In view of cars and trucks’ value, it is quite strange that they are not monitored as closely as they should be. For instance, if you buy a car for one of your family members, how do you ensure that it is being driven safely? It can be hard to tell unless it returns home with its paint scraped off or half a tree embedded in its bonnet.
Then come those who maintain vehicle fleets for their businesses; even if it is just one car, it still represents a significant portion of the capital invested in the market. If you wish to monitor your vehicle and how it is being driven, a GPS tracker is your way to go. It provides absolute accuracy for driving logs and can give your exact location as well in just a moment, depending on the model of your vehicle.
We have compiled the best car GPS trackers available in the market, to help you pick the one that suits your needs the best without costing you an arm and a leg.
10 Best GPS Tracker for Cars Reviews
1. Spy Tec STI GL300 Real-Time Vehicle GPS Tracker
It is assumed by many that GPS tracking devices are difficult to use, and this assumption puts off many from investing in one of these devices. Spy Tec took this assumption and blew it right out of the window by introducing their exceptionally easy to use tools.
This device is a tiny and compact one, measuring just 3 inches in length and having a weight of 8 ounces only. For GPS devices, this is very tiny. Regardless of its size, the model comes with very reliable battery life, lasting for at least two weeks before it discharges, and even more if you use it on intervals.
It is effortless and pleasant to use, having bundled software that syncs Google Maps when imparting information. This is a handy feature as Google Maps is somehow the template map app that everyone knows, recognizes, and uses. This familiarity with the software makes the product very easy to use. Every 5 seconds, it gives real-time updates for absolute accuracy, and Geo-Fencing is also enabled in it. Geo-Fencing is the feature that sends you an alert by email or text when the vehicle exits a preset area.
Overall, this model is beneficial as it comes with a variety of useful features and is also priced reasonably in the middle range, costing you just $50.
- Compact sized device
- Provides real-time updates
- Google Maps compatible
- Brand: Spy Tec
- Model: GPS-GL200
- Weight: 0.5 pounds
2. Vyncs GPS Tracker
This product by Vyncs is quite a high tech, compact device that has a variety of interesting points of design. Among its more exciting features is not just the design or a specific function of the product. Instead, the most impressive element about it is that it is an active GPS tracker having no monthly fee at all. We will discuss this in detail later.
Meanwhile, let's look into the practical aspects of this device. The model uses no battery as it can be plugged into the car directly, especially in the OBD-II port. Hence, virtually there is no maintenance on the device, and no need to worry about its charging as well. However, you should be a little smart to hide the device, or car thief will easily rip it out.
The 3G mobile data network is used by the device to connect itself to your tablet or laptop. Hence, there is no monthly subscription fee, but your mobile data may cost a bit more, and you may struggle to find signals in rural areas as well—however, a $10 activation fee ahs to be paid each year. The unit updates itself every 180 seconds at this level. If you wish to get even closer real-time updates, spend a little more to get 15-second updates. The price for this is $129, to be exact.
- No monthly subscription fee
- 3G mobile data used
- Real-time updates
- No batteries needed, directly powered by the vehicle
- Brand: Vyncs
- Model: VYNCSLINK-001
- Weight: 4 ounces
3. Amcrest AM-GL300 Real-Time GPS Tracker
It can also be used as a digital watchdog. For instance, simply set the geographical area where you need an alert if your vehicle exits it. Every time the car moves out of that area, you will receive a warning. The same can also be done for speed, and every time the vehicle exceeds your set speed, you will get an alert instantly.
The device comes for $50 and a monthly subscription fee of $19.99 to get real-time updates. It is reasonably priced and hence great value when compared to many other models providing the same. Just keep in mind that your 2G mobile network is used by the device, which may not be available everywhere like it used to be, so you should first check your local coverage and purchase this model thereafter.
- Small size
- Alerts for speed and area
- Battery life 10-14 days
- Brand: Amcrest
- Weight: 8 ounces
4. Optimus Tracker GPS Tracker
Lets clear this out first, this particular product is not endorsed by the Transformers or even Optimus Prime himself. So one thing is clear that the product will not transform into some fighting robot shooting lasers out of its palms, but one thing is assured that this little GPS tracker is very efficient.
The unit is exactly what you should expect from a premium level product.. it weighs just a few ounces, is black, and the size of a cigarette lighter and what not. It is just like the many other trackers we have gone through already. It also has a lifespan of ten days, depending on the usage.
What is the outstanding feature in this model then? Well, the differentiating element of this product is the App used to monitor the location and driving history of your vehicle. Optimus Tracker says that they do not have any nonsense app, and this is very true as it is straightforward to use an app with a very user-friendly interface. Every aspect of the device can be managed via this app, so you don’t just get the vehicle history log but can also set alerts for when the vehicle enters or exits a particular area, goes above a specific speed, etc. you get signals to change your battery as well, making it a handy feature.
