Customers find AirTag inside rental car

ErickPHOTOPRO/ShutterStock @that_naked_squid/TikTok (Licensed)

‘Why wouldn’t a rental company want to track their cars?’: Customer finds AirTag hidden inside rental car

'Yeah people steal rentals all the time, would be surprised if it wasn't tracked.'


Jack Alban


Posted on May 20, 2023

It seems like folks are constantly finding AirTags on their personal belongings—and they don’t have any idea how they got there or who they belong to. People use the tracking devices from Apple to keep tabs on various items, or even their kids.

However, whenever a person comes into contact with a strange tag and they had no idea how it got there, that can be a scary thought.

People have allegedly been tracked by strangers using Air Tags before, which is probably why TikToker @the_naked_squid was so freaked out to find one of the devices in their rental car.

@that_naked_squid The magnet was superglued onto the back of the airtag covering the speaker and you could hardly hear it, had to be in a closed garage with no outside noise to find it #airtag #airtagtracking #tracker #rentalcar #cartracking ♬ original sound – That naked Squid

A text overlay in the TikTok clip reads, “Has anyone else ever found anything like this in a rental car?”

In the video, a man lifts up a decorative plate in the vehicle that reads “Chevrolet” from the side floorboard of the vehicle. They then point to an object nestled beneath the plate—an Apple AirTag with a magnet attached to it, which they demonstrate by sticking it to the door jamb.

It would seem that other car rental customers have also found AirTags on the vehicles they’ve rented through agencies, like Redditor @BryanW45, who posted about their own experience with Avis from a vehicle they rented in the Bay Area.

They wrote in their post, “Just located an AirTag that has been tracking us the past couple days on an Avis rented rental car in the Bay Area. The AirTag was attached to the bottom of the vehicle in the wheel well.”

The user then writes that when they called Avis about the incident, they were told to just file a report upon returning the vehicle to the agency. Some commenters suggested that they contact the police about the incident, while another Redditor speculated that the AirTag scheme is the perfect con for thieves to use in order to track unsuspecting tourists in a location.

One user who saw the TikToker’s video remarked that rental cars are stolen “all the time.” It wouldn’t be difficult to imagine that some unscrupulous thieves would rent a vehicle and either clone a key or pay a lost key fee. Then, after leaving an AirTag in the vehicle, they could track it at a later date and use the genuine key they cloned/stole and proceed to steal the vehicle.

However, other TikTokers thought that the AirTag was simply put inside of the rental car by the rental company itself as a security measure.

“Yea so they don’t get thier car stolen it’s not even breaking a law or invading privacy it’s THIER car,” a user wrote.

Someone else said rental car companies do not use AirTags in order to track their vehicles, as they have their own technology implemented in them for that.

“Rental companies have there own trackers in there vehicles not a air tag,” they said.

The TikToker wrote in a caption that the AirTag was particularly difficult to find due to the magnet superglued to its bottom, which covered its speaker.

The Daily Dot has reached out to @that_naked_squid via TikTok comment.

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*First Published: May 20, 2023, 12:04 pm CDT