How to wipe your personal data from your car?


Posted by: Joshua-Philip Okeafor

Share this post:

Latest news articles

When you have an intention of selling your car, it is a must to wipe your personal data from your car. Do you know how to do this? Read this guide!


Here's a fact: the car you are currently driving might be someone else's in 10 years' time. Yes, people sell all kinds of things: houses, phones, and, of course, cars. When you are ready to do that you may need to wipe personal data from your car Most modern cars are designed to store some of the personal data of the users.

Just like getting your digital devices ready before you resell or give them out, the need to wipe your personal info from a car you are letting go of will always arise so that your personal information doesn't fall into the wrong hands.


Your car is flush with info even you have forgotten you put in there

Data stored in your car

Before you consider selling out your car to another owner, ensure that you have deleted all your personal data from that car. When you desire to buy any car with an ultra-modern information system, bear in mind that the car will store most of your digital information. Such information includes addresses, car insurance policy details, credit card information, account numbers, contacts, frequently travelled routes, and other bank information.

Some of this sensitive information can seriously complicate your life if your car comes into the possession of unscrupulous individuals in the future. Remember, the first buyer may sell it afterwards too. Even if the car is sold for scrap, components like the hard drive can be harvested for information.

Therefore, you ought to make sure that you find every possible way of deleting all the important data before doing anything else.


You should protect the information stored in your car like you will protect the information stored on your mobile phone. No matter what the arrangements you are making before selling your car are, never allow the next car owner to access any of your personal data.

Sometimes, the car dealership may promise to assist you in wiping out your data. As a car lover that wishes to keep your personal information safe, consider carrying out this important task yourself.

Given that you may not have done this before, we understand that it may be a task that appears daunting at first. Not to worry, that's why this guide is here. When considering ways to wipe your personal data from your car,  be sure you are deleting your every data in the car.


You will be amazed that your car knows you more than you know yourself- and it won't forget

How to wipe personal data from your car

Some of these strategies will help you to wipe your data from your car:

1. Reset the automatic garage door opener

Most modern cars are designed with an automatic garage door opener. Since you have paired your car to open your garage automatically, you should consider resetting the door to avoid further access to your garage door. Every modern car is designed with a specific method of resetting the garage door opener. Hence, read your user’s manual to discover the best ways of resetting this system.

2. Wipe all the maps and addresses from the navigation system

When you are navigating comfortably across highways and local routes, your car is taking a record of all your destinations. Your every day-to-day travel routine will be stored in the system memory bank, and it can be accessed by anybody in the future.

Both your regular travel routine and previous places of visit are saved in this memory bank. This may include your place of work, place of worship, shopping mall, children’s school address, and other frequently visited locations.

You can look at the navigation system and delete your addresses and other travel routes stored in the memory bank. However, some cars are designed to backup information. There is a need to read your user’s manual to ensure that your addresses are not backed up in the car. Follow the procedures provided in the manual to reset your system memory bank completely.


Cars have huge computer systems these days and store enormous amounts of data

3. Delete every digital content subscription

Most people usually forget to cancel their digital content subscription from the old car before selling it out. You should transfer your radio subscription or any other digital subscriptions to your new car.

Bear in mind that your details can be explored while subscribing to any digital content; therefore, you must cancel your subscriptions before selling or donating your car to another person. After canceling the subscription, you should make an effort to inform the service providers that you are no longer in need of that account.

This reminder will enable the service providers to cancel your subscription permanently.

>>> Read also: What is a car brain box & functions of ECU and PCM

4. Remove mobile apps

Most modern cars are designed with mobile apps to give their users access to more functionalities. Most automakers prefer to design internal apps to help make driving much easier for their users.

These apps enable car owners to track down their cars in theft-related situations, and also to execute other tasks such as banking. The internal app usually requests the password and email address of the car owner, and other vital information.

Whenever you consider selling your car to someone else, try to remove your details from these internal apps or others which are downloaded and installed. If you are confused about how to remove your details from these apps, read the user manual for guidance.

5. Delete phone contacts

Some car owners prefer to synchronize their mobile phone contacts with their car, for easy access. However, when the need to sell off the car arises, some people may forget to erase their contact list from the car memory bank.

Before you consider dropping your old car for a newer vehicle, learn to wipe off your contact information. Whenever you sync your mobile phone to your car, bear in mind that your messages, contact names, and numbers will be displayed.

The steps and procedures required to synchronize your phone contacts with your car differ between car brands and models. If you are not so sure about how to effectively delete your contact information, consult the users’ manual for assistance.


Your car's hard drive can fall into the wrong hands

6. Delete all songs and data if your car has an inbuilt hard drive

Most modern cars are designed to help users store their favourite movies, music, or playlist in the car's hard drive. If you are privileged to own such a car, consider wiping the entire songs and other data stored in the hard drive before selling it.

7. Remove all Bluetooth pairing

Some people prefer to connect their mobile phone Bluetooth with Bluetooth in their cars. In most cases, people forget to disconnect the paired devices, allowing the next car owner to scroll through the paired history. Therefore, there is a need to wipe every personal data in the car, before selling the car off to another person.

8. Using technology

You may also use technology to solve this problem. Apps like Privacy4cars can track and delete personal data from your car. Other Apps that do this may also exist. Make sure you read up before you use any such tech.

Look at this video to see more about this.

How to wipe your data from your car


When you are fed up with your old car, the need to sell it off or give it out will arise. Before, concluding on your sell-out plans, it is necessary to wipe personal data from your car and keep the car free of your data. Believe me, leaving your data in your old car is much more serious than say, forgetting common items in an Uber. Selling off your car without erasing your data can expose you to danger. Therefore, keep your information private by wiping it off from your old cars.

>>> Did you find this helpful? More informative car tips and advice here

>>> Maintaining your vehicle is easy if you know what to do. Get a comprehensive car maintenance guide now on!

Joshua-Philip Okeafor

Joshua-Philip Okeafor

Car buying & selling

Joshua, or KK as friends call him, is a Filmmaker, Writer and Director. A Christian, Joshua is a product of Nigeria’s foremost film school, the National Film Institute, Jos, where he majored in Writing/Directing. Joshua began his writing career at age 18 when an older brother gave him a four page outline of a children novel. Joshua intends to keep writing and directing. His screen name is sometimes Joshua Kalu Ephraim (Writing), and sometimes Joshua KK (directing).

See more