Best Car GPS Tracking Devices – 2019 Guide

Besides your home, your vehicle is likely one of the most expensive things you own. They’re a big investment, yet most people don’t provide nearly as much protection and security for their vehicles as they should. Nearly three-quarters of a million cars are stolen each year in the United States. While there are plenty of methods to keep your vehicle away from would-be thieves, there’s only one way to know for sure where your ride is at all times.

Car GPS tracking devices provide you with detailed information about your car’s whereabouts in real time. They’re discrete little gadgets that can make a world of difference in the worst-case scenario. They can provide peace of mind for a number of different situations. Here’s a collection of some great GPS devices for your vehicle.

 

 

SpyTec STI_GL30 Vehicle GPS Tracker

At only a few inches tall, this GPS tracker is very discreet. It can easily fit in a glovebox or pocket. It’s also available with a durable magnetized case for clipping it under the body of your car. The device is an active tracker, so you’ll be able to see how your car travels. There are three subscription options available. The highest plan updates the location of the tracker on the digital map every 5 seconds. Within the app, you can set up text alerts, geofence barriers, and more.

Pros:

  • Small size
  • Geofencing alert feature
  • Connects to smartphone wirelessly
  • 2-week battery life
  • Rechargeable battery
  • Lightweight
  • Active tracking

Cons:

  • Requires monthly subscription
  • No active noise-canceling technology

 

 

 

 

Vyncs GPS Tracker

Powered by 3G cell technology, this tracker can provide you with quick updates every time your car is on the move. You can view a detailed map of the car’s surroundings on your computer or desktop. The location of your tracker updates every minute. There’s also the option for more frequent updates. The small device utilizes the power of the OBD port. As a result, you don’t have to worry about replacing batteries or taking the tracker out for charing. There’s a built-in tamper alert and push notification settings for speed, braking, and rapid acceleration.

Pros:

  • 3G connectivity
  • Plugs into OBD port
  • Small size
  • Can view information on mobile device and desktop
  • Provides hourly alerts even if car is stopped
  • Tamper alert
  • Active tracker

Cons:

  • Requires subscription and activation fee
  • Will not work if no cell coverage

 

 

 

 

Tile Mate Tracker

The Tile tracker is a great option for those who want that added peace of mind without having to spend extra cash on a monthly subscription. The device is powered by BlueTooth and only has a range of about 150 feet. However, it’s smart enough to connect to other people’s phones whenever you’re out of range. It uses the Tile community to send location alerts to your phone if you’re having trouble finding your car. The app is beautifully designed and very easy to use. The tracker itself is small, thin, and can be hung on your rearview mirror.

Pros:

  • Attract design
  • Button to locate phone
  • Long battery life
  • Communicates with the phone’s of other Tile users
  • No subscription fee

Cons:

  • Doesn’t use GPS or cell signal
  • Short 150-foot range

 

 

Armcrest 4G LTE GPS Tracker

Don’t let the simple design of this tracker fool you. It has a lot of great features. The tiny device uses 4G LTE signal to send its exact location to your phone. The high-speed connection allows you to set the tracker to give updates every 5 seconds. The body of the tracker measures only 3 inches tall and about 1.6 inches thick. It’s also water-resistant. There’s a single button on the outside. It’s an SOS button that automatically connects you to emergency services should you ever need it.

Pros:

  • Up to two weeks of battery life on a single charge
  • Utilizes 4G LTE Technology to communicate with phone or computer
  • Active tracking
  • Small footprint
  • One-button SOS
  • Geofencing and smart alerts
  • Can be programmed to provide as many as 20 updates a minute

Cons:

  • Subscription fee

 

 

TKStar Vehicle GPS Tracker

With its rugged shell and built-in magnet, this GPS tracker can be placed directly under your vehicle. The magnet is strong enough to keep the tracker stable no matter how rough your driving is. It’s completely waterproof and resistant to shocks. Despite its small size, there’s a large rechargeable battery inside. The battery can last for up to 3 weeks with regular use or as much as 90 days in standby mode. This is an active tracker that runs off of 2G cell signal. It works with a dedicated mobile app or Google maps.

Pros:

  • Built-in magnet
  • 2G cell connectivity
  • Active tracking
  • Waterproof design
  • One-button SOS
  • Geofencing and speed alerts

Cons:

  • Requires SIM and cell plan

 

 

Bouncie Connected Car GPS Tracker

With the Bouncie tracker, you can turn your car into a connected smart vehicle. It plugs into the OBD port and starts sending data each time you turn the vehicle on. The device uses 3G cell signal to send information over to the many available apps. You can access maps and information on your phone, tablet, or desktop. The apps are very intuitive. They use color coding to map out your speed, vibrant graphics to create geofencing barriers, and intuitive alerts to help you develop good driving habits. The tracker also does double-duty as a diagnostic tool. It can monitor various aspects of your car and provide you with maintenance alerts.

Pros:

  • Connects to 3G cell towers
  • Active tracking
  • Provides notifications
  • Records trip history
  • Also provides maintenance alerts
  • Plugs into OBD port
  • Can be used alongside other smart devices

Cons:

  • Requires monthly subscription

 

 

TKStar Mini GPS Car Tracker

Another great option from TKStar, this tracker is one of the tiniest GPS devices out there. It’s less than an inch thick. You can easily hide it in your car without anyone knowing its there. It has a small rechargeable battery. Due to its size, it will need to be recharged every 2 to 5 days with regular use. However, in standby mode, the battery will last for about a week. TKStar has its own smartphone application with many convenient features. The tracker can also be used with Google maps for simplicity.

