Challenges in car rental industry: combat theft and recover vehicles with GPS

The car rental market in Mexico plays a vital role in supporting tourism, facilitating transportation needs for both locals and tourists, contributing to economic growth, and serving as a crucial component of the travel and hospitality industry.

Though every business aims to prosper, achieving this goal involves not just boosting revenues but also adeptly minimizing losses. Unfortunately, car rental companies in Mexico face myriad challenges in their operations, including operational costs, competition, regulatory compliance, vehicle theft and safety concerns, seasonal fluctuations in demand, customer service and satisfaction, technology adaptation, risk management, and geopolitical and economic factors.

Today, we want to dive into a particularly significant challenge faced by this industry—one that translates into millions of pesos in annual losses. Vehicle recovery stands as a critical point for companies striving to maintain the integrity of their fleets and mitigate potential losses. From navigating complicated legal frameworks to facing the geographical complexities of the region, car rental businesses often encounter difficulties in quickly and effectively recovering missing or stolen vehicles.

Vehicle recovery statistics

To begin, let's take a look at some figures:

Based on the data provided by AMIS (Mexican Association of Insurance Institutions), from July 2022 to July 2023, an impressive 61,048 insured vehicles were stolen. In total, when considering both insured and uninsured vehicles, the number of reported stolen units amounted to 138,323.

Additional data from AMIS shows the five most frequently stolen vehicle brands:

  • Nissan Versa
  • Nissan NP300
  • Kenworth
  • Honda CR-V
  • Chevrolet Aveo

However, the recovery rate was only 43%—equivalent to 26,048 units.

It's important to note that the great majority of these recovered vehicles were located and retrieved through the utilization of proper technological solutions.

Among these solutions, Navixy has been instrumental in revolutionizing the way car rental companies handle vehicle recovery in Mexico.

Challenges of vehicle recovery

Let's take a look at two of the most common scenarios when a rental company needs to implement vehicle recovery.

Stolen vehicle

Rental vehicles are stolen by unauthorized individuals, leading to the need for recovery efforts following your internal security protocols and policies. Rental agreements in Mexico typically require renters to promptly notify the authorities if a vehicle is suspected or confirmed as stolen. However, once the renter has registered a report, the responsibility for the fast and effective recovery of the vehicle entirely rests with the rental company.

Fraud and trust abuse

Concerns regarding fraud and trust abuse in the car rental industry, particularly linked to the use of false identification, pose significant challenges in Mexico. This issue is compounded by the absence of clear legal provisions in most Mexican states, preventing rental companies from reporting these instances as theft. Instead, they can only be categorized as fraud or trust abuse, creating substantial complications for rental companies.

Remarkably, only two states in Mexico, Quintana Roo and Sonora, have taken steps to introduce laws addressing this specific situation as a criminal offense. Both states reported substantial losses amounting to 130 million and 40 million pesos ($7.5 million and $2.3 million USD), respectively, last year alone due to this concerning scenario. And the impact is not solely financial; these stolen vehicles may also be utilized in more serious criminal activities.

It's evident that rental companies face not only financial losses from stolen and misused vehicles but also potential involvement in more significant criminal undertakings. Therefore, having robust control mechanisms over your fleet is imperative.

Navixy solutions for rental vehicle recovery

Navixy provides tools and features that empower rental companies to gain greater control and oversight of their vehicle fleets. With our advanced tracking and monitoring capabilities, Navixy aids with real-time tracking, geofencing, ignition control, and comprehensive historical route playback. Such functionalities enable rental companies to proactively manage and safeguard their assets, minimizing the risks associated with fraudulent activities and potential vehicle misuse for criminal purposes.

By leveraging Navixy's solutions, rental companies can bolster their ability to track, monitor, and protect their fleet, ultimately mitigating the detrimental effects of fraud and trust abuse in the car rental industry.

Below are the main functionalities that Navixy offers to help you to resolve the aforementioned scenarios.

Real-time tracking

Navixy's GPS technology allows rental companies to immediately locate a stolen vehicle and share its precise location with law enforcement authorities for prompt retrieval. In fact, Navixy even supports real-time tracking, meaning we can provide nearly instantaneous updates on a vehicle's location.

Our platform is capable of updating the vehicle's position very quickly, often within seconds, especially when the device is set to transmit data in real-time and under optimal network conditions. Navixy also guarantees a 99.7% uptime, ensuring that our platform remains accessible and operational.

Geofencing and alerts

With geofencing functionality, Navixy can create virtual borders. If a vehicle moves beyond certain designated areas or enters an unauthorized zone, the system triggers immediate alerts to aid in identifying potential theft scenarios. You can create multiple customized geofences and real-time alerts that will help you to take swift action or make a decision based on the location activity of the tracked vehicles.

Ignition control

Navixy supports remote vehicle ignition control. This feature empowers rental companies and/or law enforcement to immobilize a stolen vehicle, preventing further movement until recovery. Moreover, access to ignition control features within Navixy can usually be customized based on user roles and permissions, so only authorized personnel can perform actions related to ignition control.

Route playback

Navixy's historical route playback function offers a detailed timeline of the vehicle's movements. This information can help authorities in retracing the vehicle's path and understanding the direction taken by the thieves.

Location-sharing tool

This feature offers a convenient solution by allowing you to share real-time tracking information of a particular vehicle in motion with external parties, all without requiring access to the platform. This feature serves as an efficient means to help the authorities in quickly pursuing and recovering stolen vehicles.

Documentation and reporting

The platform generates comprehensive reports, including historical location data and time frames. These reports are crucial evidence for insurance claims or legal proceedings related to the stolen vehicle. Navixy provides a valuable service by offering one-year storage for event data, routes, alerts, and reports, with the flexibility to extend this by adding more years. This feature holds significant importance, especially in legal proceedings where access to historical data is crucial.

In addition to these functions, Navixy supports over 1,500 integrated devices within the platform—a number that continues to expand each month. This diverse range of devices gives you a variety of options, making it easy to select the precise solution that aligns with your specific requirements.

Vehicle recovery features in Navixy

Stolen vehicle recovery hardware

From basic anti-jammer devices to advanced solutions that include a primary GPS tracking device paired with another hidden one, there are numerous ways to configure your recovery solution setup.

Let's dive into a specific example. Consider a primary device equipped with GSM signal jamming, trailer, tracker disconnect detection, and automatic geofence scenarios that enable it to take preventive actions such as activating the car alarm system, ignition cut, or vehicle door locking.

This primary device works in conjunction with a secondary device serving as a backup. The secondary device remains in a smart sleep mode, periodically checking the connection and operation of the primary device. If the primary device is disconnected or damaged, the secondary is automatically activated to track and send alerts. Both devices are configured to communicate with each other via Bluetooth BLE.


In Mexico's car rental industry, finding stolen vehicles and dealing with fraud is a big headache for many companies, which is why Navixy offers tools that help companies find their missing cars quickly.

With Navixy, rental companies can track their cars in real-time, set virtual borders, and even disable a stolen car remotely. The platform works with many different devices, as well as API, making it flexible for different needs.

But Navixy isn't just a solution for finding stolen cars. It's a total game-changer for rental companies. It helps them keep their cars safe, reduce losses, and make the rental business in Mexico more trustworthy for everyone involved. As car rental rates continue to grow, we’re here to make things better and safer for rental companies all over Mexico.

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