- Many different alerts
- Real-time updates – 30 seconds
- Uses an app compatible with both Apple and Android
5. Trak4 Mobile GPS Tracker
This particular tracker from Trak4 has many different features, all of which shout out to a model, which is very well through one. Let's begin by talking about something different from many other models discussed until now. This is the case on this device – many other GPS tracker devices have weatherproof cases that can be purchased separately with them. However, this tracker already has a built-in one with it. This means that it can be mounted anywhere out of the box, even at the vehicle’s exterior.
There is another feature in the case, which is its incredibly powerful battery. This device can last for up to a year on a single charge at the lowest monitor level i.e., one location report or ping every 24 hours. This one used the 3G mobile data network and has a 2G network as a backup, and can hence find signals almost anywhere in the US.
Its tracking software is straightforward to use, which can be used on your laptop as well. Just log in to your account and locate your vehicle within a couple of seconds only. It keeps a speed log and history of past locations so that you can get alerts on these factors as well. The initial expense on the device is just under $50, while the monthly subscription varies between $5.99 and just under $20, depending on the frequency of vehicle reports you need.
- Powerful battery able to last up to one year on just a single charge
- Sturdy weatherproof case
- Uses 3G network
- Easy to use interface
- Brand: Trak4
- Model: Trak4
- Weight: 6.4 ounces
6. CarLock – Real Time Car Tracker and Alert System
The sixth model of GPS tracker on our list is from CarLock. So far, all the trackers we have looked in to were designed to do precisely what their name says – track the vehicle. This one, however, is some different stuff.
Yes, you can track your vehicle and access the account via the CarLock app view the vehicle activity log. This product, however, goes a step ahead in providing you security. It plugs into your car’s On-Board Diagnostic Port making it an even sensitive tracker compared to others on this list. This means that while it can send alerts when your car crosses a specific speed or geographical area, it has another trick to sleeve.
You will receive alerts when the engine starts or even if the device detects any vibrations. Vibrations that are produced by, for instance, power tools if a thief is using those to steal your car or break into it. This is the security level provided by this model, which is not provided by any other product, making it your digital watchdog instead od a straightforward GPS tracker.
- Poor driving alerts
- Anti-theft alerts
- Powered by a car battery
- Monitors car battery
- Brand: CarLock
- Model: OBD100
- Weight: 1.76 pounds
7. Logistimatics Mobile 200 GPS Tracker with Audio Monitoring
No products found.
8. Optimus Tracker GPS Tracker with Magnet Case
This product is very similar to the one we just discussed, with the only difference being with its price, which is higher than the previous one. This is because this version comes with a magnet case bundled with it, which is a handy feature.
These magnets are not ordinary ones but are made using Neodymium, which is considered as the strongest magnet available commercially. If you wish to mount your tracker on the vehicle’s exterior, this one should indeed be found, which offers excellent value.
All the other features are the same as the previous model from Optimus Prime, discussed above.
- Optimus Tracker 2.0 Device
- Comes with Twin Magnet Case
- Excellent value for money
- Brand: Optimus Tracker
- Weight: 2.5 ounces9
9. TKSTAR 90 Day GPS Tracker
The second last item on our list is from TKSTAR. Its price is lower than what should be expected from a premium model, and accordingly, it does not have some very high-end features as well. However, the brand has managed to add a powerful battery of 5000mAh.
The battery, when combined with its operations, provides you a lifespan of almost 90 days, which is a beneficial and fair time. You must note that the device also works differently than other models. Here, you have to download an app and text the device when you wish to know its locations. The device then replies to you sending the Google Maps coordinates which, when entered in the app, give the exact location.
The external shell of this tracker is both dust and waterproof and made with very strong plastic, so you shouldn’t worry about the damage that occurred during its use. As we said, it is somewhat a basic model but provided its price; it does exactly what it claims to – not much, not less!
- Battery life up to 90 days
- Water and dustproof, tough construction
- 5000mAh battery
- Brand: TKSTAR
- Model: 4330271730
- Weight: 11.2 ounces
10. AES RG T90 GPS Tracker
This one is a fairly pricy and more of a high-end product, with which our list will be closing. The Mack-Daddy of GPS trackers also comes with a similar price tag of just under $200. But what do you get on paying all that money?
Well, this one comes with a powerful battery that will last up to three months (one hour per day assumed). It comes with an incredibly tough case and a 70-pound magnet attached to it, showing how sturdy the device is. Given its strength, it can easily be attached anywhere on your car without the worry that it will get it disappeared.
In terms of operation, the company web browser or a downloadable app can be used to get real-time updates for perfect accuracy (update time 20 seconds). For an even quicker check on your car, simply send a text to your device, and you will receive a link. This link will open Google Maps on your phone to the exact location of your tracker, or at least within 2.5m, which is also remarkably accurate given the device’s size. It is not a cheap product, but you can just now deny the excellent quality of this tracking system.
- 20s update
- Battery life – 90 days
- 70lbs magnets
- Six months of free tracking data preloaded
- Brand: Spy Cameras
- Model: RGT90A
- Weight: 1.65 pounds
Best Car GPS Tracker – Buying Guide
Having gone through the best car GPS trackers in the market, we have identified around ten best models. Now the question arises, how can you decide what is the best one for you?
