If you're looking to track where a car is being driven or where someone is but don't want to be obvious about it, then the best GPS tracker for car protection is often the best solution. Some of them can be magnetically attached under the car or any other metal surface, while others can be carried attached to something important or carried in the pocket.
The best GPS trackers will allow you to review the trip histories to see where the car has been, receive notifications about when it arrives in designated areas known as geofences, or let you see its location on a digital map.
What's the best GPS tracker for a car?
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What is a GPS Tracker?
A GPS tracker is a device that uses GPS technology to send location information to a cloud-based server, where you can retrieve it on your computer and smart device. They use cellular network technology to send data to the cloud, which allows your information from anywhere in the world.
However, some trackers will only send data to specific countries because they use cellular data. For this reason, you might want to get a tracker with an international SIM if you need a device that works internationally.
Since these trackers will transmit data over cellular networks, they might need a month or a yearly subscription fee. However, many of these also include a mobile app, and some offer a web-based option for tracking data.
1. LandAirSea 54 GPS Tracker, - USA Manufactured
- Personal GPS for reliable tracking of people, vehicles, and/or assets
- Ultra-compact design | 100% Waterproof | Built-in Super Strength Magnet
- Attaches to vehicle | Fits in small pockets | Discretely hide in a backpack, case or purse
- Track & map (with Google Maps) in realtime on web-based software or SilverCloud App
- Text & email alerts | Geofencing | Vehicle Tracking | Location Reporting | Historical Playback
If you're on a budget, the LandAirSea 54 GPS Tracker is one of the most affordable trackers manufactured by a reputable company. It is a waterproof device that comes with an internal magnet, so you may not need to add an optional case.
Moreover, you can subscribe to get better features at only $20 per month or sometimes less with the long-term prepaid play. For the price, you get updates after every three minutes, but with more expensive plans, you can get updates as often as three seconds.
This is a no-frills tracker and has more limited features than other GPS trackers for cars. Monitoring this device is done through the LandAirSea mobile app that is available for both Android and iOS devices or using web-based SilverCloud software. Other great features include arriving and departure notifications, InstaFence, unlimited printable reports, alerts via SMS or email, historical playback, address, and geofence proximity alerts.
2. PrimeTracking Personal GPS Tracker
- Monitor affordably - subscription required: Just like a cell phone, our real-time GPS tracker uses a built-in SIM card to give you unlimited data coverage. This includes unlimited tracking range, real-time geofencing, speeding, and SOS alerts. Cancel anytime, no contracts or activation fees.
- Never worry or wonder again: Make sure people get where they’re going, or where they say they’re going. Get alerted if they go too far. Monitor drivers, speed, safety and logistics for businesses. Keep employees and spouses honest. And never lose your valuable possessions or assets again.
- Put it anywhere: The tiny, lightweight Prime Tracking GPS fits and conceals easily in strollers, vehicles, backpacks or pockets. So small, it’s virtually undetectable.
- Track anywhere in North America from anywhere, anytime: Easily and privately track any location in the U.S., Mexico and Canada from your computer, tablet, or phone. Works on multiple devices and networks, wherever there is cellular service.
- Get information instantly: State-of-the-art 4G LTE technology means you get location, movement and direction information as it happens, updated every 10 seconds in our smartphone app or desktop interface.
If you're looking for an extremely compact tracker, the PrimeTracking Personal GPS Tracker is one of the smallest units available. It only measures 3 inches by 1.5 inches to allow you to hide it inside the vehicle or use it to track something else.
This device can only be used in Mexico, Canada, and the US, working on a number of networks where there is cellular service. It uses the 4G LTE connectivity to update every ten seconds for real-time data using Google Maps. Although it is quite small in size, it boasts a two-week battery life.
Other features include detailed activity location, geofence, location change alerts, route, and trip history. It also has an unlimited range which means you don't have to be in the same country to monitor the location of your vehicle. Subscription fees are $25 per month.
3. AMERICALOC GL300 GPS Tracker MXW
- GPS Tracker for vehicles, people, assets. New version of the famous GL300. 2 months of free service will be added after first service purchase. Service is USD 25 a month or less if you buy more time.
- This is the longest battery life version and the one that works on CAT M1 Technology. No activation or hidden fees. Ready to use. Longer battery life and improved coverage.
