Tax Insights

Your Guide to State, Local, Federal, Estate + International Taxation

Selling your car? Clear your personal data first

personal data, selling your carIs a new car on your wish list? Maybe you’re going to surprise a loved one with this huge gift. Car sales are big during the holidays and at year-end. But before you drive off the lot, don’t forget to wipe your old car of any personal data stored in the electronic system.

Your car is like a big computer (especially now that you can sync your phone to many vehicles) and if you sell or donate it, the next owner may be able to access your information! Here’s the electronic information you’ll want to make sure is removed from your old car:

  • Your phone contacts and address book
  • Mobile apps
  • Digital content, such as music
  • Location data – like the routes you take home or to work
  • Garage door codes

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If you have satellite radio or other subscription services, don’t forget to cancel those or transfer them to your new car.

Some cars have a factory reset option but that may not get rid of all your information. Be sure to check your owner’s manual or contact your dealer or manufacturer.

Elizabeth Bolt