Pros:

  • Powered by rechargeable battery
  • Lasts as long as a week in standby mode
  • Active real-time tracking
  • Very tiny design
  • Works with geofence barriers
  • Can be used with Google Maps

Cons:

  • Requires monthly subscription and separate SIM card

 

 

How Do Automobile GPS Trackers Work?

GPS tracking devices work on the same principles as the navigational system inside your vehicle. GPS stands for global positioning system. There are about 30 GPS satellites orbiting our planet. At any given moment, at least four of these satellites are capable of connecting to your tracker. They transmit information to the device, which it then uses to triangulate its exact position. This information is then sent to a smartphone or computer and used alongside a graphical map to make it easy for you to find your vehicle. While the technology is quite common nowadays, it’s a very effective form of positioning that can serve you well.

 

 

The Benefits of a Car GPS Tracking Devices

Whether you own a car, truck, or SUV, it pays to have a reliable tracker. Vehicles play a very important role in our everyday lives. Having the ability to know where your car is in an instant can be beneficial in a number of ways.

Increases the Chances of Recovery After Theft

The most obvious benefit will be realized if your car is ever stolen. Despite having GPS devices in the cabin, vehicle manufacturers don’t include tracking devices to help recover stolen cars. Unfortunately, most stolen automobiles are never returned to their rightful owner. The longer you don’t have eyes on your investment, the lower the chances of you ever seeing it again.

A GPS tracking device can be used to pinpoint your car’s exact location. Depending on the model of tracker you have, it may also let you watch the car’s movements in real time. This information can be used by law enforcement to stop the thief in their tracks and reunite you with your car. You should never use the GPS information to take action on your own. Let the professionals take care of it.

Helps to Manage a Business Fleet

If you own a business, GPS trackers can be an important management tool. In fact, these devices were first implemented in the shipping industry to provide customers with a better idea of when they’d receive a package. Today, trackers are used by many different industries. They allow managers to monitor drivers when they’re out of the office. Instead of having to constantly call drivers to check on the progress of their route, you can simply see where they are on the map.

Some devices also provide more detailed information about trips. They can show you how the vehicle is being driven. This information can then be used to provide adequate training and protect your company’s assets.

Makes It Easy to Keep an Eye on a Young Driver

For parents of young drivers, there’s nothing more nerve-racking than watching your child back out of the driveway to hit the road. While no one wants to think about the worst-case scenario, the reality is that teenage drivers are at a higher risk of being in an accident than adult drivers. A GPS car tracker can provide you with peace of mind every time your child asks for the keys. You can give them their independence while also knowing where they are at all times.

Feature-rich trackers take things a step further. Some allow you to create alerts based on your child’s driving habits. For example, you can create a geofence around parts of town that your young driver is allowed to cruise in. If they ever go out of these bounds, the tracker can send you an alert to let you know.

You can also take advantage of any performance data the tracker can provide. OBD trackers that can be plugged into the car itself are capable of collecting data about speed, braking, and more. Use this information to coach your child and improve their driving skills.

 

 

How to Find the Right Car GPS Tracker

Not even a decade ago, GPS technology was a new and expensive luxury. Today, it’s much cheaper and accessible to anyone. As GPS products became more affordable to produce, the market for trackers grew tremendously. There are many different options at your disposal. Here are some features that you should keep in mind when you’re trying to find the right product for your needs.

Types of Devices

First, let’s discuss the different types of trackers. There are two varieties. They look similar at first glance but operate in very different ways.

Active
Active trackers are the most common. They continually collect data from GPS satellites, allowing you to see exactly where your car is at all times. Most active trackers also let you take a quick look at its movement history. They’re a great option if you want instant information. The downside with active systems is that they come with a recurring cost. GPS tracking in real time is not free. With all of the devices wanting to connect to the satellites at one time, you must pay a monthly fee to use the service.

Passive
Passive systems don’t come with a monthly service subscription. Thus, they’re often much more affordable than their active counterparts. However, the lack of active tracking does come with a sacrifice. You won’t be able to see where your car is in real time. Instead, you can only view where its been. That’s because these devices record information as the car is moving. That data is then saved until you can access it with your computer. Usually, you’ll have to remove the tracker from your car and connect it to your computer to read the information.

Power Source

GPS trackers can be powered directly from an outlet in your car or through a battery. Trackers that draw power from your car are typically plugged into its OBD port, which is located below the dashboard on the driver’s side. They’re always powered, so you don’t have to worry about having to replace any batteries. However, they’re often very noticeable and large.

Battery-powered products, on the other hand, are often quite small. They have the advantage of being very discreet. They can fit virtually anywhere. With that being said, the smaller the size, the lower the battery capacity.

Connectivity

Do you want to be able to check on your car from anywhere in the world? If so, go with a tracker that can communicate with your mobile device. These systems add a ton of convenience and can provide you with on-the-go alerts. They’re typically paired with a dedicated app that lets you customize settings, create geofence barriers, and much more.

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