Your car may know more about you than you think!


Thinking about a new car this year? Have you thought about cleaning out your personal items before you head to the dealer or sell to a buyer?

Let’s see, I need my sunglasses and where is the case? I need my insurance card and any old vehicle registrations from the glovebox. I would not want anyone to get hold of that information–they would have my name and policy number etc.

However, did you think about your cars electronic system and what personal information is stored?

Today’s cars have a computer built in that stores a lot of information about you, just like your smartphone or home computer. When you sell or trade in your car, that personal data might be accessible to the next owner.


So let’s take a look at what might be stored that you would rather not have available to others:


  1. Did you Sync your phone contacts and has your address book have been downloaded?
  2. Do you use a Mobile App with login information or other data that is gathered?
  3. Is it possible your digital content like music is stored on a built in hard drive?
  4. What about location data, which might have your addresses for all those routes you take to get home, work, and your favorite destinations in the NAV?
  5. Did you store your garage door codes for your home or office?

Some cars have a factory reset option so take advantage of this to return the computer to original state. But this method may not actually clear everything.


  1. Do you have subscription services like satellite radio, mobile Wi-Fi hotspots, and data services that need to be cancelled or transferred to your new vehicle?
  2. Make sure you have cleared any connections between your devices that use Bluetooth
  3. Disconnect any Apps that were used to control the car’s functions or find the car

With so many car models and options refer to the owner’s manual, contact your dealer, or visit your vehicle manufacture’s website for information on how to perform many of these items mentioned.

Like what you read? Check out our other sensible advices articles.