- Alerts: movement,parked, speeding, device on/off, low battery, entering or leaving zones, front button pressed.Battery life measured in days or even weeks, not in hours
- Real Time Tracking and 1 year of tracking history. Track from any computer, tablet or phone or just download our Android or IOS APP.
- 1 minute location updates while moving. Can be configured for location updates every 60, 30 or 10 seconds with no additional cost. It is the newest version with CAT M1 Technology.
If you're looking to invest in the best car GPS tracker that comes with lots of features, the Americaloc GL300 GPS Tracker MXW is a great option. It can be used in Canada, Mexico, and the US and sends email or texts alert in Spanish or English.
With this tracker, you can get up to one year of your tracking history on your laptop, tablet, and smartphone using the companion app. In addition, the app allows you to set up the geofencing areas and monitor things like battery life, idle time, when the device is on or off, and movement.
Americaloc provides two free months of use once activated, with continued coverage available with monthly and yearly subscriptions. This makes it a perfect option for someone who intermittently or temporarily needs a tracker. It has a battery life of about two weeks but features multiple power modes to help preserve the battery for a long time.
4. Spytec GPS GL300 GPS Tracker for Vehicles, Cars
- Easiest & fastest GPS tracking: Spytec GPS offers the fastest GPS trackers for vehicles, valuables, and equipment using 4G satellite technology. Receive location alerts from the GPS tracker via our iOS/Android apps.
- Easy-to-use software & features: Watch your tracker move on a map, customize alerts and boundaries, see past data, speed, distance, & more.
- Reliable service: With more than a 99.99% uptime and a .256 millisecond processing time, our cloud-based technology gives you the data you want, when you want it.
- Small & versatile: Our GPS tracker is 1" thick with up to 2 weeks' battery life. Simply set/activate and use as a GPS tracker for trucks, GPS bike tracker, motorcycle GPS tracker, or monitor teen drivers with this GPS tracker for kids.
- Lifetime warranty & affordable subscription: This device requires a subscription to our easy-to-use software on our mobile and desktop apps. Activate the device, choose your plan, and start tracking with zero contracts or fees. Subscriptions start at $19.95/month annually or $24.95/month, month-to-month. Get free 24/7 support and a lifetime warranty on GPS trackers with an active subscription.
The Spytec GPS GL300 GPS Tracker for Vehicles and Cars is a two-inch tracker that is small enough to be attached to the undercarriage of the vehicle. It is a battery-powered tracking device which means you will be required to charge it periodically. However, the manufacturer claims the tracker has a two-week battery, but users have revealed that it is more like eight to ten days.
Monitoring your car using this device requires a monthly subscription fee of approximately $25, where you get a location update every 60 seconds unless you pay more. Additionally, there are no cancellation or contract fees, and the company also offers a 30-day, no-hassle cancellation policy.
This GPS tracking device helps in sending alerts for leaving or entering the geofence zone or excessive speed. However, it lacks notifications for low battery and vehicle movement. The tracker will update the data after every 60 seconds and can be increased to 30 seconds with an upgrade.
5. Optimus 2.0 GPS Tracker - 4G LTE Tracking Device for Cars
- Accurate, Discreet, Real-Time GPS Tracker.
- $19.95 per month - Quarterly 5% off | Bi-Annual 10% off | Annual 20% off subscription plan - All features included - Cancel Anytime - No Contract - No Hidden Fees - All tracker update options are included as fast as 10 second report frequency.
- Track your vehicle, machinery, valuables and loved ones LIVE 24/7 from our EASY TO USE State-of-the-Art Tracking Software.
- Battery Life up to 2 weeks reporting frequency at 1 minute.
- Set up custom INSTANT ALERTS – text and/or email - App available on IPhone and Android - SIM Card and Data Plan Included - FCC Certified Unit - Coverage for USA and Canada.
The Optimus 2.0 GPS Tracker - 4G LTE Tracking Device for Cars is another compact battery-operated vehicle tracker, but it is slightly bigger than SpyTec. It comes with improved battery life and a monthly fee of $20.
Depending on the monthly plan you subscribe to, the location tracking could be more of a connect-the-dots experience instead of a fluid turn-by-turn experience that you see in other apps. However, upgrading to get updates after every five seconds could help smoothen out this tracker.
