Why Apple AirTags Aren't Suitable for Vehicle Theft Recovery: A Comprehensive Overview

How using the right solution can mean the difference between a successful recovery and permanent loss

First published on
May 29, 2023
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Vehicle theft recovery is a critical concern for vehicle owners and car dealers alike. With the advent of various tracking devices on the market, choosing the right solution is essential. Apple AirTags have gained popularity for their ability to track personal belongings, but are they suitable for vehicle theft recovery? In this article, we will compare Apple AirTags to other purpose-built theft recovery solutions like RecovR, and discuss why AirTags may not be the best option for this purpose.

AirTags: Limitations for Vehicle Theft Recovery

1. Limited Compatibility and Communication

AirTags communicate only with Apple devices (and only iOS 13, iPadOS 13 and Catalina and later) with the Find My feature enabled, but it can easily be turned off by thieves and other users. For successful theft recovery, the thief or others in the immediate vicinity of the vehicle must have an Apple device with the feature turned on. Considering thieves tend to take stolen vehicles to isolated areas and are very aware of how AirTags work, the likelihood of a successful recovery with AirTag is very small.

2. Unwanted Tracking Alerts

Apple is increasingly aggressive in preventing unwanted tracking. iPhone users receive alerts if an unknown AirTag is traveling with them, which would notify thieves of the AirTag's presence in the stolen vehicle. This defeats the purpose of using AirTags as a theft recovery device.

3. Designed for Consumer Use, Not Businesses

AirTags were designed for consumer purposes, not commercial or B2B applications. There is no inventory management solution, and multiple users and locations require operating under a single AppleID. Users with different AppleIDs will be alerted to unwanted AirTags in their possession.

4. Limited Communication Range

AirTags use Bluetooth technology, limiting their communication range to around 50 feet. In contrast, RecovR uses multiple cellular carrier networks for communication and GPS, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth for better location accuracy.

5. Shorter Battery Life

AirTags have a battery life of 6 to 12 months before requiring replacement (CR2032 battery). RecovR's battery life lasts up to 5 years, providing a more reliable solution.

6. No Law Enforcement Collaboration

AirTags currently offer no way to share location details with law enforcement or the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). RecovR, on the other hand, is designed to empower the consumer or dealer to share their vehicle's location directly with law enforcement so recovery work can begin instantly. RecovR support is available 24/7 to assist consumers, dealers and law enforcement with theft recovery.

7. No Location Tracking History

The Apple Find My network provides no history of location tracking, limiting its usefulness in theft recovery situations.

RecovR: A Superior Solution for Vehicle Theft Recovery

RecovR uses multiple cellular networks and technologies to ensure reliable communication and location tracking in any scenario. It operates independently of the vehicle, hidden from the thief, and is optimized end-to-end to ensure theft recovery by working directly with law enforcement. RecovR boasts a 95% recovery rate for stolen vehicles.


While Apple AirTags may be suitable for tracking personal belongings, they are not ideal for vehicle theft recovery. The limitations of AirTags, such as compatibility, communication range, unwanted tracking alerts, and lack of law enforcement collaboration, make them unsuitable as a theft recovery device. RecovR, with its dedicated theft recovery focus, offers a more reliable and comprehensive solution for vehicle owners and businesses.

In summary, RecovR provides the following advantages over Apple AirTags for vehicle theft recovery:

1. Greater compatibility and communication with multiple cellular networks and technologies, ensuring reliable location tracking in any scenario.
2. Designed specifically for theft recovery purposes, with no unwanted tracking alerts that could alert thieves to the device's presence.
3. Optimized for commercial and B2B applications, with inventory management solutions and support for multiple locations and users.
4. A more extensive communication range using cellular carrier networks, GPS, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth technologies for better location accuracy.
5. Longer battery life, lasting up to 5 years, offering a more dependable solution.
6. Collaboration with law enforcement and the NICB to ensure efficient theft recovery.
7. Access to location tracking history, providing valuable information for theft recovery situations.

When it comes to protecting your valuable assets and ensuring the swift recovery of stolen vehicles, choosing a dedicated solution like RecovR is crucial. Apple AirTags may be an innovative and popular choice for tracking personal items, but they fall short in providing the necessary features and reliability required for effective vehicle theft recovery. Trust in a solution specifically designed for this purpose, and invest in RecovR for comprehensive protection and peace of mind.