway to a community) so your location isn’t exact.
  • Remove all recent waypoints in the GPS - Similar to removing your home location, removing any saved travel history is something that will keep your information safe.
  • Reset HomeLink buttons - If your car has buttons on the mirror or visor that can connect to your home and open your garage or gate, you will want to clear them. If you didn’t remove your home location in your GPS, someone could easily find your home and open your garage using the stored information.
  • Cancel/transfer radio service - The new car owner isn’t paying for any extra radio services, so why give it to them for free?

Bottom Line

It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Because you'll want your car to be 100 percent ready to be put on the market, you need to make sure that your personal information won’t be put at risk when you sell or trade it in. Take the time to remove any links from devices that connect to your car via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, remove your garage and home codes and clear your GPS history.

If you’re selling your car and are ready to get a new one, but worry about your credit situation, let Auto Credit Express help you out. We connect car consumers with local car dealers who have access to lenders that can cater to challenging credit situations. Fill out our auto loan request form to get started today.