The Optimus uses both an app and a website, unlike SpyTec's website. Unlike most trackers that limit you to circular areas, this app allows you to create geofence zones of different shapes. With an active subscription, you get covered by a lifetime warranty.
Types of GPS Trackers
There are three main types of trackers including;
a). Battery Operated
Some trackers are battery-powered, which means that you'll need to charge them frequently to avoid having a dead battery. These devices are compact, cordless, and very easy to use. However, it would help if you always kept them out of sight to prevent them from being removed.
Plug-in trackers will draw power from the car's OBD II port or 12 volts outlet, so you won't have to worry about charging the batteries. They are great options to keep the family members connected but may be difficult to hide if you plan on using the device as an anti-theft measure. However, beware of the amount of energy they draw from your vehicle to avoid straining the battery.
c). Hardwired Trackers
These are directly wired to the vehicle and are a great option for vehicles that lack an OBD II port that is needed for non-wired devices. Additionally, the device can be placed anywhere under the dashboard since they haven't been attached to the OBD port.
What are the Benefits of Buying a GPS Tracker for a Car?
There are so many reasons why one needs a GPS tracker for a car, including;
1. Track Your Vehicle When it's Stolen
It can be very challenging to track down when a car is stolen because most of them will have their license plates removed or changed to avoid getting caught. A tracker will help you see where the stolen car is so you can follow up and get the car returned to you.
2. Minimize Getting Lost and Additional Fuel Costs
The best GPS tracker for car use will prevent you from driving in circles, getting lost, and ending up in an unknown area. In addition, it can keep you from driving in areas that are potentially unsafe by providing the right directions to a safe neighborhood and minimizing the fuel costs.
3. Track Someone's Driving
For parents who want their teenagers to continue their independence by learning how to drive, then a GPS car tracker is the best way to monitor their safety. It is also a great way to ensure that someone is not somewhere that they shouldn't be.
4. Safety Purposes
The GPS has improved our lives and the world in so many ways, and our world has become a much easier and safer place to travel. Apart from providing roadside assistance, the car tracker ensures that you safely get to your destination. Thet feature SOS buttons that will help to trigger emergency services once activated.
What Do You Consider Before Buying the Best GPS Tracker for Car?
For most electronics, the question of whether to pick the battery or the plug-in types arises, and car GPS trackers are not an exception. Many GPS trackers for cars come with long-term batteries, while some of them will connect to your car.
It is important to know the type of power that works for you. Choose between worrying about replacing or recharging the batteries or if you want the device to run every time when your car is running.
2. Additional Features
There are many additional features in GPS tracking devices that can help you do a lot more. From Alexa integration and daily driving reports to diagnosing an issue with an engine, the best GPS trackers come with a wide range of features to match different needs. However, you might not need these additional features if you're planning to use the device for tracking only.
GPS trackers have a price that ranges anywhere from $25 to $100, and it is crucial to think about what you're hoping to spend. With these tracking devices, there is more than just the upfront costs.
Many operators will charge a monthly fee to collect and store the GPS data of your vehicle in the cloud. If you're looking for long to avoid paying monthly, then it might be worth paying more upfront costs to forego the monthly fees.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on GPS Trackers
1. Do cars come with GPS trackers?
Many cars, especially the modern ones, are equipped with GPS trackers. This is mostly true for cars owned by taxi companies or provides taxi services. Moreover, delivery trucks may also have trackers. They give the precise location of the car, allowing one to monitor the movements and come in handy in case of theft.
2. Where do car manufacturers place the GPS trackers?
A car GPS tracker can be installed anywhere around the car. For example, they can be placed under floor mats, seats, bumper, wheel wells, glove compartments, or under the dashboard. However, you will most likely find the GPS tracking device on the dashboard in the OBD port for car dealerships. This provides the dealers with access to the car's diagnostic data and is useful in fleet management.
3. Can a real-time GPS tracker show the exact location?
Sometimes, most GPS tracking devices show the exact location by sending and receiving the satellite signals. However, like your phone GPS, the device may experience some interference that will knock off the location accuracy.
4. How will the tracked data get to me?
Most GPS trackers will use SIM cards to transmit the data over cellular networks to you. The information is then shown in the apps. This means that the updates may be delayed if the device is in a place where the signal is blocked. Devices designed for use in Canada, Mexico, and the US will use 4G systems, while other devices might use a different SIM card.