In the following section, we will look at some features that must be kept in mind when choosing the best car GPS tracker for yourself. We have also answered some of the most frequently asked questions about this device, so keep reading!
Features to Consider When Buying a Car GPS Tracker
1. Battery Life
This is perhaps the most important feature when considering any GPS tracker device. Often small tracking devices have small batteries and need to be charged at least once a week. Larger units have bigger batteries, and can hence go on for months but are also difficult to hide. This problem can be avoided altogether by simply going for a device that hooks up to your car itself and gets a constant power supply.
2. Real-Time or Delayed Time
This depends on your preference if you need to know the exact location of your car instantly, or you are okay with getting the information with a delay of ten minutes. The results will get more accurate as you move towards real-time monitoring. However, the bill will also rise accordingly.
3. Size of the Device
Most GPS car trackers are small devices, and the smallest one is the size of a Zippo cigarette lighter. It is easier to hide smaller devices both inside or outside the car, but the size also influences the device’s battery life.
Why Should I Use a Car GPS Tracker?
There are three primary reasons why you should be using a GPS tracking device.
Recover a Stolen Vehicle:
There is less than 50% probability of getting a stolen vehicle back, and this also varies largely from state to state. However, if your car has a GPS tracking device, this probability will rise dramatically. When you call the cops to report about your car theft, it depends on them and your luck largely if it will be found or not.
However, if you report about your stolen car to cops and tell them the exact location of your car as well, there is a much better chance of recovering it.
Monitor Usage of Your Vehicle by Family:
Most families have shared vehicles, where husbands/wives and kids all use the same car. A GPS tracker is a great thing to have to keep an eye on the driving habits of your kids or whoever you share it with and get to know when there has been over speeding or harsh breaks.
Monitor Usage of Vehicle for Businesses:
Having a business, you will just be as worried about your vehicles as well. A GPS device is a great thing to monitor your staff and keep a check on their whereabouts.
What Types of Tracking Systems Are Available?
Primarily, there are two types of GPS tracking systems – active and passive. Both have their upsides and downsides, which we will look over in this section.
An active GPS tracker transmits data using a satellite uplink. This means real-time information can be received at just a click of a button or using an app or website. You can check the exact location of your vehicle, and can also track the car’s entire journey to check where it has been, if it exceeded any speed limits or if there were any harsh breaks, etc.
The disadvantage of active GPS car trackers is that they usually have a paid subscription attached to its satellite network.
Meanwhile, a passive tracker does not transmit any data. Rather, it stays connected to the GPS satellite network over earth and stores all movements made by the vehicle, internally. This means that the device has to be removed from your vehicle and attached to a tablet or laptop to retrieve information. The information can be downloaded with a complete history of vehicle movements.
The downside of such trackers is obvious that there is no real-time tracking, and this type of device can not be used to find a missing car. However, they come at a much lower price and have no monthly subscription.
Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ
Q. What is a car GPS Tracker?
A. It is a device that pinpoints your vehicle’s location by using the Global Positioning Satellites.
Q. How do car GPS trackers work?
A. GPS trackers work just like Sat Nav devices do, i.e., by communicating with the satellites in earth’s orbit, and download the exact location of your vehicle. Once it has received your car’s location, it communicates with you or your laptop or phone, using a data network to send the coordinates on the app or website being used, in most cases, Google Maps.
Q. What is the accuracy level of car GPS trackers?
A. According to many, car GPS trackers are a fantastic thing to have given their accuracy and the immense amount of convenience they provide to find your missing car. A high-end tracker model will give the vehicle location within 8ft. Of its actual location. Cheaper models may be less accurate comparatively, but broadly speaking, it does give nearly accurate results most of the time.
Q. Is GPS car tracking legally allowed?
A. Broadly, yes, it is legal with some exceptions, though. If you do not own the car, you are not legally allowed to track it. Moreover, tracking someone else’s car without them knowing is also illegal. These are the general rule which may further vary depending on each state, and it is highly recommended first to have a conversation with your local law enforcement to get all the queries cleared.
Q. Where should the GPS tracking device be placed on my car?
A. This is a very good and important question. Many people argue that GPS devices should be placed outside the vehicle, having the advantage that there are fewer chances of the thief spotting and removing it.
Meanwhile, if it does not have strong magnets and a tough case, it may get removed itself, so be cautious. A smaller GPS device can be hidden easily either under seats in the vehicle cabin or even in a glove box.
Our Top Pick
In terms of money and all other aspects, out favorite one from the list above is the Spy Tec GL300 Vehicle GPS Tracker. It already is a very popular product in the range, and having investigated its features and specifications, we know why. Firstly, it is a very small device that can be placed easily in the vehicle. It syncs with Google Maps, has a fairly long battery life, and a Geo-fencing feature that monitors the location of your vehicle at all times.
Above all, it is extremely easy to use the device, and when all that comes at such a reasonable price with a monthly subscription of $25, it is great value for money. We got sold to all these reasons, and have easily named it the best GPS tracker you can find in the market today!